2RAR Take Out Duke of Gloucester Cup

By Di Sneddon

Seven days of the most intense pressure of physical and mental endurance concluded on August 25 when the final test in the Duke of Gloucester Cup saw soldiers cross the finish line.

Soldiers from the Sections representing their Battalions from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8/9th Battalions of the Royal Australian Regiment took part in this gruelling event with 2RAR (Townsville) taking out the winner’s trophy.

The obstacle course tested the strength and endurance of the soldiers during the Duke of Gloucester Cup.

On the sidelines were Infantry hierarchy including The Colonel Commandant of the Royal Australian Regiment Major General Shaun Caughey, Head of Corps of the Royal Australian Infantry Brigadier Dave McCammon and Head Armoured Vehicle Division and previous Head of Corps of the Infantry Major General Jason Blain.

In awe of the sheer grit and determination of those competing were new recruits currently training at the school who were given the honour to watch the final stage of the competition.

Friday’s Cup finale saw those competing complete a 15km pack march, stores carry, before a one-kilometre long obstacle course featuring a new challenge every few metres.

Only a select few participate in the Cup.  These are the best Infantry Soldiers that the Army has produced and is an honourable position that only a few within the history of the Australian Army can claim.

The Army has run the Duke of Gloucester Cup annually for the past 75 years, only pausing due to operational requirements.

The Australian School of Infantry in Singleton drew a crowd of infantry hierarchy from throughout Australia.  The School’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Thapthimthong (centre) is pictured with head of Corps Infantry based in Townsville Brigadier David McCammon (left), and Regimental Sergeant Major Rob Munro also based in Townsville.

After the end of World War 2, Battalions of the Australian Infantry found themselves as occupying forces in Japan and on July 15, 1946, the then Governor-General of Australia, His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester presented a Cup which was to be awarded annually for competition between infantry battalions of the regular Army.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Commanding Officer of the School of Infantry, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Thapthimthong said the seven days of competition had been nothing short of breath taking, inspirational and admirable and the soldiers competing had truly earnt their place amongst the history of the DOG Cup, the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force.

Event winners were:

Royal Ulster Rifles Trophy: Best in Urban environment: 2RAR.
Ghurkha Trophy: Best Combat Shooting: 1RAR.
Sir Arthur MacDonald Trophy: Best Section Attack: 1RAR.
RAR Foundation Trophy: Best Endurance Section 1RAR.
DSM Roche CSC Memorial Cup: Best Soldier: Private Catanach 2RAR.
Albert Jakka VC: Best Section 2IC: Lance Corporal Hill 8/9 RAR
Regimental Sergeant Major’s Trophy: Best Section Commander Captain Price 2RAR.

2RAR were the winners of the Duke of Gloucester Cup and were presented with their award by Colonel Commandant of the RAR Major General Shaun Caughey (pictured far right).