Concept

Military pentathlon

Summary
The Military Pentathlon is a multisport. It resembles the modern pentathlon but updated to skills used by the modern military. The modern pentathlon was originally designed to include the ideal skills of a soldier of the time. By the Second World War, some of those skills (fencing and horse riding) were irrelevant to the modern soldier. In 1946 a French officer, Captain Henri Debrus (later promoted Colonel and President of the Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM)) conceived the idea of organising a sports competition reserved exclusively for the army. It was during discussions held at Frankfurt am Main which led to the setting up of the Allied Forces Sports Council, that his attention was drawn to an original military physical training technique used, at that time, by the Netherlands airborne units. After being dropped over a given zone, parachutists had to travel a distance of twenty kilometres from the dropping point, crossing over a number of obstacles and performing combat operations (small arms fire and grenade throwing). Captain Debrus took the Dutch method as a guide, eliminated the parachute jump and modified the other tests in order to form a system, which he thought, would constitute an ideal way of ground training. A first trial competition organised by himself was held at the Military Physical Training Centre, at Freiburg, in the French occupation zone in Germany, in August 1947. Only Belgian, Dutch, and French teams took part in the competition. Since 1950, annual world championships have been held. The sport has grown in popularity, and now over 30 countries participate. The sport's governing body, the International Military Sports Council (CISM), now also organise pentathlons aimed at naval and air force personnel. Shooting: At a distance of 200 metres, competitors are tested separately for precision (10 shots in 10 minutes) and rapid-fire (10 shots in one minute) shooting. Obstacle running: Competitors navigate a 500-metre obstacle course with 20 obstacles.
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