Fort Belvoir Service Members Find Strength and Resilience in Boxing Program

FORT BELVOIR, Va. — Fort Belvoir Service Members are finding strength and resilience through a groundbreaking boxing program led by Sgt. 1st Class David Pough.

The program is aimed at enhancing mental, physical preparedness, and offers service members the opportunity to sharpen their skills and compete against amateur boxers nationwide.

The Fort Belvoir Boxing Team is open to all service members. They conduct rigorous training sessions twice a week to simulate the pressures service members may face in deployment.

Coach Pough emphasizes the importance of discipline, focus, and strategic thinking in both the ring and on the battlefield.

“Boxing pushes service members to their limits, both physically and mentally, it requires them to stay focused, make quick decisions, and adapt to changing circumstances – qualities that are invaluable in combat situations,” said Pough.

The program not only enhances combat readiness but also fosters camaraderie and team spirit among its members. Participants engage in a variety of drills to enhance agility, endurance, and mental acuity, while also cultivating physical strength and mental fortitude.

“Resilience is a skill that has helped enhance my combat readiness”. said Sgt. Alexis Gastelum, a boxing team member.

“Once you are in the ring you must see it to the end. Three minutes feels like forever in the ring, but just like in the military, you must stay strong and push through the obstacles,” add Gastelum.

The Fort Belvoir Boxing Team regularly competes against other amateur boxers, providing service members with valuable exposure and opportunities to showcase their dedication and sportsmanship. At a recent local tournament, the team took home a win.

“This win just shows with the right coach and mindset you can achieve anything in and out of the ring”, said Blake Smith, Fort Belvoir boxing team member.

For Spc. Johnathan Porter, Fort Belvoir team member, boxing has imparted valuable life lessons.

“Boxing has taught me to face challenges head-on and not back down. It has given me the confidence to tackle any obstacle that comes my way, both in and out of the ring,” added Porter.

Beyond training and competitions, the Fort Belvoir Team also prioritizes giving back to the community. Pough believes that the aspect of their program provides structure and purpose for the development of team members, both inside and outside of the ring.

One way they give back is by volunteering with veterans who share their stories with the young fighters.

“The team’s presence and willingness to listen bring joy to the veterans’ faces, leaving an indescribable impact”, said Pough.

“We are always fighting for something bigger than ourselves, and we will continue to give whenever we can, “added Pough.

The program’s success in enhancing service members’ mental and physical preparedness has fostered a strong sense of camaraderie among participating service members. The shared experiences, challenges, and victories have solidified a bond that extends beyond the boxing ring, contributing significantly to overall morale and wellbeing.

Sgt. 1st Class Pough’s visionary initiative to bring boxing to Fort Belvoir not only equips service members with the necessary tools to overcome adversity but also shapes the next generation of military leaders.

The Fort Belvoir Boxing Team’s next match will take place on Nov. 4 at 310 Bowl Drive, Salisbury, Md. 21801. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Come out and support Fort Belvoir Boxing team. For more information on how you can join or support the team, email Coach David Pough at

Tiana Waters - USAG Fort Belvoir