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Information for SDSU Army Cadets

There are exciting training opportunities for Cadets to participate in while in the Army ROTC Program. Included are activities and clubs on campus as well as Regular Army schools, cultural immersion training, and the opportunity to receive credit for educational experiences.

Ranger Challenge

Ranger Challenge is an opportunity for teams from each school that has an Army ROTC Program to compete with each other doing military tasks. In addition to a written examination where Cadets test their Army knowledge, there are physical fitness drills and field exercises.

Each fall an elite group of Cadets train for 8 weeks in preparation for the Ranger Challenge Competition held at Camp Ripley, MN. The team of 9 Cadets compete in events such as orienteering, weapons assembly, a 10K ruck run, and rifle marksmanship. Cadets involved in Ranger Challenge sharpen their skills and build bonds with their teammates.

Physical Training

Being "Fit to Fight" is the key to success in Army ROTC. Cadets are regularly assessed on their state of physical readiness which is instrumental in being able to meet the rigors of training as well as maintaining personal health and well-being.

PT is conducted at South Dakota State University every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 0545 hours. Cadets at Augustana College and Dakota State University conduct PT on an individual basis. All Cadets take a monthly Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT).

Color Guard

The SDSU Army ROTC Color Guard and Drill Team provide ceremonial support to various campus and off-campus functions including sporting events, formal events, and community events. Colors are presented at SDSU basketball and football games, community events, Army National Guard events, 4-H and college events. You can take pride in knowing that you are a practitioner of one of the most honorable military traditions.

If your group would like SDSU Army ROTC's color guard at your event, please call 605-688-6151.

Field Training Exercise

Land Navigation

Mastering the art of finding your way in the wilderness armed with only a map, protractor, compass, and intellect is a skill preserved in the Army ROTC program. Training begins in the classroom then after Cadets are confident in their abilities they go out with a buddy and later alone to conduct day and night land navigation.  ROTC often uses the SDSU Oak Lake Field Station or one of the State Parks for land navigation.

Squad Tactical Exercises (STX Lanes)

Plan a mission; conduct a reconnaissance; lead a small band of Cadets to victory using tactical prowess and sheer cunning. These are just a few of the skills you will bring to bear when you lead a patrol on a simulated combat mission. The training is as real as it gets to close combat, and a true test of your newly acquired warrior skills. Missions include Squad Attack, Ambush, React to Contact, and Knock out a Bunker.


Army ROTC conducts rappel training each fall and spring term at the tower located on campus. All students enrolled in a military science course receive in-class instruction and then are provided with several opportunities to get hands-on experience. Equipment is provided by the department and instruction by the cadre.

Marksmanship Training

Every soldier is a rifleman first! Marksman proficiency is the cornerstone of every warrior leader. You will receive hands-on training and partake in basic rifle marksmanship to further enhance your warrior skills.

Combat Water Survival Training (CWST)

CWST is used to measure a Cadet's swimming skills as well as their ability to face unique challenges not routinely encountered on or off campus. CWST consists of several events including but not limited to: swimming continuously for 10 minutes, treading water for 5 minutes, jumping from the high dive (3 meters) while blindfolded with a weapon in hand, swimming 15 meters with weapon in uniform, and jumping into the water and removing all gear while still submerged.

Student Organizations/Clubs

  • Drill Club is a club offered through Army ROTC.  The Drill Club focuses on drill and ceremony, and members polish their skills as the Color Guard is selected from this group.  The Color Guard is often called on to present Colors at sporting events, community meetings and campus events.
  • Cateau Rangers is a club organized by Captain Dean Knox and interested Army ROTC Cadets in 1967.  The Cadets in this club have an affinity for Ranger training and skills and dedicate extra time to hone their skills.  The club meets monthly and often uses local training locations to expand their skill sets.