The Military World GamesOn every fourth year, a year before each Olympic Games, the Military World Games is held. It’s staged by the CISM (International Military Sports Council). Just like the Olympics, the Military World Games is a multi-sport event. Historically, up to 24 disciplines have been included in the games, which first took place in Rome in 1995.

Winter Edition

Since the Military World Games was introduced, a winter edition of the games has been added. This takes place two years after each summer games. The next summer games will be staged in 2019 at Wuhan, China, while the next winter games will be hosted by Germany in 2021.

So far, the winter games has been hosted in the Aosta Valley (Italy, 2010), in Annecy (France, 2013) and in Sochi, Russia (2017).


A total of 23 nations have won medals at the winter edition of the Military World Games, while 87 have earned medals at the Summer Games. Russia leads all the medal tables by some distance. Great Britain is not a member nation of the CISM, so hasn’t taken part in the games. However, Ireland does participate. The CISM comprises 42 European teams, 30 Asian teams, 18 American teams and 45 African teams.

Military Pentathlons

Military sporting events often include military-specific disciplines, going way back to the earliest events when hand-grenade throwing was on the agenda. CISM pentathlon events are tailored to the specific skill sets of armed forces branches, as follows:

  • Aeronautical Pentathlon (air force): basketball, fencing, orienteering, obstacle course, shooting, and swimming.
  • Military Pentathlon (army): cross-country race, obstacle run, throwing, shooting, and swimming.
  • Naval Pentathlon (navy): amphibious cross-country, life-saving swimming race, obstacle race, seamanship race, utility swimming race.

The aeronautical pentathlon stretches the meaning of pentathlon with its six disciplines, while military and naval pentathlons contest a more traditional five. These pentathlons feature in the Military World Games (summer) and other events.