The Xavier University Army Reserve Officer Training Corps “All for One” Battalion hosted the 10th regional Best Ranger competition on April 18th at several Cincinnati- area locations, including Mt. Airy National Forest, Lunken Airfield and the Xavier Campus. Fifteen universities from four states sent 32 teams to participate.
First Place went to two freshmen cadets from Ohio University and third place to a Cadet team from Michigan State University. Second Place was taken by Xavier Team 5, Cadet Mike Piotrowski of Beaver, PA (15009) and Cadet David Harper of Liberty Township, OH (45044). Team 5 had the best Patrolling test score of 157 and Xavier Team 1 had best score for weapons assembly/disassembly with a combination score for time and points of 186.5. Harper is a sophomore majoring in international business at Xavier and Piowtroski is a junior majoring in psychology.
Mirrored after the US Army’s Best Ranger competition, this day-long challenge began at 5:30 a.m. and finished around 10:00 p.m. It tested two-member Cadet teams in a series of events, including: ORB (One Rope Bridge) in which a two-Cadet team builds and crosses a 1 rope bridge over a 40 foot gap. Best teams get it done in 2-3 minutes; HGAC (hand Grenade Assault Course) in which a two-Cadet team navigates an obstacle type course with 5 stations and throws a dummy grenade at each one; APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test); Weapons A/D in which teams assemble and disassemble a M16 rifle in about 60 seconds. All 19 teams were separated by less than 10 minutes at the start of the ruck march, which is the final event and determines the overall winner.
Two days later, on April 20th, two Cadets from Xavier’s “All for One” Battalion ran the Boston Marathon. Junior criminal justice major Eric Showman of Fairfield finished in 3 hours 13 minutes and 27 seconds. Sophomore Shaina Cales of Felicity finished in 3 hours 31 minutes 18 seconds. She is a junior in marketing with minors in information technology and economics. Over 23,000 men and women started the race, and 98% completed the 26-mile course.
Xavier University first offered military instruction in 1877. Xavier University ROTC has a number of distinguished alumni, including five general officers. Twelve Xavier alumni served in Operation Desert Storm. Since 1991, Xavier's ROTC program has received the General MacArthur award six times. This award identifies the top ROTC units among the 272 programs across the United States, and is based on an assessment of each program, including cadet training, performance, and GPA.