Sandhurst Military Skills Competition

Sandhurst Military Skills Competition

Welcome to Sandhurst

At West Point, we build, educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets to be commissioned leaders of character committed to the Army Values and ready for a lifetime of service to the Army and Nation.

Since the Academy’s founding in 1802, our graduates have made significant contributions to our Army and the nation in many ways. They’ve served as heads of state, cabinet members, members of Congress, state governors, astronauts, and captains of industry.  Many have been trailblazers, making history and paving the way for future generations of leaders of character.

At West Point, cadets receive a top-tier education, along with military and physical training, but at the heart of everything we do is develop character, and the moral-ethical attributes essential to good leadership.

We invite you to learn more about “America’s Academy” and if you’re exploring college options, we hope that you will consider West Point as an option.  More importantly, please come visit us and see for yourself why we are the world’s preeminent leader development institution!

Sandhurst Facts

The annual Sandhurst Military Skills Competition will take place at the U.S. Military Academy on April 26 and 27. The competition has undergone multiple changes since it started in 1967 and in its current form.

This year is a two-day competition featuring teams from West Point, Army ROTC units from across the U.S., military service academies, and international teams from across the globe.

 Here is what you need to know before the competition starts:

While it is called the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition after the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) in the United Kingdom, the annual competition has always been held at West Point. Sandhurst was started in 1967 when RMAS presented West Point with a British Officer's sword to use as the prize for a competition to promote military excellence.

It wasn't until 1975 that the competition began to resemble its current form with teams taking part in different challenges to test their military skills. Sandhurst was only an internal West Point competition until 1992 when ROTC teams began competing, and in 1993 RMAS began taking part annually. The Royal Military College of Canada (RMC-Canada) joined in 1997 and since 2002 the competition has featured a diverse group of international teams as well as the Naval, Coast Guard, and Air Force academies and Army ROTC teams from across the nation.

West Point dominated Sandhurst for the first three decades, winning every single year from 1967 through 1992. That streak was broken in 1993, the first year a non-West Point team competed, and a British team came from across the pond to ultimately triumph in the military skills competition that takes place annually on the Hudson River.

For the next 16 years, the competition was dominated by members of the Commonwealth capturing the title in the name of Queen Elizabeth II as the RMAS team won from 1993 to 2004 and the RMC-Canada won from 2005 to 2007.

RMAS and RMC-Canada went back and forth for a couple years before the gutsy upstarts from West Point’s Company B-3 finally broke through in 2011 shattering the queen's reign over the competition.

Not to be outdone, the Royal Military College of Australia - Duntroon claimed the title in 2012 bringing honor back to the crown. The Commonwealth would hold the title through 2016 with RMAS and RMC-Canada winning the titles.

West Point emerged victorious in 2017, but its hold on the title was short lived when a twist in the competition caught competitors off guard as the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) fought their way to victory in a competition that tests ground combat skills. Way to fight Falcons!

In 2019, West Point claimed the top two spots in the competition. The USMA Black team took home the prized saber as the top team with West Point's Company D-2 nipping at their heals in second. Finally, in 2023, USMA Black clinched 1st place, USMA Gold clinched 2nd place, and the U.S. Air force Academy secured 3rd place.

Traditionally, about 15 international teams compete in Sandhurst. The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (Great Britain) sends two teams to participate. All the teams bring stiff competition, help grow international partnerships, and foster future military leaders among our allies. 

This year, 48 teams from the U.S. and around the globe will battle for the ultimate prize on April 26-27, 2024:

5 Teams from four Military Service Academies

16 Army ROTC Teams from U.S. Army Cadet Command

17 International Teams

10 U.S. Military Academy West Point Company Teams

The order of march relay will determine which teams will choose their first lane of the 12 lanes to start from.  Squad leaders will look at team strength, terrain, and other factors to decide.  Teams will then spend the rest of the week training for possible event elements, familiarizing themselves with the terrain they must traverse during the competition

After fighting through two days of obstacles and lugging their minimum 35 lb. rucks for approximately 30 miles, one team will be crowned the Sandhurst champion. The winner is decided based on performance at each of the obstacles as well as the speed with which they complete them.

The champion will be awarded the Reginald E. Johnson Memorial Plaque, named for a Sandhurst competitor who died during the land navigation phase in 1980. Although it is called a plaque, the award follows the initial tradition of the competition and is a mounted cadet saber. The saber has been used as the award since 1999.

Reginald E. Johnson Saber Plaque: Best Overall Team Score

Sandhurst ROTC Cup: First Place ROTC Team

Sandhurst International Cup: First Place International Team

Sandhurst Medallion: First Through Fifth Place

Marksmanship Award: Squad with Highest M-4 Qual

Physical Endurance Award: Team with Fastest Ruck Time

Tom Surdyke Leadership Award: Best Squad Leader

All Other Teams: Certificate of Participation signed by USCC Commandant

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Highlights from Previous Sandhurst Competitions

Military Skills

Cadets at West Point receive unparalleled opportunities to develop the military skills required to excel in service to the Army and the Nation.

Clubs and Activities

West Point Cadets enjoy the opportunity for more clubs and activities than almost any college in the country.

Experience West Point

Summer Leaders Experience (SLE) offers a taste of the character, determination, and leadership skills needed to be a cadet at West Point.   

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