“I can guarantee you everyone will pass,” stated Warrant Officer Al Pociuk, moments before embarking on the annual 13 kilometer march.
Sunday members of the Saskatchewan Dragoons took on the annual Battle Fitness Test.
Designed to simulate battle conditions, those taking the test took on a 13 km march carrying a tactical vest, helmet, rucksack and service riffle.
“They will be carrying 55 pounds of equipment, plus their own body weight, so some of these guys have quite a bit of weight on them.”
Pociuk said the Battle Fitness Test is the same test soldiers across the country must take and pass and he was confident his soldiers would not disappoint.
As much as the test is a physical challenge, Pociuk said it is also a mental challenge.
“You get sore, your feet hurt and depending on the weather you could be (battling the elements).”
However, he said the nice thing about doing the test as a group is that if someone is struggling the team will be there to offer support and motivation.
“Everyone wants to succeed and see the guy next to them succeed.”
Before heading out on the march, which must be completed in two hours and 26 minutes, Pociuk said the Dragoon members have to train.
He said as a group, as well as on their own, the majority of the members put a lot of effort into staying in the best possible physical and mental shape that they can.
Pociuk said the end of Sunday’s test also marks the end of the training weekend.
Sunday 35 members of the Dragoons were on hand to take the challenge.
The group began the test at the D.V. Currie Armoury, marched along Laurier Street to Ninth Avenue Northwest, then headed north to Thatcher Drive and then west to Caribou Street, after which, they returned to the armoury.
Although it is quite the feat to complete the test, Pociuk said he assumes most of the soldiers will be celebrating, however, instead of heading out with their buddies, will be heading home to celebrate with their couches and pillows.