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    International partners compete in Sandhurst competition

    International partners compete in Sandhurst competition

    Photo By Sgt. Quentin Johnson | Korea Military Academy Cadets, Republic of Korea, learn how to work a Talon II®...... read more read more



    Story by Todd Pruden 

    United States Military Academy at West Point

    WEST POINT, N.Y. – Forty-nine teams representing four U.S. service academies, 13 international military academies and 16 ROTC programs will compete in an annual competition at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., from April 12-13, 2019.

    Two international cadets enrolled in the academy will compete in teams during the 51st annual Sandhurst Military Skills Competition. The competition consists of 30 miles of challenging endurance tests for the 11-person teams.

    “It’s a huge honor for me, honestly, being able to represent my company, my country and the academy and I’m really excited to compete in this competition," said Class of 2020 Cadet Wei Kang Soon, who is in the Singapore Armed Forces. “It really pushes us to our limits and challenges us to do the best you can.”

    Soon is the first cadet from his home country to be enrolled in the academy since 2012. The mechanical engineering major said he enjoys the camaraderie and diversity, which he experiences at the USMA.

    “Personally, I just like to challenge myself, being exposed to different practices, culture and the traditional army. That’s one of the main reasons that motivated me to come to West Point,” Soon said. “I chose West Point to challenge myself individually as a leader and put into practice what I learned and, of course, the honor to represent my country.”

    With regard to competing in the Sandhurst competition, one international cadet’s home country’s military academy is also competing. However, the cadet will be representing one of the USMA teams. He said competing against his native country of the Republic of Korea did not matter to him.

    “Of course, we compete as a team, but during the 30 miles of ruck and all of the competition, it’s just a fight with yourself. If you overcome yourself, then you’ll get good results,” said Class of 2020 Cadet Jaewook Park, a Republic of Korea Army soldier. “You don’t really have to think about other teams doing well or not. You’ve just got to care about your team and yourself doing your best in the competition.”

    Park, an international relations major, said it is important for allies to get together for friendly competition, as it builds relationships among one another.

    “Because we care about the relationship between the other countries, we send cadets here,” he said.

    Soon also said that the synergy between various allied countries and teams is beneficial for him personally and for his career.

    "I really love the interactions between different cultures and the different types of armies,” Soon said. “I’m imperfect and my leadership philosophy and the way I lead my soldiers may not be ideal and that’s why I feel that I should constantly push myself to the limit to learn more about myself so that I can lead my soldiers better in the future.”

    Winning the competition was not the main focus for both foreign national participants. They said simply having the opportunity to compete was enough to make them feel proud.

    “Now is the time to show what we have done,” Park said. “We know that we will do great and we are proud of that."

    Soon will be competing in Company E-2 and Park will be competing in Company C-3, both representing the U.S. Military Academy in each 11-member team.



    Date Taken: 04.10.2019
    Date Posted: 04.10.2019 19:23
    Story ID: 317653
    Location: WEST POINT, NY, US 

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