Leicester students win Bronze medal in tough Military Patrol Competition

A team including students from the University of Leicester won a prize at one of the hardest military events in the world.

For the past week soldiers from around the world have been converging on Brecon in Wales for Exercise Cambrian Patrol which is internationally renowned as one of the hardest Military events in the world. This year was the event’s 60th anniversary and is open to both Regular and Reserve forces from across the world, with 140 teams taking part, including 34 international teams.

Teams of eight have to complete a 74 mile march carrying weights of up to 40 kg across the arduous terrain of South Wales. After a kit inspection patrol commanders plan their route before setting off, encountering testing stands on areas across the military training syllabus from Casualty Extraction through to Attacks, countering a Chemical situation to extracting from a mine field amongst others, all within 48 hours.

This year East Midlands Universities Officer Training Corps, which includes students from the University of Leicester entered a team and won the Bronze Medal.

Officer Cadet Rob Blackman, who studies International Relations, said: 

“The Patrol presented many challenges, the hardest being combating the severe sleep deprivation, it was 44 hrs of continual walking. By putting yourself in these situations and seeing yourself and team mates come through helps you learn more about yourself than you ever could in a classroom. It teaches you that teamwork is invaluable”

Officer Cadet James Molloy, Uol 2019 Graduate said:

“We had rehearsed the water crossing but nothing can prepare you for swimming across a reservoir at dusk with all your kit and a rifle! It was a real honour to participate in this event.”

Major Ed Matts, Senior IT Business Partner and the UoL’s Armed Forces Champion prepared and trained the students prior to the Exercise. He said: 

“Achieving a Bronze Medal when these students are up against such tough competition is impressive, over a third of teams that enter don’t finish, it really does push them to their limit.”

The University of Leicester is a supporter of the Armed Forces Covenant, holding Silver accreditation. You can find out more about the Armed Forces Covenant here.