ROTC Ranger Challenge team heading to prestigious West Point competition
(Posted March 14, 2019)
Austin Peay’s Ranger Challenge team will be one of 16 ROTC teams to compete next month at West Point’s Sandhurst 2019, the world’s premier academy-level military skills competition.
The Austin Peay team qualified for the April 12-13 competition by excelling at November’s Bold Warrior Challenge at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
APSU will compete against schools such as Virginia Military Institute, Johns Hopkins University and Florida State University, against 14 teams from other countries and against teams from four U.S. service academies.
RANGER CHALLENGE TEAM REACTION
The Sandhurst gives Austin Peay cadets a chance to prove they can compete with the best in the world, said Daniel Cole, assistant team captain.
“We’re able to display and be proud of the ROTC program at Austin Peay,” he said. “It will display what our cadets can do, that we do have strong cadets here who are mentally tough and give Austin Peay a good name.”
The team trained hard for the qualifying event at Fort Knox, said team captain Steven Price. “We trained well all semester, and that got us a seat at the Sandhurst.”
Cadet Brandon Dickinson said he’s ready to prove Austin Peay’s resolve.
“Not a lot of cadets get the opportunity to go, so possibly being one of the 11 cadets here at Austin Peay to be able to participate in the event is just really exciting,” he said. “To be challenged with such a physically demanding as well as a mentally demanding event will test my resolve. I’m really excited about the opportunity to see about who I am.”
Cadet Kylie Head agreed.
“Something that is exciting to me about this competition is to be one of the only females to compete. It’s a lot of pressure, obviously, but it’s exciting to be able to push myself, push my body, to see what it’s capable of hanging up there with all the guys.”
Our video interview with cadet Kylie Head. More video interviews with the entire ROTC Ranger Challenge team are coming next month.
WHAT IS THE SANDHURST?
The competition inspires excellence through a rigorous course that encompasses physical and mental challenges that reflect the tempo, uncertainty and tasks of combat operations, according to a news release from the U.S. Military Academy.
The 51st competition has 49 teams representing 14 international military academies, 16 ROTC programs and four U.S. service academies that compete in a rigorous 27-mile course to test individual and squad mastery of military skills.
“Sandhurst strengthens relationships with our allies and partners to foster multi-national cohesion and interoperability while also showcasing the tenacity and grit of future military leaders from across the world,” a West Point news release reads. “Leadership development is our competitive advantage in today’s complex environment creating the most highly qualified, highly trained, adaptive, resilient, and trusted military professionals capable of shaping the environment, and postured to fight and win.”
This year’s competition is a two-day course with several day and night events.
- 14 International Teams: Australia, Thailand, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Greece, Brazil, Japan, Germany, Mexico, Denmark, United Kingdom, Korea and United Kingdom.
- 16 ROTC Teams: University of Delaware, Florida State University, Creighton University, Central State University, Marquette State University, University of Hawaii, Austin Peay State University, Utah Valley University, California Polytechnic State University, Virginia Military Institute, John Hopkins University, Tarleton State University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Lehigh University, University of North Georgia and Ebinboro University.
- Four service academies: 16 U.S. Military Academy teams, and teams from the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy and U.S. Coast Guard.
TO LEARN MORE
- For more information about Sandhurst 2019, go to https://westpoint.edu/military/department-of-military-instruction/sandhurst.
- For more about Austin Peay’s ROTC program, visit https://www.apsu.edu/rotc/.
Check out a video of the Sandhurst, courtesy of the U.S. Military Academy.