Ranger Challenge team wins Bold Warrior, qualifies for prestigious Sandhurst competition at West Point
(Posted Oct. 28, 2019)
Austin Peay’s Ranger Challenge team will be one of 16 ROTC teams to compete next April at West Point’s Sandhurst 2020 competition, the world’s premier academy-level military skills competition.
The team qualified by winning the grueling, two-day 7th Brigade ROTC Bold Warrior Challenge Oct. 25-27 at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Austin Peay defeated 37 schools from Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
“I cannot begin to express how impressed I am with our team and how well they represented APSU this past weekend,” said Lt. Col. Eric A. Westphal, professor of military science. “Simply put, they outworked all other teams and truly set the example for all others to follow.”
The team won the competition by earning 1,071 points out of a possible 1,500 points. The University of Louisville finished second.
Two things impressed Westphal most:
- The team’s focus and ability to “deconstruct each challenge in order to accomplish every task the smart way versus just powering through.”
- The team’s cohesion and attitude set it apart.
“They were motivated from minute one, proving that even in terrible weather and excruciating pain, as a team they can achieve anything,” Westphal said. “This principle is exactly what we teach here at ROTC. These young leaders are the epitome of what it takes to be U.S. Army officers.”
The team finished runner-up at last year’s Bold Warrior, earning its first-ever invitation to the Sandhurst competition where it finished eighth among the country’s ROTC programs. Seven of the 11 members who competed at Sandhurst returned this year.
To learn more about the Austin Peay ROTC program, go to www.apsu.edu/rotc/. To learn more about the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition, go to www.westpoint.edu/military/department-of-military-instruction/sandhurst.
(This story will update on Tuesday with team leader interviews.)
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