Grandmaster Marchetti’s recent trip to the Fort Lee Army base marked a truly great milestone in his career. It was a trip that meant a lot personally to him and in many ways represented a culmination of more than 25 years of teaching this nation’s elite military and police. Many times, Grandmaster Marchetti has even paid for his own travel and hotel expenses when needed; for this trip, the base had requested him for the second time and was able to pay for his travel and hotel expenses. He has always volunteered his actual time and services for free as a fulfillment of his patriotic duty to this country.
When I interviewed him about this trip, I could hear something different in his voice. The pride, the emotion, and the sentiment were all still clearly there.
This trip started out like most; with 3 days of intensive training offered by Police Tactics Instructors of America International (PTI). Present for the training were over 70 students from Fort Lee’s Army Special Reaction Team (SRT), Military Police SWAT, and several Virginia police department’s SWAT teams. Grandmaster Marchetti, National Director of PTI, had been personally requested by the base commander to teach 3 days of close combat instruction – 2-hour classes covering takedowns, control, handcuffing and lethal techniques. Jeff Graf, the other PTI instructor present, assisted Grandmaster Marchetti with making corrections during the unarmed self-defense portion and then led the armed portion of the training; 9mm firearms, armed entry into buildings and other techniques.
At the conclusion of the training, a small celebratory BBQ banquet was held and Grandmaster Marchetti and Jeff Graf were presented with gifts of appreciation. In one of the greatest honors of his career, Grandmaster Marchetti was presented by the Provost Marshall with a Post Flag (an American flag) from the Fort Lee base. Post Flags are a special honor in the US Military because they are defended on a base to the very last man. They are traditionally reserved for retiring generals or for the coffins of fallen soldiers from that base. A Base Post Flag is the American Flag saluted on a base every morning and at reveille every night; they are burned in a celebration when they are old, tattered and ready to be retired. This post flag was presented to Grandmaster Marchetti framed in a beautiful custom wooden and glass case.
Grandmaster Marchetti was sincerely moved by this gift on so many levels. An Army veteran himself, the significance of the gift was not lost upon him. He was emotional as he spoke to the group about his career teaching the military and police. He also expressed how he felt it was the right time to retire from all of the travelling. He gave special thanks to Captain Bishop and all of the Chiefs of Police present.
Despite his best efforts to express his intention to retire from military/police training, Grandmaster Marchetti was still asked to return to train the White House Security (door guards, snipers) and also asked by name to return to the CIA’s training facility at Langley, VA to teach (something he did over 20 years ago when he was in his 50’s). He was also asked by name to train units at two additional military bases.
Both PTI and the Kearny Martial Arts Dojo is very proud of the recognition Grandmaster Marchetti received on this trip to the Fort Lee Base (one of the nation’s oldest). Please enjoy some of the great photos taken during this event.