ranger-challenge_sm This past October, UVa’s Ranger Challenge team competed in the 4th Brigade Ranger Challenge Competition held at Fort Pickett, VA. UVa placed first in their division, competing against nineteen other schools. The team placed second overall in 4th Brigade, outscoring 37 of 39 total schools competing. After months of intense physical training and study of military tactics and skills, the team arrived at Fort Pickett on Thursday, 24OCT ready to compete. Beginning early Friday morning, carrying loaded assault packs and fully equipped with vests, weapons, and helmets, the team ran between each event, tested on critical thinking and combat skills at each station.
Friday’s events included an equipment inspection, timed assembly and disassembly of M4 rifles, individual movement techniques, One-Rope Bridge, drawing of a sector sketch, and completion of a modified obstacle course with a tire flip, a 1.5 mile run in full equipment, and a written test. On Saturday, the team began the second and final day of competition with a first aid/radio assembly event in which cadets assembled a radio and negotiated urban terrain to find, bandage, and evacuate a “downed pilot”. Following first aid was basic rifle marksmanship and a boat challenge event. UVa took first in the boat challenge event, outracing all of the competition. The boat challenge required each team member to construct a makeshift poncho raft and to tow one behind a small boat. Two designated members transported the raft to a drop off point from which they carried the boat and all equipment back to the start point. The final two events of the weekend were a reconnaissance mission and a simulated attack on a bunker. In the first mission, the team was given an objective to reconnoiter and report back on the nature of any enemy forces at the objective. In the second, the team advanced through woods to a bunker which they assaulted with a grenade. Finally, after this last event and two days of physical exertion and mental stamina, the UVa team raced back to the start point and successfully completed the competition, finishing with one of the fastest time in the competition.
UVa Ranger Challenge was captained by CDT Godbold, a third-year student studying statistics and foreign affairs.