By: Regina Wright ~Staff Writer~
Five Xavier ROTC teams participated in the annual Ranger Challenge on March 13 at Camp Friedlander in Loveland, Ohio.
“It’s not only to assess the soldier skills of the cadets, but also to bring about comradery of the schools,” Jane Fox, senior Xavier cadet, said. “We don’t usually interact with these schools on a daily basis, but it was great to get those relationships because they always say it’s a big army but a small army, so you could run into these people somewhere down the road in your career.”
Xavier ROTC students participated in various events including casualty evacuation site, ruck match, a hatch throw and a Ranger PT test — push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups and a five-mile run. The entire event was also land navigation.
“I was in charge of the PT test…this was the first one that I was involved in planning,” Fox said. Planning for the Ranger Challenge started in the fall.
Xavier has been hosting the Ranger Challenge for 15 years but it takes place in various part of the country with many different schools participating, such as Michigan State, Ohio University and Rose-Hulman.
“My favorite event, there was a critical thinking event where they had to do an exercise, they did burpees and then they had to take a bunch of numbers ranging from 1-100 and rearrange them in order. It contrasts the physical elements with actually thinking and it’s not all physical, so you can’t win everything because you’re just in shape,” Fox said.
A total of five two-student teams competed in the events. There were nine Xavier cadets and one Mount Saint Joseph cadet.
“They go through a screening process…mostly to see if they are physically able to do it,” Fox said. “There is a Ranger team and they try to limit the number of students that join, so there are cuts eventually, but anyone can try out.”
Every cadet in the nation is ranked during their junior year by points. The Ranger Challenge benefits cadets in terms of recognition and gives them more points, helping them to decide the path they want to take.
Altogether, 54 teams participated in the Ranger Challenge.
Xavier placed in the top ten, with Ohio University placing first.
“It would be really awesome to have Xavier students come out there to watch and support the students,” Fox said.