Updated: Feb 27
LCpl David Browning
"The competition provided a good opportunity for PWRRs reservists to work alongside many allied countries’ reserves in a more social skills-based competition rather than the patrol competitions we’re typically used too. ”.
The UK contingent, at the Hellenic Army Academy, Athens, Including Capt Lorden (4PWRR), LT Bandall, LCpl Browning, LCpl Rist, Pte Henderson and Pte Pryor (all 3 PWRR),
From the 1st to the 5th of August Officers, NCOs and Soldiers from 3 and 4 PWRR competed in the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officer’s (CIOR) Military Competition which is held during the organisation’s summer congress. Over 250 Officers and Soldiers participate in CIOR’s military pentathlon each year. Established in 1957 it focuses on military skills to challenge the leadership and physical robustness of reservists from across NATO and its Partners.
The competition provided a good opportunity for PWRRs reservists to work alongside many allied countries’ reserves in a more social skills-based competition rather than the patrol competitions we’re typically used too.
The Regimental Flag flying proud at the Congress’s hotel.
"The ranges we’re called off due to the extreme heat Greece was suffering at the time,but this did not stop the Hellenic Army running the physical events during the middle of the day. The resulting temperatures and sun causing some of our allies unexpected issues, fortunately for us this was on the back of our own British Heatwave.”.
The competition provided a good opportunity for PWRRs reservists to work alongside many allied countries’ reserves in a more social skills-based competition rather than the patrol competitions we’re typically used too. Particular mention must go out to the Danish Tankers with whom we share a Colonel in Chief (Queen Margrethe II) but also had previously been on operational tours alongside 1PWRR.
Military Skills tests included obstacle courses, navigation exercises and battlefield casualty drills.
The PWRR contingent at the end of competition dinner.
3PWRR teams placed well in the events under the ‘novice’ category as this was our first time attending the competition, however some European countries, especially the Dutch, Swiss and Germans fronted teams who were veterans of years of competitions and put in scores which justly landed them the lions share of the medals.
As it was our first time attending as a Battalion lessons have definitely been learnt on some of the facets of the competition, for example that most NATO countries use compasses in degrees rather than mils at the basic level and that trying to mentally convert between the two several hours into a navigation exercise is not ideal!
Aside from the competition itself the end of the congress saw the handing over of the CIOR presidency from Germany to Estonia, this ceremony was attended by the Minister for Defence from Estonia who gave a speech rightly praising the strength of the Alliance from his own country’s’ viewpoint. It was clear even against the backdrop of friendly competition the whole congress was focussed on the events unfolding in Ukraine.
The CIOR Milcomp provided a rare opportunity to interact and present ourselves to dozens of other countries reserve forces in one competition and I believe as one of the few infantry teams there we did that in good order. We look forward to being hosted by Finland in 2023 and will make sure to practice the water obstacle course before then !