U.S. Soldiers and Airmen joined partner-nation troops in Athens, Greece, recently for the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers Military Competition — an annual contest that, since 1957, has showcased the military skills of reservists.
Seven three-person U.S. teams competed against teams from 11 other countries in pistol and rifle shooting, an obstacle course, utility swimming, orienteering, range estimation, map reading and hand grenade throwing.
Though the events were physically and mentally challenging, the competition was decidedly friendly. “Every nation was cheering for each other,” Army Reserve Capt. Thomas Wheeler, one of the U.S. competitors, said. “It didn’t matter what nation was up on the block, everyone was fired up and cheering for them.”
For the 21 U.S. competitors, the three-day event in Athens was preceded by a week of training with counterparts in Germany; and a weeklong selection, assessment and training period in Vermont before that.
The Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers represents the interests of more than 1.3 million reservists from 34 NATO and Partnership for Peace nations.