CIOR MILCOMP has a history that spans decades. While each competition rotates venue locations amongst our NATO partners, traditionally the events are standardized with as little variation as possible so as to promote a standard competition annually. Three-member teams comprise the format for this event. There are four categories consisting of novice, expert, female, and veteran teams; however, there is a fifth category, the international team, which combines members of various countries working together in a hybrid fashion. Arguably this last category is the most fascinating as language barriers, customs, and team dynamics create and environment where members must push themselves to integrate in less than optimal circumstances. A list of the events and a brief description are found below:
Orienteering (~33% total points):
Orienteering is the capstone event, always held on the last day of competition. This grueling crucible can make and break teams vying for the championship. Courses range typically from 12K-20K meters, and can take up to four hours to complete. Keep in mind this is done wielding a standard host nation rifle, full military garb (including the boots), and members are running through undulating/unforgiving terrain in a myriad of environments. It is conducted in three-person teams that work together to find upwards of 20 separate stations as fast as possible. Throughout the day, various additional challenges present themselves that the host nation customizes to their course (e.g. canoe, river crossings, rope traverses, etc.).
Land and Water Obstacle Course Combined (~25% total points):
The land obstacle course (better known as the “Land-O”), is created to test a soldiers anaerobic capacity combined with agility. 20 grueling obstacles must be navigated over the course of 500 meters. The last person across the line on each three-person team will stop the clock. A plethora of videos of this can be found on YouTube and also under the “Websites” tab above. By far the most acutely painful event of the four day competition, but also one of the highlights of the week.
The water obstacle course covers 50 meters. Three-person teams must navigate various floating obstacles in full uniform to complete the course. A plethora of videos of this can be found on YouTube and also under the “Websites” tab above. Technique and timing are essential to ensure that teams do not lose vital points in this event.
Shooting (~33% total points):
Rifle: The rifle portion of the competition will be fired using the host nation’s weapons. The course of fire consists of both a rapid fire portion and a precision portion. All three team members are on the firing line together and a combined score is taken at the end. Typically the targets are 200 meters downrange, and fired with iron sights (no scopes). Members also usually fire from a prone position.
Pistol: The pistol portion of the competition will be fired with the host nation’s weapons. The course of fire consists of both a rapid fire portion and a precision portion. All three team members are on the firing line together and a combined score is taken at the end. Typically the targets are 25 meters downrange, and fired with iron sights. Members also usually fire from a unsupported standing position.
Hand Grenades/Distance Estimation/Map Plotting (~9% total points):
While each of these events take only about five minutes to complete, teams can lose valuable points if they are not up for the task. The hand grenades are inert, and are typically a variant of the host nation’s arsenal. Distance estimation requires identifying the distance of five different objects that can range from 10 to 600 meters away. Map plotting, this requires shooting reverse azimuths using a compass and then subsequently plotting points on various terrain maps. Reading counters and understanding map scales are crucial for success.
Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC):
TCCC is typically integrated during the orienteering phase on the last day. This particular event is not worth any points, however it is important to note that it probably has the most profound impact on the CIOR Congress as a whole. During the event, CIOR MILCOMP competitors integrate with Interallied Confederation of Medical Reserve Officers (CIOMR) to allow for both these organizations to fuse together with the intent of simulating real-world tactical care in the field scenarios. Competitors display their country’s medical techniques, while simultaneously learning new and perhaps better ways of conducting aid from other NATO allies.