ROTC wins top honors at Ranger Challenge Competition

Team A earns three first-place finishes out of eight events, which put mental and physical skills to the test | November 8, 2004

Xavier’s ROTC Team A captured first place at the 7th Brigade Annual Ranger Challenge Competition at Fort Knox, Ky., in October. Xavier’s B team placed 8th. Twenty-seven teams from around the Midwest competed in the competition.

The A team won three of eight events—fitness test, weapons assembly/disassembly and the 10K rucksack run—and earned three second-place finishes, one third-place finish and one fourth-place finish. Two Xavier ROTC members also earned individual honors: Cadet Michael Burke received the highest male Army physical fitness score and Cadet Steve Belickis shot 40 for 40 (a perfect score) in the rifle marksmanship event.

“This competition for us is like the Super Bowl or NCAA basketball championships except you train all year only to compete one day,” said LTC Tim Gobin, professor of military science. “These two Xavier teams have worked the hardest I’ve seen in the time I have been here and represented the University well. I couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments.”

The competition started with an opening ceremony at 4:30 a.m. before the cadets completed the Army Physical Fitness Test. Throughout the day they competed in six more events—the one rope bridge construction, hand grenade assault course, weapons assemble/disassemble, rifle marksmanship, patrolling and a land navigation course. The final event, which began at 8:00 p.m., was a 10K rucksack run in which cadets wore a uniform, rucksack, boots and weapon while navigating a steep course.

Ohio State University placed second in the team competition and Eastern Kentucky University placed third. Other schools competing included John Carroll, Kent State, Morehead State, Ohio University, University of Dayton, Western Kentucky, Bowling Green State, Central State, University of Kentucky, Capital University, University of Akron, University of Toledo, University of Cincinnati, University of Louisville and Wright State.