Officer Cadets from six University Officer Training Corps have tested their military skills against teams from 12 other countries in the ‘Competencia Chimaltalli’ in Mexico.
The 11 UK Officer Cadets took on teams from full-time officer academies in an arduous 2 day event challenging their physical fitness, mental agility, endurance, and a variety of military skills.
Starting off in full kit with a 20 mile circuit of the impressive Heroico Colegio Militar, an academy built to resemble an Aztec God, the Officer Cadets had to contend with the 2,500 meter altitude and rather warmer temperatures than their UK winter training provided. Swimming, again in full kit, grenade throwing, shooting, a night navigation and reconnaissance patrol, and pulling an armoured Humvee 100m all followed. Although injuries began to accumulate, every individual showing great grit and determination to make it to the end and perform well on the individual tasks, despite some impressive blisters.
Whilst the competition was fierce, the most valuable lesson the cadets took away was the importance of the international friendships made along the way. It was an experience that will stay with them for the rest of their military careers as Officer Cadet Archie Norman from London OTC explains:
“Competencia Chimaltlalli 2017 was an incredible experience helping to build bilateral relationships with the future military leaders of Mexico and Latin American. Despite the frustration of not placing as well as we expected, I can say that this experience will go a long way to setting the conditions for a successful competition in the following year. This trip has once again shown the range of incredible opportunities open to Reservists, and the wider Army in general.”