Staff Sgt. Noah Butkovich, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) won the Bronze Medal in the Middleweight Division of the 2015 All Army Boxing Championships held at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, Sept. 17 to 19.
Butkovich defeated Staff Sgt. Julian Gerena of Camp Stanley, Korea by unanimous decision for third place. This was Butkovich’s first experience with All Army Boxing. He applied to compete in the championships in May while still deployed.
“The overall experience was good and I got to meet some great people and learned a good deal from the coaches there,” said Butkovich.
In his first bout of the championships, Butkovich said he used his height and reach to successfully land hard shots from the outside. While he said he felt confident in the execution of his overall game plan for the fight and thought he had won, the judges gave the nod to his opponent. The loss placed him in the fight for the Bronze Medal.
In the medal bout, Butkovich said he reverted to his favored style of staying on the offensive. He said he was aggressive in every round and pressured his opponent at every turn resulting in the Bronze Medal win.
When asked about his future All Army ambitions, Butkovich made his intentions very clear.
“Now I want to go back and win gold,” he said.
Butkovich’s previous, competitive boxing experience includes tournaments in and around his native state of Oregon before his Army service. After his enlistment in 2009, he fought twice in the local Harnett United Police/Sheriff Athletic Activities League while he was still a student in the Special Forces Qualification Course at Fort Bragg.
Butkovich said he finds a similarity between boxing and combat in the live performance of the action for which countless hours are spent training.
“You can do all your training but until you do it, it’s a different animal,” said Butkovich.
“You don’t go through all the emotions, the nervousness and the conquering of your fears unless you do it and I can directly relate that to combat situations,” he added.
Butkovich’s chain of command spoke highly of him and his accomplishments.
“Noah is an exceptional Green Beret weapons sergeant, and is perhaps the best talent I’ve seen in my 22 years of military service,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Bruce Holmes, the senior enlisted advisor for 3rd Bn., 3rd SFG.
“The fact that he has the courage to get inside a ring is a testament to the toughness of our Soldiers,” said Holmes.