The Army's under 23s rugby union side suffered a heavy home defeat against the students of Oxford University at Aldershot.
The military side's 33-3 loss left head coach, Captain Mal Roberts, admitting "they still had some way to go" ahead of their upcoming Inter Services tournament.
However, after a successful training camp in Cornwall, the Army came into the match at Aldershot in good spirits and dominated possession early on.
They took the lead within five minutes as Ethan Riley expertly dispatched a penalty to put the Army 3-0 up.
But that proved to be the last time that the men in red troubled the scoreboard as Oxford came back into the game.
A succession of penalties allowed the students to gain territory and a line out led to Tristan Louveaux going over for a try.
The dark blues of the university side did not look back as Justin Dunn and David Wilkinson went over for converted tries before the break, giving Oxford a 21-3 lead.
Their first-half performance would have offered much encouragement and they took off where they left off after the restart.
Louis Pincott intercepted a wayward pass and galloped to the line for Oxford’s fourth converted try of the match before Seb Haddock completed the victory.
Henry Hackett’s long kick fell perfectly to Haddock who was in the right place at the right time to make it 33-3.
The Army will be hoping to rediscover their form ahead of the tri-service competition as they look to retain the title they won last year.
They face the Navy in their opening match on 13 November.
The university side, meanwhile, is preparing for a crunch battle of their own when they take on Cambridge in the Varsity Showdown at Twickenham Stadium in December.