Norwich places second in Ranger Challenge competition

NU's Ranger Team with Guidon and cup

NU Rangers make good showing in the varsity sport of Army ROTC

Norwich University's Ranger team took second place at the U.S. Army's Eastern Regional ROTC Ranger Challenge this year, beating all but one of the 20 other teams entered in the competition. Norwich, which took first place honors in 2002, has a long history of doing well in the competition. For the third year running, the Rochester Institute of Technology took first place in the event.

A physically demanding competition, the Ranger Challenge is often called the varsity sport of Army ROTC. The event pits teams from the 1st Brigade Eastern Region in a competition that focuses on basic infantry skills. Cadets in good academic standing from colleges and universities in New York and throughout New England take part in the fall event, held annually at the Ft. Devens Reserve Forces Training Area in Leominster, Mass.

In preparation for the challenge, the Norwich Ranger Team endured six weeks of intense physical training prior to the competition. The challenge started in the early morning hours of Oct. 8 with the Army Physical Fitness Test. Then cadets competed in tests of physical skill, such as rifle marksmanship, obstacle course, construction of a rope-bridge, grenade assault course, the M16A2 weapon assembly and disassembly race, and surprise "leadership reaction" tests. On Sunday, weary rangers gear up for the 10-km rucksack road march.

"It was a constant, consistent effort on the part of everyone," said Team Captain Cadet Mike Goodney, discussing the Rangers' performance.

Maj. Louis Manning, a Military Science Instructor at Norwich who serves as team coach, agreed. "They consistently performed well in all events, resulting in a very respectable second place showing," he said.