West Point up next for Cedarville University ROTC students

The Ranger Team poses to accept their first prize in the 7th Brigade Ranger Challenge in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Pictured in the back row, from left to right: LTC Samuel Dallas, MSG John Meyer, CDT Enoch Flint, CDT Caleb  Arreguin, CDT Skyler Arny, CDT BriAnn Stokes, CDT Daniel Heiple, CPT Devan Cureton, 1LT Harold Juergens.
Pictured in the front row, from left to right: CDT Justice Bassette, CDT Caleb Kowalewski, CDT David Abraham, CDT Hayden Stokes, CDT Ethan McCall, CDT Moriah Barber.
Caption
The Ranger Team poses to accept their first prize in the 7th Brigade Ranger Challenge in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Pictured in the back row, from left to right: LTC Samuel Dallas, MSG John Meyer, CDT Enoch Flint, CDT Caleb Arreguin, CDT Skyler Arny, CDT BriAnn Stokes, CDT Daniel Heiple, CPT Devan Cureton, 1LT Harold Juergens. Pictured in the front row, from left to right: CDT Justice Bassette, CDT Caleb Kowalewski, CDT David Abraham, CDT Hayden Stokes, CDT Ethan McCall, CDT Moriah Barber.

Group beats prominent Midwest schools to advance.

Cedarville University’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Rangers team competed against some of the largest schools in the Midwest — Michigan State, Purdue, Ohio State, Notre Dame — and came out on top.

Cedarville’s 11-man team won first prize in the 7th Brigade Ranger Challenge in Fort Knox, Kentucky, that took place Nov. 5-6. A total of 37 ranger teams competed, according to a Cedarville University press release.

“It’s a military skills competition based in teamwork and decentralized planning,” Ethan McCall, a senior international studies major and team captain from Fort Wayne, Indiana, said in the release. “We have team tasks that include urban orienteering, navigation on a wooded terrain and mission site challenges. They all focus on taking initiative, working in teams and coming together.”

The challenge had four timed sections: four-hour sections on Friday night, Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon, and a two-hour conclusion Saturday evening.

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“Our most active team member completed 47 miles on foot over the competition,” McCall said. “The average for everyone else was 35, with rucksacks.”

Rucksacks are military backpacks for hauling gear and weigh roughly 50 pounds.

The ranger team formed after first-week tryouts in August 2021. Since then, they’ve trained five days a week at 6 each morning, alongside additional Saturday practices. This year’s team was particularly inexperienced, with two members having any ranger competition experience.

Cedarville’s team entered the competition under nearby Central State University, which is the host school for this region of southwest Ohio. Since not all higher learning institutions have enough cadets to form their own teams, host schools are appointed for students from surrounding universities.

However, every member of the winning team was a Cedarville University student, according to the release.

McCall first competed in the Brigade Ranger Challenger — and won — in fall of 2018, when he was a freshman.

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“Getting to win this competition for a second time feels like I’m a part of a legacy,” McCall said.

The Ranger team is actively training for the international Sandhurst competition at West Point Academy, which will take place during the last week of April 2022, according to the press release.

During that two-day competition, Cedarville will go head-to-head with teams from military academies, the top two schools from each regional ranger competition, Australia, Britain, South Korea and more, according to the release.

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