Elite sol­diers train to be top tac­ti­cal ath­letes

Rachel Ri­ley

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - RACHEL RI­LEY

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.”

HIGH ACHIEVER: Pte Sam Dyson in train­ing.

SL. Pic­tures: SHAE BEPLATE

Man.

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LCpl Rob Hock­ing dead lifts 150kg.

Pte Isaac War­dle.

Pte Adam Sea­man.

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