• Participants in the Danish Contingency March begin weighing in their packs at 6 a.m. July 20 at Camp Novo Selo. Each person is required to carry a minimum of 10kg (22 lbs) for the 25km (15.5 mile) ruck march. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Samantha Parks, 4th Public Affairs Detachment)

    KFOR soldiers face summer heat during DANCON march

    Participants in the Danish Contingency March begin weighing in their packs at 6 a.m. July 20 at Camp Novo Selo. Each person is required to carry a minimum of 10kg (22 lbs) for the 25km (15.5 mile) ruck march. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Samantha Parks...

  • Danish Armed Forces lead the way with the Danish flag at the beginning of the Danish Contingency March July 20 at Camp Novo Selo. More than 750 soldiers and civilians participated in the march. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Samantha Parks, 4th Public Affairs Detachment)

    KFOR soldiers face summer heat during DANCON march

    Danish Armed Forces lead the way with the Danish flag at the beginning of the Danish Contingency March July 20 at Camp Novo Selo. More than 750 soldiers and civilians participated in the march. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Samantha Parks, 4th Public...

  • Soldiers with the Danish Armed Forces offer bottles of water and a shaded spot to rest to marchers during the Danish Contingency March July 20 at Camp Novo Selo. Participants faced long stretches without shade and temperatures in the 90's during this summer's march. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Samantha Parks, 4th Public Affairs Detachment)

    KFOR soldiers face summer heat during DANCON march

    Soldiers with the Danish Armed Forces offer bottles of water and a shaded spot to rest to marchers during the Danish Contingency March July 20 at Camp Novo Selo. Participants faced long stretches without shade and temperatures in the 90's during this...

  • U.S. Army Spc. Shelby Hartman, a soldier with Task Force Aviation, stops to hand out candy to local children during the Danish Contingency March July 20 at Camp Novo Selo. The DANCON route took participants through farm land and nearby villages. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Samantha Parks, 4th Public Affairs Detachment)

    KFOR soldiers face summer heat during DANCON march

    U.S. Army Spc. Shelby Hartman, a soldier with Task Force Aviation, stops to hand out candy to local children during the Danish Contingency March July 20 at Camp Novo Selo. The DANCON route took participants through farm land and nearby villages. (U.S...

  • U.S. Army soldiers race for the finish line during the Danish Contingency March at Camp Novo Selo July 20. More than 750 soldiers and civilians participated in the march. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Samantha Parks, 4th Public Affairs Detachment)

    KFOR soldiers face summer heat during DANCON march

    U.S. Army soldiers race for the finish line during the Danish Contingency March at Camp Novo Selo July 20. More than 750 soldiers and civilians participated in the march. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Samantha Parks, 4th Public Affairs Detachment)

  • Participants in the Danish Contingency March race each other in friendly competition towards the finish line at Camp Novo Selo July 20. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Samantha Parks, 4th Public Affairs Detachment)

    KFOR soldiers face summer heat during DANCON march

    Participants in the Danish Contingency March race each other in friendly competition towards the finish line at Camp Novo Selo July 20. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Samantha Parks, 4th Public Affairs Detachment)

  • Soldiers and civilians with Multinational Battle Group-East participate in the Danish Contingency March at Camp Novo Selo July 20. The march is a Danish Armed Forces tradition dating back to 1972. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Samantha Parks, 4th Public Affairs Detachment)

    KFOR soldiers face summer heat during DANCON march

    Soldiers and civilians with Multinational Battle Group-East participate in the Danish Contingency March at Camp Novo Selo July 20. The march is a Danish Armed Forces tradition dating back to 1972. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Samantha Parks, 4th Public...

  • U.S. Army Sgt. Julian Moore, a soldier with Multinational Battle Group-East, carries his unit guidon during the Danish Contingency March at Camp Novo Selo July 20. More than 750 participants completed the 25km march in under six hours. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Samantha Parks, 4th Public Affairs Detachment)

    KFOR soldiers face summer heat during DANCON march

    U.S. Army Sgt. Julian Moore, a soldier with Multinational Battle Group-East, carries his unit guidon during the Danish Contingency March at Camp Novo Selo July 20. More than 750 participants completed the 25km march in under six hours. (U.S. Army photo...

CAMP NOVO SELO, Kosovo - Twenty-five kilometers of uneven terrain, sparse shade and scorching sun; that is what Multinational Battle Group-East soldiers faced during the Danish Contingency March July 20 at Camp Novo Selo.

"It's a good team morale builder," said U.S. Army Spc. Mike Ellis, a soldier with Joint Regional Detachment- East. "It brings everyone together in one place so we can all have fun and have a good day."

The DANCON is a Danish Army tradition that began in 1972 and is continued wherever the Danish Army is deployed. The terrain varies for each march based on location. Camp Novo Selo's march took participants across farm land and through small villages. Participants had six hours to complete the 25 km (15.5 mile) course carrying a minimum load of 10 kg (22 lbs).

It is a tradition to invite all foreign troops working with the Danish armed forces to participate.

"Working with multinational partners has been the greatest thing," said Danish Armed Forces Sgt. Jonas Riddersborg, who was first to cross the finish line with a final time of two hours and eight minutes.

"The greatest part has been when I was at the turning point to run back," Riddersborg said. "All the nationalities were cheering, high-fiving, and giving me thumbs up. That was the best feeling."

This was the first DANCON March held for Kosovo Forces 17.

"It's a fun thing to do," said U.S. Army Sgt. Austin Miller, who works in the engineer section for MNBG-E. "I got to do something you don't get to do back home."

U.S. Army Pfc. Andres Montenegro, a soldier with Company C, 1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment, finished fifth overall and was the first U.S. soldier to finish.

"For me I am very happy I finished first for the United States, fifth in the 760 [participants] and I'm very proud of myself," Montenegro said.

For Montenegro, being older was not a deterrent. He said it is about determination and hard work.

"I'm 30 years old and I like to push myself," Montenegro said.

He added that although he did not train for the event, it was very challenging.

"I was worried because I started to have cramps the last 2 kilometers, more or less the last mile," Montenegro said. "I just continued and just kept going."

Everyone was eager to participate in the Danish tradition, but there was one general focus:

"To make it and not die," Miller said.

Everyone who participated and finished in the allotted time earned the Danish Contingent March Medal, a bronze-colored medal with a red and white-striped ribbon. The Danish plan to host another march in October for KFOR soldiers.

Page last updated Wed July 24th, 2013 at 14:22