Maranatha’s Army ROTC Ranger Challenge team won for the fifth time in a row this year! They have won seven out of the nine years that they have attended the competition.
Ranger Challenge is a day-and-a-half long competition that takes place at Ft. McCoy once a ye
ar. Schools from all over the mid-West bring five and nine-man teams to compete. This year they began with an opening ceremony on Friday afternoon. Directly after, they began the obstacle course and confidence course events. The confidence course was completely new to this year’s competition and Maranatha had to complete it in the dark by the dim glow of their flashlights. Still, Maranatha took first in both of these events. The final event of the night was the written exam, which Maranatha also took first place in. On saturday morning, the events began at 0600. Teams had from 0600 to 1500 (3 P.M.) to complete five events, including a weapons assembly and disassembly challenge, rope-bridge, call for fire, assault challenge, and medical challenge. All were held at different points spanning a three-kilometer square area. They would run from event to event weighed down by a 30-pound rucksack, a vest, ropes for the rope-bridge event, and a rubber weapon, navigating with a map and compass to each site.
Maranatha began with the weapons challenge event. CDT MSIIs Graham and Kile, Rwere both selected to assemble the M4, 240B, and M249 weapons systems from a box with all of the pieces mixed together. These two sophomores earned a first place for their team in this event. The next event was an assault challenge that consisted of a Keep in Memory (KIMs) test, a squad movement to contact, grenade throws, and the assembly and placement of a claymore mine. The next event was the call for fire event, completed by CDT MSIV Crane, a senior. The fourth event of the day was the medical challenge. The team assessed a casualty, placed him on a litter, carried him about 500m, and called up a 9-line medevac over a SINCGAR radio. The last event was the one-rope bridge event. With the use of a 200-foot rope, five 10-foot ropes, and 7 carabineers, the team had to get themselves and all of their equipment across a 90-foot-wide body of water. After they completed the last event, they ran to their end point. Their travel time between events was added up to make a sixth event, which they took first place in by over an hour. The last and most grueling event of the competition has always been the ruck march. In past years it has always been a 10k (6.2mi.). This year, all the five man teams were lined up at the start point and instructed to go until they either reached the end or five hours expired. However, they were not told the distance of the course. They were told that there would be eight checkpoints along the way with water jugs to refill their canteens. If they did not complete the course in the span of five hours, they were to wait for a van to pick them up and take t
hem to the end point. Maranatha completed the fifteen-mile march first with a time of 4 hours and 12 minutes. Out of 25 teams, only seven actually finished the course, due to the fact that it was 15 miles long! Maranatha won the overall competition and six out of the ten events.
Maranatha Baptist University’s Ranger Challenge Team has a winning recipe and tradition that will carry forth through the years to come.
CDT MSIV Tim Kile