The team of the Military University of Land Forces has participated, for the first time, in the prestigious Sandhurst Military Skills Competition organised by the United States Military Academy at West Point (USMA), finishing18th out of 64 squads from around the world, and obtaining the bronze SANDHURST patch.

The demanding preparatory stage and the great effort of our team members in the competition allowed us to achieve a result which makes us all proud, especially as we were debuting among more experienced teams,” said Major Aleksander Ziemiński, team leader. Cadets from AWL competed with teams from such countries as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Chile, Italy, Germany, Japan, Korea, Brazil, Colombia, and Latvia, and teams from US military universities, including West Point cadets. Each squad consisted of 11 soldiers, including one female and two reserves, of whom one was also a woman. The competition took place in a greatly varied environment. The route stretched across wet, and sometimes even swampy, terrain. There were also steep climbs amidst the many hills surrounding West Point. “During the two-day competition we had to walk a total of about 40 km. We also completed various tasks, including survival, shooting M9 pistols and M4 carbines, and tactical tasks in the night,” said the Squad Commander, Cadet Sergeant Maciej Łukaszewicz. “The competitions consisting of running with weights, carrying tyres, ammunition boxes, canisters and dummies, were also demanding. Then we competed in the shooting competition. We swam across the lake in a boat, navigated a tactical obstacle course, and performed an ambush and night-reconnaissance operations. We had to train ourselves in tactical procedures as per the American model in order to operate effectively,” added Cadet Sergeant Tomasz Kuś, Deputy Commander. According to all squad members, it was not easy, but we had a good team, which trained hard, including at the “Wysoki Kamień” Training Centre in Szklarska Poręba. Every task to be carried out was precisely described in a “FRAGORD” (fragmentary order), which the squad commander received in a given point and had 3 minutes to read it and plan the operations accordingly. The instructors evaluated each team according to the following criteria: endurance, precision, speed, command skills and squad behaviour. Team leaders could only observe the competing squads and motivate them in the places designated by the organisers. Participating in SANDHURST is associated with enormous prestige. Excellent organisation, fair competition, the possibility of testing one’s military training and leadership skills in commanding in difficult situations, is what make this competition stand out among other similar events. Many teams would like to compete, but only a few are actually invited. The fact that the University was among the elite group of SANDHURST participants makes us proud.


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