Last modified: Friday, October 26, 2007
IU ROTC wins top honor at ranger challenge
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 26, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Army ROTC took home an overall first place win in both the 9-Man and the 5-Man divisions of the ninth ROTC Brigade 2007 Ranger Challenge Competition this past weekend.
"To win both the 9- and 5-man competitions is a significant accomplishment," said Lieutenant Colonel Eric D. Arnold, professor of military science at IU. "To my knowledge, no school has ever won both at the same time. Usually, a school will either load all of their talent on one or the other teams, but to have enough 'depth' to win both is truly a significant achievement. We not only won, but we won big."
Held at Camp Atterbury, Ind., the competition included about 17 Army ROTC organizations from Indiana, Illinois and Michigan. The Ranger Challenge is called the "varsity sport" of Army ROTC. The IU ROTC team won 10 award streamers out of a possible 20. The IU team won the 9-man competition by 49 points and the 5-man team by 35 points.
"This stellar performance is a historical moment for our program," said Major Todd Tinius, APMS, Scholarship and Enrollment Officer in the IU ROTC. "Although we have been first, second or third for the past six years, this is the first year we have won this much at one time."
The teams competed in 10 challenging events. The cadets are challenged to focus on the basic infantry skills, construct a rope-bridge, patrol, and assemble and disassemble the M16A2. Cadets must also successfully complete the Army Physical Fitness Test, land navigation test and a 10-kilometer road march. Squad-sized teams compete against other schools in the region on their abilities in rifle marksmanship.
The competition always occurs in the fall and all cadets in good academic standing are invited to participate. Ranger Challenge cadets practice five times a week and many weekends, separate from the rest of the battalion, in order to develop and perfect the skills required for the competition.
"The best single factor that contributed to the team's success was the training that was planned and implemented by Cadet Nate Tiffany," said Arnold. "We simply out-prepared our competition."
The competition began Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. with a night orienteering course where each team earned points by locating points in the dark woods. The next morning began at 5:30 a.m. with the Army Physical Fitness Test, which measures push-ups, sit-ups and a 2-mile run. The team average was 299 points out of 300 with all but two team members achieving a perfect 300.
As Saturday continued, the team then competed in the one-rope bridge, Humvee pull, weapons disassembly, casualty treatment, litter carry, obstacle course and host-nation linkup, all the while conducting land navigation to arrive at each event location.
The culminating event was Sunday morning -- a 6.3 mile forced march.
The team captain was Cadet Nate Tiffany. Team members were divided into several groups:
First 9-Man A-Team (Winners for this competition)
Cpt. Nate Tiffany
Second 9-Man B-Team
Cpt. Mark Connelly
Cpt. Aaron Middleton