In 1967, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) presented West Point with a British officer’s sword. The intent was for the sword to be the prize for a competition, the aim of which was to promote military excellence among the Corps of Cadets. The original purpose statement read as follows - "To provide the Corps of Cadets with a challenging and rewarding regimental skills competition, which will enhance professional development and military excellence in selected soldier skills."
Each USMA cadet company and visiting team selects a 9-member squad (at least one member must be female) with two alternates. Each squad is required to perform a series of military tasks along a designated route. Scores are determined by combining the points they earn by performing each military task along the route, with the points earned for completing the course within the specified time frame. Examples of events can include the following: obstacle course navigation, combat swim (with full gear), rifle marksmanship, land navigation, leadership evaluation, trauma care, weapon handling skills, and problem solving skills.