"I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious." ~V. Lombardi
What is Ranger Challenge?
Ranger Challenge is a highly physically and mentally demanding activity. It is the Army ROTC's varsity sport. The season is from late August through October. The culmination is a 2 day competition at Camp Ripley, MN focusing on basic military skills in which the West Point of the Plains Battalion team competes against all the other teams in the Region. Cadets must compete for a spot on the team, as space is limited.
What are the events?
Army Physical Fitness Test
The Army Physical Fitness Test or APFT is the first of several physical events. Each member is given the opportunity to display individual strength, muscular and cardio respiratory endurance. The Army scale of 100 points in each event, 71 pushups in two-minutes, 78 situps in two-minutes and a 13 minute two-mile run.
Basic Rifle Marksmanship
Basic rifle marksmanship each competitor is given an M16A2 rifle, nine rounds to zero and 20 rounds to qualify. This event is a individual effort where the scored are tallied and totaled. It is an event were concentration, training and technique are irreplaceable on the path to success.
Weapon Disassembly and Assembly
D&A Once again an individual event all members are required to be technically proficient. Starting 25m behind an M16A2 rifle the team must run to, CLEAR, DISASSEMBLE, REASSEMBLE, perform a proper FUNCTIONS CHECK, and run back the 25m to the start. Mistakes in the process result in additional time added to individual times. The fastest total team time wins the event.
The Obstacle course is approximately a 1 mile foot race with vertical and horizontal obstacles. A few of the obstacles include climbing a 14 foot cargo net , the high crawl, monkey bars and the jumping over a pit. This event test the endurance, strength and intestinal fortitude of the competitors.
Patrolling is an infantry based skill modeled around a squad or a platoons ability to conduct operations. At the competition each team partakes in a written exam on the fundamentals, tactics and planning considerations of patrol missions.
Orienteering (Land Nav)
Orienteering incorporates terrain association, land navigation and a lot of running. Given a map and a list of grids, the team is split into 3 groups or 3. Each group runs to a sector an attempts to find as many points on their map as possible and returning to the start point in the allotted 40 minute time frame. Each point has a numerical value the team with the highest total value after all penalties are assessed wins.
Ten Kilometer Road March
The 10 kilometer road march, is the final event of the 3 day competition. The team sets out with a 35 pound ruck sack on their backs and alternate between running and marching. The goal is to be the fastest team, the result is a gut check, testing every individual and every team in its own way.