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Austin Peay Army ROTC earns place in elite international military skills competition

By: Brian Dunn April 4, 2024



Austin Peay State University’s (APSU) Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps program, the Governors Guard, recently earned a chance to compete in the 55th annual military skills competition held at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

The two-day competition features 50 teams from military colleges, ROTC programs and international militaries, all contending to be named the 2024 Sandhurst champion.

Teams of 11 cadets will complete a demanding 36-hour course that is kept confidential by event planners but will include long-distance movements over rough terrain, team fitness events, challenges testing their skills in shooting and providing emergency medical care, and much more.

“Our teams heading to the Sandhurst competition represent the very best of our Army ROTC programs around the country,” said Maj. Gen. Antonio Munera, the highest ranking officer of U.S. Army Cadet Command, which oversees the Army's officer training programs at colleges and universities. “Their hard work, dedication to their craft and focus on building a cohesive team will serve them well in this extremely difficult competition.”

To earn the chance to compete in the elite competition at West Point, APSU Army ROTC bested 37 other Army ROTC programs in the region, including the University of Tennessee, University of Kentucky, Ohio State University, Michigan State University, Vanderbilt University, University of Louisville, University of Cincinnati and Indiana University to earn one of only 16 spots available from the 274 college and university programs that offer Army ROTC across the United States.

"The APSU Army ROTC has earned a slot in the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition four of the last five years,” said Lt. Col. Mark Barton, APSU Army ROTC program. “The value of this competition for our Ranger Challenge team is the preparation and training leading up to the event. Through that train-up, our team has developed trust in each other through shared hardships, improved their physical fitness, and become better communicators and problem solvers.”

Cadet Jerry Jacquez, a senior studying general studies at the university, is the team captain of the APSU Army ROTC Ranger Challenge Team.

“The Sandhurst military skills competition is one that will test your physical ability, technical proficiency, and most importantly, your grit,” Jacquez said. “We have trained tirelessly to turn challenges into opportunities, and that has forged us into a team that believes in one another and our ability to succeed this year.”

For more information on the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition, please visit https://www.westpoint.edu/sandhurst.

For media wanting to cover the APSU Army ROTC team competing in the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition or for more information, contact Greg Lane at 931-221-6156 or laneg@apsu.edu.


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