Legal officer tests his fitness and marksmanship at Tactical Games

Capt Matthew Elliot recently competed at a Tactical Games regional competition in Holt, Florida. He received support for his trip through the PSP Out-Service Competition (OSC) program. SUBMITTED

Legal officer tests his fitness and marksmanship at Tactical Games

By Nathan Stone,
Trident staff

The Tactical Games are a series of U.S.-based competitions that blend fitness and marksmanship in an intense challenge of physical and mental endurance – a challenge that one local officer has fully embraced over the last two years.

Captain (Capt) Matthew Elliot, a Deputy Judge Advocate with the Atlantic Region Officer of the Judge Advocate General (JAG), recently returned from a regional competition in Holt, Florida. He says the games represent an exciting test of his abilities.

Competing in eight events over March 23 and 24, Capt Elliot placed 35th out of 149 overall competitors, and 8th of 22 in the Men’s Masters 40-49 years old category. This latest contest was his sixth time attending a Tactical Games competition.

He competed in events that all involved target shooting, and all but one included a fitness component such as carrying sandbags over obstacles or distance running with a loaded backpack. Capt Elliot says that each competition uses the same equipment, but individual events are always changing.

“The organizers are very creative; they use familiar equipment in new ways.”

He began competing in 2022 after discovering the Tactical Games online and says the unique nature of the competition spurred his interest. He describes training for the games as being close to CrossFit, with a heavy focus on functional fitness. It led him to shake up his workout routine and begin incorporating equipment like sandbags and axel barbells.

Capt Elliot says a high fitness level is his main advantage when competing, and he enjoys intense physical challenges like rope climbing and heavy lifting. However, being in shape is only half the battle, and scoring heavily favours the target shooting segments, so Capt Elliot says that he is working to improve his marksmanship for future events.  

The Tactical Games haven’t only provided an arena for Capt Elliot to test himself. He’s also become part of a community that he says has been “very open and accepting.” He’s gotten to know competitors who, like him, travel to multiple events, and said building those friendships has been a bonus.

“The experience has been nothing but positive.”

Capt Elliot has garnered some attention from talking and posting about his Tactical Games exploits, and says others often ask him how they can start competing. He’s also attracted a corporate sponsor and a dedicated fan, his father, who travels to support and cheer him on during competitions. 

At the Florida regionals, Capt Elliot was the only Canadian taking part. He says he’d love to see more participation from Canadians and his Canadian Armed Forces colleagues, and he offered encouragement to anyone who may be on the fence about choosing an event and jumping in.

“Just pick one. Don’t think about it, do it.”

Capt Elliot is already planning for his next competition; he’ll be travelling to New Hampshire in August to attend another Tactical Games regional.