A Wexford soldier has received top honours for his performance at one of the toughest patrolling competitions in the world.
Pte. Daniel Kennedy (23), from Cleariestown, competed at the annual Cambrian Patrol in Brecon Beacons, Wales with his team from the 3rd Infantry Batallion of James Stephen's Barracks in Kilkenny.
Considered one of the Army's top international competitions, the event saw 140 teams from all over the world take part in the two-day patrolling mission. Beginning at 5 a.m., the teams navigated 67km of rugged mountain terrain and swamp lands while carrying equipment weighing up to 75lbs. Having mapped out their journey they then faced a variety of tactical and technical challenges along the way.
Not just physically demanding, the exercise was designed to test the soldiers mentally, while enhancing their leadership abilities, levels of endurance and determination.
'We were marked on 15 scenarios, things like our medical skills, clearing mines, rescuing an amputee, calling in a helicopter, the whole purpose was to simulate a patrol over a long distance,' said Daniel. 'It was gruelling, we started out at 5 a.m. and were going for 38 hours in total and had just one hours sleep at a rest area.'
Having received 80% or higher in all 15 of the challenges, Daniel and his team earned gold medals for their efforts, bettering the silver medals they received last year. Just 14 of the teams won gold at the event.
Now in his fourth year in the Army, Daniel said he intends to stay in the profession for life and is looking forward to serving abroad at some point in the future.