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CIOR Military Competition shows readiness

A gust of wind brings hope - but the burning sun is remorseless: No shade, just twirling dust and unquenchable thirst. The only moist comes from the sweaty combat uniform sticking at bodies like wet towels.

The team leader feels the heat of 40 degrees in the shade, too and yet he must encourage his men. A pull-back into the barracks would be a give-up . So: March! Tortured looks give way for determination, every soldier is mobilizing all energies – to run the obstacle course!

Correct - these scenes do not play out in far off Afghanistan, but on NATO ground in Vyškov, Czech Republic, where the Competitors of the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR) prepared for this year's Military Competition. But even if this is just a sporting competition among allies, one can say for sure: These guys are combat ready! And there is great emphasis on this fact.

Even though the individual disciplines have competitive nature and require sporting commitment, this is not about sports, but about skills that are orientated towards military use: The "pistol and rifle shooting" makes the soldier's core capability of shooting part of the program. At the "obstacle course" the participants in the first place have to conquer inhospitable terrain and the "water obstacle course" in uniform with five demanding obstacles requires good swimming skills, strength, coordination and flexibility .

In both disciplines, the teams may assist each other at the obstacles – this means “camaraderie in action”. At the "military orientation march" the teams must complete a 14 km cross-country course on unknown terrain, using only a magnetic compass and various maps. This requires both, teamwork and leadership under physical stress. In addition, the teams have to perform range estimation, map reading, hand grenade throwing and additional tasks.

At the end of the competition days , there was an outstanding winner: At all three competition categories - Novices (Newcomers), Experienced (two to five participation) and Veterans (over five competition participations) –the German Competitors gathered at the top step of the winner's podium. In addition the German team won the individual ratings for shooting, obstacle courses and orienteering, this made them carry the crown for the "Overall"-rating home.

Despite the faultless medal table: the athletes have worked hard for their successes - until the last moment it was a neck-to-neck race with the Finns.

The Finns were in the fore until Wednesday - "Obstacle Day". This competition day, with it’s land and water obstacle course, brings each competitor to its absolute limit. The Germans were ten points behind – but in the end the equivalent of less than one second was not enough to keep the victory in Finland.

"The overall victory in Copenhagen last year and now a double victory here in Vyškov - just great", beams Reserve Captain Felix Wernitz from the defending team. Reserve major Ruzzu Dr. Antonio adds: "Germany never brought home so many medals, we have every reason to celebrate!" And for the celebration, they can rely on their comrades from the other nations.

Photos Released by CIOR/Henry Plimack (USA)


© 2012 Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers