Feature Photo: The entire team and staff following SANDCOM 2017.
RMC Military Skills 2017 Season Comes to an End
Article by: 27002 OCdt (IV) Joshua Hewitt
After seven months of training, the Military Skills Team’s season has come to a close with this year’s Sandhurst Competition which was held at the United States Military Academy on April 7th and 8th. The competition’s format was similar to last year, spanning over 24 hours and 50km of mountainous terrain. Events included a functional fitness stand, tactical combat casualty care, rifle and pistol ranges, grenades, reconnaissance, an ethical leadership scenario, call for fire, obstacle course, assault boats, a task in a chemical environment, casualty transport, and the commandant’s challenge before the finish line.
This year the team finished 9th of 62 teams and while the results this year are nothing to be ashamed of and are maybe even worthy of some praise the results were not what we were hoping for. Typically, RMC fields one of the most competitive teams in the competition, winning the competition in 05, 06, 07, 09, and last year in 2016. Our team went into the awards ceremony this year very nervous with the pressure of having won last year, but also with a great deal of confidence based on our performance during the competition. Because the team attracts very competitive members with a winning attitude, there was definitely some disappointment following the awards. However, while this team will always possess a winning attitude, it is not a poor attitude: our congratulations goes out to this year’s winners, USMA Black and all the other teams who displayed amazing competitive fitness and skills in a demanding and stressful competition environment. You can’t win them all and I know for a fact that while I will not be back again next year, the returning members of the team will train with renewed vigour to bring the sword back to RMC next year.
Next year’s team will also be training hard to win the Chimaltlalli Competition in Mexico. This year was our second year participating in the competition and after having made some changes in our training to meet the demands of the high altitude in the mountains outside of Mexico City, we placed third behind Mexico’s teams from Heroica Escuela Naval Militar and Heroico Colegio Militar. The competition this year took place on February 17th and 18th. The team pushed themselves to their limits competing in a 32km ruck march, leadership challenge, ammunition transportation, obstacle course, shooting, grenade throwing, combat swimming, 10m dive, CBRN casualty extraction, night navigation, reconnaissance, and a final 5km sprint to the finish with a humvee pull and casualty transport along the way. We are thankful for the hospitality of Heroic Military College. We also admire and respect the professionalism and dedication shown by their team who won the competition and who also took home 2nd place international in the Sandhurst Competition this year. Our team looks forward to continuing our friendship and competition with the Heroic Military College.
The training for the team this year, which began in October after selections, has been focused and applicable to the challenges that the team faced in competition this year. A huge thank you goes out to PSP staff Tomazs Deren, our team’s physical fitness trainer who programmed all of our physical training this year. Our team’s skills improved greatly since October: thank you to Capt. Payne and WO Wieczorek for dedicating your spare time to coordinating, organizing, and running ranges and other training sessions as required. The staff leadership of our team has always been what has enabled our team to develop our skills and leadership most effectively. Our staff is always available to offer advice and enable us to succeed, but they wholly believe that the team is cadet led because when it comes time to compete, it is just us.
Thank you to the RMC Foundation and the class of ’64 for their continued support of the team. Without your support none of what we do would be possible and this team is without a doubt one of the best opportunities available at RMC for enhancing military excellence and leadership. While the last four years spent on this team have been the most demanding of my life, I would not change it for a second.
A special note from 26977 OCdt (IV) Melanie Hughes
I found the pictures of our Sandhurst team at West Point. Here is the Flickr album from West Point: https://www.flickr.com/photos/west_point/sets/72157682214860086
Following are some individual photos of the RMC team:
Results from Sandhurst Competition