This picture is of the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Army ROTC Ranger Challenge team from 2002. The plaque they are holding says the male team was the 2nd place finishers at the competition that year. Does anyone from the 2002 team remember where the competition was held that year and remember anyone from this team?
Ranger Challenge is an annual competition where Army ROTC teams from 11 university’s located in the Inland Northwest, Montana, Idaho, and Northern California compete to be the best team in the region. The teams compete in various military themed events that challenge the Cadets both physically and mentally. This year between 24-26 October 2019 the Spokane region played host to the 2019 Ranger Challenge Competition.
The first day of the competition was planned and executed by the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Army ROTC program. The events were all hosted either on campus or in the Cheney region. Something new tried for this Ranger Challenge was that scores for each event were being posted online for family, friends, and alumni to keep track of the competition. Additionally complete descriptions of the events with scoring standards were posted for not only the competing teams to view, but for spectators as well to understand the challenging events the Cadets were executing.
Paddling Event – 2nd Place
Our EWU ROTC team began the competition at the Cheney Trailhead of the Columbia Plateau Trail. From the trailhead the team had to roadmarch 4 miles to Fish Lake where they then had to complete a rafting course. At the end of the rafting course a 9-Line MEDEVAC request was called up using clues found along the route. Our EWU team did outstanding in this event by finishing in 2nd place to the University of Montana. The Eastern team during the event demonstrated their well practiced paddling skills on Fish Lake.
EWU Ranger Challenge team crosses the finish line of the ruck march at Fish Lake.
Weapons Range Event – 1st Place
After the event at Fish Lake the Eastern team then took a bus to the weapons range at Medical Lake. At this event the team had to conduct a written general Army knowledge test, an M17 pistol range, and a M4 rifle range that included having to pull a sled with 200 pounds up and down a hill. The Eastern team dominated this event by shooting very well, getting the most laps completed with the 200 sled, as well as the highest scores on the written test.
Combat Water Survival Test (CWST) – 2nd Place
For the CWST Event, each member of the Ranger Challenge team completed a five-minute buoyancy test without a ruck, jumped from a high diving board and swam across the pool, and then conducted a two-stroke test using the sidestroke and breaststroke. The EWU team took a one point penalty on the breaststroke test which knocked the team down to 2nd place for the event.
Cadet Kaylie Watters jumps off the diving board.
Commander’s Challenge – 4th Place
For the Commander’s Challenge event, each Ranger Challenge team member had to ascend a climbing wall, then complete the Spring, Drag, Carry event of the new Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), and then negotiate an obstacle course. Since this was the fourth event of the day our Eastern team was quite tired and had some challenges with the climbing wall. However, the team did well enough on the Spring, Drag, Carry and obstacle course to finish a solid 4th place for the event.
Team takes picture with the EWU mascot, Swoop after completing the climbing wall event.
Helicopter Transport to Camp Seven Mile
After each team completed their Day #1 events they then headed over to the upper parking lot behind “The Inferno” at Roos Field. At the parking lot UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from the Washington Army National Guard landed and then transported the Cadets to Camp Seven Mile. The camp is located just north of Spokane within the boundaries of Riverside State Park. EWU Army ROTC thanks the 96th Aviation Troop Command out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord for supporting Ranger Challenge 2019.
Night Land Navigation – 2nd Place
One the night settled in on Camp Seven Mile, the team then participated in a night land navigation course. Being proficient in land navigation is one of the key skills taught to ROTC Cadets. For this course the team had to find as many points as possible and return at a set time or be penalized. The land navigation points were scored by the closer ones being worth smaller scores and the longer distance points being worth higher scores. Our EWU Army ROTC team excelled at this event by finishing second in the amount of points found.
Hand Grenade Assault Course – 2nd Place
On Day #2 of Ranger Challenge, the Cadets woke up early and marched to their first event of the day, the Hand Grenade Assault Course. For this event the team had to patrol through the woods, identify targets, and then successfully engage the targets by throwing hand grenades. The team came one point short of getting the maximum score on the course, thus finishing in 2nd place.
HMMWV Push – 3rd Place
For the HMMWV Push event the Cadets had to push an uparmored HMMWV filled with gear across a large grass field. This was an extremely physically demanding event that the Eastern team finished 3rd place in.
The Grinder – 3rd place
For the Grinder event, the Cadets had to evaluate a casualty and provide medical care. After correctly applying medical care they then had to put the casualty on a stretcher and transport it to the top of a steep hill. At the top of the hill the Cadets then had to correctly call in a 9-Line MEDEVAC to extract the casualty. The Eastern team narrowly finished in 3rd place in this event.
Mystery Event – 1st Place
Prior to the start of Ranger Challenge each team was given a packet on what all the events would be so they could train for them. However, one event was unknown which became known as the Mystery Event. The Cadets were going to have to complete this event with no prior knowledge of what they would be asked to do. In the event the Cadets had to climb a wall, sprint across a field, and then conduct a Call for Fire course. The Eastern Ranger Challenge team ended up having the fastest time and placed 1st overall in the Mystery Event.
Ruck March – 5th Place
The final event of Ranger Challenge 2019 was a 12 km ruck march. Going into this event the Gonzaga and Eastern teams were both tied for first place. Despite a valiant effort the Eastern Ranger Challenge team came up short on the ruck march with Gonzaga winning the event and the overall Ranger Challenge competition.
Congratulation to Gonzaga ROTC for their win, but EWU ROTC is extremely proud of the effort put forth by our Ranger Challenge team. The team finished 1st in two events, 2nd in four events, 3rd in two events and then a 4th and 5th place finish. This demonstrated how competitive and well rounded the team was in every event at Ranger Challenge. We look forward to building and training another highly competitive Ranger Challenge team next year as well.
Go Fighting Eags!
Note: More pictures from Ranger Challenge 2019 can be found and downloaded from our Ranger Challenge Flickr folder.
Day #2 Events (Oct. 26th)
Event #5 – Land Navigation
Task: After post air-movement consolidation, each team will receive all 42 coordinates. Teams will decide how to divide the points amongst the members.
Condition: Teams must return within the allotted time/ with all key equipment.
Standards: Teams have two hours to collect as many points as possible. Teams with any members arriving late will have their scores penalized by 25% for every 5 minutes.
Event #6 – Hand Grenade Assault Course
Task: As a squad, receive a mission and move along a prescribed azimuth to take out three dismounted targets and an enemy bunker utilizing hand grenades.
Condition: Given 6 hand grenade simulators.
Standards: Cadets will move and engage targets with grenades as a squads. Squads will high crawl from a marked location to a marked throwing location. Thrown grenades that land within an engineer taped circle or around the target will be considered ‘hits’. For the bunker, the grenade must land inside the structure to be considered a ‘hit’.
Event #7 – Mystery Event
Cadets will find out what this event is when they arrive to the station.
Event #8 – Grinder / TCCC
Task: Assess a casualty, move squad with simulated casualty from the start point, up hill 1800 to end point via the route described. Once at end point, the team will provide the grader with a 9-line call for medevac.
Condition: Teams are given the option to carry either 1 200+ lb. ‘rescue randy’ with their entire squad, or they can carry a random (picked from a hat) member of their squad.
Standards: Cadets negotiate the route described while carrying the dummy or squad member via poled litter or SKEDCO. Cadets may take breaks, but may not remove the casualty from litter. Once complete, the team will provide a 9-line call for medevac in the proper format.
Event #9 – HMMWV Push
Task: As a team, load a HMMWV with the prescribed equipment, man all seats, and push the vehicle from the start point to the endpoint.
Condition: Given a M1151 HMMWV and assorted gear.
Standards: Teams will load the HMMWV with the prescribed equipment, occupy 4 seats within the vehicle, and push the vehicle 200m. At 100m, they will stop and teams will exchange all 4 seats before continuing to the endpoint.
Event #10 –Road March
Ranger Challenge 12K Road March: 8thBrigade conducts 12K Road March VIC Camp 7 Mile IOT score Battalions on physical fitness within the Brigade Ranger Challenge Competition.
Day #1 Events (Oct. 25th)
Event #1 – Commander’s Challenge
Event #1a – Climbing Wall
Task: All Cadets Complete the climbing wall within 15 minutes.
Condition: Given 15 minutes, 1x 3 sided Climbing wall with all safety equipment each cadet will climb the wall safely.
Standards: All members of the team will tie a Rappel seat be inspected then use 1 of 3 lanes to climb and touch the top of wall until every member is complete within 15 minutes. Every Cadet that doesn’t complete the wall climb within 15 minutes will earn a 1 minute penalty added to the overall course completion time. Each team will be released to continue the events at the 15 minute mark.
Note: Rappel seat will be inspected by certified Rappel Master before being allowed on the wall.
Event #1B – Sprint, Drag, Carry
Task: Cadets will complete the ACFT Sprint/Drag/Carry as fast as possible until all team members are complete and move to the start of the obstacle course.
Condition: Given 5 lanes 25 meters long, 5 tire sleds, 2 filled water cans, and instructions.
Standards: Cadets will start in the prone pushup position. When 1st 5 Cadets are down they may begin the event. Once a lane is complete the Cadet waiting may assume that lane and reset equipment and begin on there own once in the prone position.
Sprint: Cadets will sprint 25m; touch 25m line with foot and hand; turn and sprint back to the start line. If Cadet fails to touch 25m line with hand and foot, the grader will call them back.
Drag: Cadet will grasp each strap handle of the tire sled which will be positioned behind the start line; pull the sled backwards until the entire sled crosses the 25m line; turn sled around and pull back until the entire sled crosses the start line. Entire sled must cross both turn around and start lines or grader will call them back.
Lateral: After the entire sled crosses the start line, the Cadet will perform a lateral for 25m, touch the 25m turn line with foot and hand, and perform the lateral back to the start line. The Cadet will face same direction both ways. If Cadet fails to touch 25m turn line with hand and foot, the grader will call them back.
Carry: Cadets will then grasp the handles of the two filled water jugs and run to the 25m turn line; over the 25m turn line with one foot; turn and run back to the start line. If the Cadet fails to touch the 25m turn line with their foot, the grader will call them back.
Sprint: after stepping over start line, Cadets will place the water jugs on the ground; turn and sprint 25m; touch the 25m turn line with foot and hand; turn and sprint back to the start line. If the Cadet fails to touch the 25m turn line with hand and foot, the grader will call them back.
Event #1c – Obstacle Course
Task: Cadets successfully navigate through the obstacle course for time until all team members have finished the rope climb then time will end.
Condition: Given 1x Monkey bar set, 1x 6’ wall, 1x 8’ wall, and rope climb.
Standards: All team members must start at the monkey bars and then move to 6’ wall, 8’ wall, and rope climb in that order. Each team member must complete each OB in order for the team to move onto next OB. If a team member fails to cross the monkey bars on 1st attempt they must move to back of team line for 2nd attempt. After 2 attempts failed then a 1 min penalty will be assed to the overall time per failed cadet. If a team member fails to climb the rope and touch the top beam after 2 attempts then a 2 minute penalty will be assessed to the overall completion time. This applies for each Cadet that doesn’t touch the top beam.
The below video shows an EWU Cadet climbing the rope at the end of the course:
Event #2 – Boating
Event #2a: Road March
Task: Complete 4-mile ruck march to Fish Lake
Conditions: Given a route, cadets move from start to finish line at Fish Lake.
Standards: Successfully complete a march from start point to end point located at Fish lake in shortest time possible in order to start rafting event. 9 line MEDEVAC clues are enroute. Time starts on command and ends at the end of the trail.
Event #2b – Paddling
Task: Complete an out-and-back timed raft event
Conditions: Given a raft, 8x PFDs and one paddle per Cadet
Standards: Successfully complete a timed 8-person team paddle race without losing any gear. 9-line MEDEVAC is compiled by remaining members. Fastest time wins.
The below video shows EWU ROTC Cadets paddling in Fish Lake with the exact type of raft that will be used in the competition:
Event #3 – Range
Event #3a – M9 Qualification
Task: Each member of a unit’s Ranger Challenge team completes the M9 leader qualification course in groups of 3 Cadets.
Conditions: Given 1x M9, 3x Magazines, 20x Rounds, and 5 Targets.
Standards: Successfully engage designated targets from multiple firing positions and executing fluid magazine changes.
1.Cadets will receive 3 magazines, 10 RDS, 5 RDS, and 5 RDS. Cadets will shoot 4 times per target.
2.Firing positions include standing (stationary), standing (walking), prone unsupported, and from behind obstacles.
3.Cadets will be required to drop and reload when necessary. Cadets will fire 2 rounds each at number or shape assigned to them before beginning of event.
4.In the event of a weapon malfunction Cadets are responsible for clearing their weapon system. Time will continue to elapse and Cadets are required to continue to move through the lane.
5.Targets will be replaced after 3 Cadets have fired.
Event #3b – M4 and Sled Pull
Task: Obstacles are set up that limit the view of participants and require Cadets to shoot from a variety of positions.
Condition: Ranger challenge teams conduct buddy team stress shoot.
Ranger challenge teams begin at AA. On the command of begin, the first buddy team moves to the firing line to engage targets. Each Cadet will receive 14 rounds, 2 rounds per station. After the first Cadet reaches station 4 the second Cadet will begin. Both Cadets are accompanied by a lane walker that ensures the Cadet is engaging targets from the required positions. Once both Cadets are complete they move back to their team together and the next two Cadets move to the M4 firing line. While Cadets are engaging targets the rest of their team is pushing a sled from CP1 to CP2 back to CP1. Each full rotation that is completed results in ten (tbd) additional point for the team.
Graders will change targets at the end of each Ranger challenge teams iteration. Targets will be turned into the ammo point. There they will be marked with the name of the team and scores will be calculated. The sled pull lane walker will inform the ammo point of the total points scored by a team at the end of their iteration. Ammo point will calculate the total score, combined stress shoot and sled pull, for each team and report back to the TOC.
Uniform will be ACH, eye pro, FLC, knee pads, elbow pads, ear pro, water source.
Event #3c – Written Test
Task: Cadets will take a written test made by the BDE S-3 shop.
Condition: Given 1x written test, 1x pencil, 20 minutes, and possible 100 points per cadet team member.
Standards: Cadets will have 20 minutes to complete the written exam upon start. Any questions not answered within the time limit will be counted as wrong answers. No talking is allowed between the cadets while taking the test.
Grading: 100 points available, two points per correct answer.
Example: 50 question test, means 2 points per question.
Cadet does not correctly answer 13 questions [100 – (2 x 13)] = 74 points
Event #4 – CWST
Mission: Each member of a unit’s Ranger Challenge team completes a 3 event CWST test (Five-minute buoyancy test without ruck, Jump/Swim, and Two-stroke test)
Execution: Cadet teams will rotate every 20 minutes until each team has completed all three CWST events.
Event #4a – Buoyancy Test
Task: Cadets will demonstrate their ability to remain buoyant for 5 minutes
Condition: Given test instructions, and a pool cadets demonstrate the skill required.
Standard: Cadets will enter the pool 3 cadets at a time and demonstrate there ability to remain buoyant for 5 minutes without touching the side. If a cadet touch’s another cadet or the side of the pool the cadet will be disqualified and loose the point for that cadet. After entire team is complete they will wait for rotation time to be called out.
The below video shows an EWU ROTC Cadet conducting the buoyancy test:
Event #4b -Jump Swim
Task: Cadets will demonstrate there ability to Jump from the diving board to standard into the water and swim to the far side and exit the swimming pool.
Condition: Given test instructions, and a pool cadets demonstrate the skill required.
Standard: Cadets will climb up the diving board 1 at a time and jump from the diving board into the pool demonstrating the skill: (cross the legs at the ankles keeping the knees slightly bent. Put the arms across the chest while jumping and entering the water). Once returning to the surface swim to the other side of the pool. Any Cadet that fails to demonstrate the proper technique will lose 1 point for there team per cadet. After entire team is complete they will wait for rotation time to be called out.
Event #4c – Two Stroke Test
Task: Cadets will demonstrate there ability to perform the two-stroke test by using the sidestroke and breast stroke.
Condition: Given test instructions, and a pool cadets demonstrate the skill required.
Standard: Cadets will enter the pool on the sides 3 at a time. On the command GO cadets will demonstrate the sidestroke down and back. After the entire team has completed the side stroke. The team will again enter the water 3 Cadets at a time and demonstrate the breaststroke down and back. Cadets who fail to complete each swim will lose 1 point per cadet that doesn’t finish. After entire team is complete they will wait for rotation time to be called out.
The 2019 8th ROTC Brigade Ranger Challenge 2019 (TF-East) competition is being co-hosted between Gonzaga University (GU) and Eastern Washington University (EWU). Day #1 on October 25th will be held in the vicinity of Cheney, WA with events executed by EWU. Day #2 on October 26th will be held at Camp Seven Mile north of Spokane with events executed by GU. Click the below links for descriptions of each event:
On the Day of the competition the below scoreboard will be regularly updated with scores as events are completed. Check back regularly to see how your university’s Ranger Challenge team is performing during the competition.