Elite soldiers train to be top tactical athletes
ce ng s, elp e al EVERY member of the Australian Army is trained to be physically and mentally strong but within the gates of Lavarack Barracks there is an elite group of infantry soldiers pushing their bodies to the limits to achieve the ultimate warfighting condition.
Likened to training a State of Origin team, about a dozen members of the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment are leading the way through a scientifically proven and holistic Advanced Operational Conditioning Program.
Under the guidance of 2 Close Health Company Physical Training Sergeant Dale Gormann, who provides integral support to 1RAR, the group hold multiple high intensity, tactical, running, endurance and recovery sessions each week.
The AOCP works within the overlapping pillars of strength, mobility and endurance to modernise and develop a soldier’s combat capabilities so they become the ultimate tactical athletes.
“These guys are the top tier of soldiers that have been careful selected by officers for their skills, knowledge, attitude and fitness,” Sgt Gormann said.
“It’s like imagining the Army as club footy, you’ve got your very elite players, but this is like rep footy for us where our team has been handpicked to represent 1RAR.”
Sgt Gormann said despite the increasing level of other training commitments the soldiers had faced in recent months as 3rd Brigade moved towards becoming the nation’s Ready Battle Group, the AOCP rarely slowed down.
“My role as a PTI is to prepare soldiers physically and mentally for the demands of war,” he said.
“So regardless of if we’re online or offline, we maintain a state of readiness at all times.
“We are training to be the fastest, fittest soldiers on the battlefield.”
The soldiers are ramping up preparation for the ultimate test of their training methods and standards over a week in August at the Singleton School of Infantry during the gruelling 2017 Duke Of Gloucester ( DOG) Cup.
The demanding competition assesses foundation war fighting ability, skills at arms, physical endurance and the mental resilience of soldiers from the competing sections of the Royal Australian Regiment.
1RAR won the title in 2015, and finished second behind Townsville’s 3RAR last year.
The winning section each year is then granted entry to the English version of the competition, the Cambridge Cup in the United Kingdom to compete for gold, silver an bronze medals.
“Winning the DOG Cup is very rewarding,” he said.
“Based on historical evidence, I’m confident we’ll place in the top three.
“I’m never going to say we’re going to win it but I’m confident the boys will have a good preparation and go well.”