The battle of the battalions

After a two-year break in competition, the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, are the new champions of Army’s premier military-skills competition, having secured the Duke of Gloucester Cup for 2022.

CAPTION: An Australian Army soldier from the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, moves across the traverse ropes during an obstacle course activity held as part of the Duke of Gloucester Cup in Singleton. Story by Corporal Jacob Joseph. Photo by Corporal Madhur Chitnis.

3rd Battalion section commander Corporal Liam Reynolds said the team was “confident that we’d done everything we could to win it”.

“We went down there to win. We had a winning mindset and I think it paid off,” he said.

Seven sections from the Royal Australian Regiment battalions competed for the 2022 Duke of Gloucester Cup from July 31 to August 5, with each team judged on their physical endurance, infantry tactics and teamwork over the six-day competition.

Corporal Reynolds said the 3rd Battalion proved best overall after putting in strong performances across all stands.

Beginning with marksmanship and combat shooting, sections then navigated into the bush, where they were tested on their knowledge of heavy weapons and medical procedures, and were faced with complex problems such as identifying enemy from civilians.

Organisers introduced new elements to the competition this year, such as the use of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence equipment during the section attack and paint rounds in the urban stand.

CAPTION: Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, clear a building during the conduct of an urban assault serial. Photo by Corporal Madhur Chitnis.

Corporal Reynolds said changes to the adjudication system led to a fairer competition.

“Having a directing staff from a different battalion attached to each of the patrols made sure the scoring was done properly,” Corporal Reynolds said.

As well as the Duke of Gloucester Cup, 3rd Battalion also received the OSCMAR Trophy for best battle endurance.

5th Battalion’s Corporal Max McCulloch took out the Regimental Sergeant Major’s Trophy for best section commander and Private Jack Willoughby, from 6th Battalion, was named the best soldier in the competition, taking out the DSM Roche CSC Memorial Cup.

As champion section, the 3rd Battalion team will travel to the United Kingdom to compete in the Cambrian Patrol this October.

Cambrian Patrol is a 10-day competition between international militaries, hosted by the British Army.

“We’re going to take a week off to unwind and then we’re right back into the training,” Corporal Reynolds said.

CAPTION: A soldier from the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, observes an enemy position during a section attack. Photo by Corporal Madhur Chitnis.





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