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Posted: September 6, 2018 9:40 a.m.
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Private packs a punch

Spc. Matthew Williams/

Pfc. Steven Cosme, 9th BEB, 2ABCT, 3rd ID, poses for a photo April 15 at Fort Stewart, before he works out; preparing for the U.S. Army World Class Athlete program. The workout included exercises to improve his hand speed, footwork and cardiovascular endurance.

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Pfc. Steven Cosme of 9th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, a combat engineer, father and husband, has boxed for more than seven years, but his journey started much earlier in life. Boxing intrigued the West New York, New Jersey native as he watched the sport on television alongside his father, Steven. What started as a passing interest quickly developed into an obsession after Cosme had trouble with other children in the area. 

“I took up boxing after I was bullied as a kid and I wanted to learn to defend myself,” said Cosme. “Since then, I fell in love with the sport.”

Cosme started off with mixed martial arts, but realized his boxing skills developed at a much faster rate. He began training southpaw (left hand dominant), picking up his first pair of gloves at the age of 11, and fighting in his first preliminary bout at age 17.  

Battling in the boxing ring primed Cosme for his next milestone, as he enlisted in the U.S. Army.  He maintains a rigorous training regimen, despite 9th BEB’s training cycle. After unit physical training, he trains after the duty day five days a week, all in hopes of securing a Soldier-Athlete slot through the All Army Sports Program. 

“It takes a special type of person to get in the ring and do what I do,” said Cosme. 

Cosme ventures to training camp in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, starting Aug. 26, competing for a position on the 140-lb., light welterweight roster. If successful, his journey will continue through Tennessee, then culminate with a roster spot within the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program in Fort Carson, Colorado. The Soldier-Athlete campaign will undoubtedly bear its share of hardships and challenges. Cosme welcomes them and draws motivation from Sgt. 1st Class Augusto Pineiro, a fellow combat engineer from his battalion killed in an automobile accident in 2017. Pineiro established a reputation for accomplishing legendary physical feats.

“When things are hard for me when I box, I think about, ‘that man just ran 100 miles in a gas mask, nonstop’,” said Cosme. “Why am I complaining about a nine minute fight?” 

The annual competition determines the best boxers within the Army. Cosme aspires to join the ranks of the All Army Boxing Team, represent his unit proudly and use the opportunity to potentially become ranked on a national level. He competed and won the silver medal in last year’s All Army Sports Program, but looks to take the gold this year and gain professional sponsorship in the future.

“I would like to be an Olympic gold medalist boxer, and world champion,” declared Cosme.

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