From October 19-20, 2018 Cadets from the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program competed in the regional Ranger Challenge competition held at Ft. Harrison located just outside of Helena, Montana.
The regional competition featured 11 ROTC teams from the states of Montana, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, and California. Each team was composed of the 10 top Cadets from each program.
The members of the 2018 EWU ROTC Ranger challenge team included:
- Carly Garland – MS V
- Scott Hinshaw – MS IV
- John Howard – MS IV
- Bryce Stanton – MS IV
- Kyle Stanton – MS IV
- Christian Goldbach – MS III
- Coy Odiorne – MS III (Team Captain)
- Jameson Palmer – MS III
- Cheyenne Sweet – MS III
- Chad Triplett – MS III
This year’s Ranger Challenge featured 11 complex and physically challenging events such as rock climbing walls, obstacles courses, night time land navigation, and stress shoots. The EWU ROTC team placed 1st in four of the events. The first event they placed first in was the Tactical Combat Casualty Carry. This event had the Cadets move tactically and search for the entrance to a tunnel complex.
Cadets tactically move across an open area at Ft. Harrison, Montana.
Once the team found the tunnel entrance they then had to tactically move through the tunnel:
EWU Ranger Challenge team tactically enters the tunnel complex.
After entering the tunnel the team had to then bear crawl for about a quarter mile through the tunnel complex until they found a house. Inside the three story house they had to locate a casualty, then correctly treat the casualty’s wounds, and then transport the casualty on a stretcher back through the tunnel complex.
EWU Cadets begin to transport a dummy casualty through a tunnel complex.
After exiting the tunnel the Cadets then had to correctly radio in a medical evacuation to complete the event. Since the EWU Cadets correctly completed all steps and extracted the casualty within the determined time to save its life, the the team was awarded the top score for the event.
EWU Ranger Challenge team takes a break after completing the Tactical Combat Casualty Carry Event.
The next event the team finished first in was the M-16 Alt-C stress shoot.
EWU Cadet Scott Hinshaw fires around an obstacle on the M-16 range.
The Cadets rotated personnel going to fire on the range while the rest of the team pulled a 200 pound sled through dirt and sand.
EWU Cadets pull a 200 pound sled during the 2018 Ranger Challenge competition.
Every target they hit and every lap they completed with the sled was worth points in the event. The EWU team completed the most laps with the sled and ultimately had the top score for the event giving them their second win of the competition.
EWU Cadets Bryce Stanton (left), Christian Goldbach (center), John Howard (right) dig deep as they lead the pulling of a 200 pound sled during the 2018 Ranger Challenge Competition.
The next event the EWU team finished first in was the Call for Fire event. During this event the Cadets had to spot with binoculars enemy targets and then accurately call in artillery fire. During the event the Cadets were able to accurately complete all steps and engage all targets with artillery.
EWU Cadets use a terrain model to help them plot enemy targets during the Call for Fire event.
The fourth event that the Cadets finished first in was the React to Contact event. During this event the Cadets had to tactically move across open terrain.
EWU ROTC Ranger Challenge team moves across open terrain.
During the movement the Cadets were ambushed by machine gun nests and bunkers firing blank rounds at them. The Cadets had to engage the targets with blanks and then accurately throw grenades to destroy them. The Cadets then moved through a mock village and were engaged once again by direct fire.
EWU Cadets Kyle Stanton (left) and Carly Garland (right) clear a house during the React to Contact event.
The Cadets had to tactically move through the village to engage the bunkers with grenades.
Cadets Carly Garland (left) and Kyle Stanton (right) crawl up a hill and through concertina wire to flank an enemy bunker.
The team received points for how well they conducted tactical movements and accurately engaged the bunkers with grenades. The EWU team ultimately received the top score for the event.
Cadet Kyle Stanton assaults an enemy machine gun bunker.
Other events during the 2018 Ranger Challenge included a 9mm pistol shoot, an obstacle course, rafting event, rock climbing wall, weapons assembly/disassembly, M-16 buddy team shoot, and land navigation. The host of this year’s Ranger Challenge, the University of Montana ultimately won 1st place in the competition, but the Eastern Washington University ROTC program’s strong showing gained the respect of the other programs that attended the 2018 Ranger Challenge.
EWU ROTC 2018 Ranger Challenge team pose for a picture after completing the final ruck march of the competition. The team road marched approximately 27 miles during the two-day competition.
All the EWU Cadre is extremely proud of our team and especially of our 5 very dedicated seniors who participated in their last Ranger Challenge competition. They have laid a strong foundation for future EWU ROTC Ranger Challenge teams. The tryouts for the next Ranger Challenge team will begin in Spring Quarter 2019.
Go Ranger Challenge! Go Fighting Eagles!
More pictures from the 2018 Ranger Challenge competition can be seen below or on our Flickr site.
EWU ROTC van stops for gas on its way to Helena, Montana.
EWU ROTC team members get their gear ready for the Ranger Challenge competition outside their barracks at Ft. Harrison, Montana.
EWU Ranger Challenge team members wait in line to fire at the rifle range.
EWU ROTC Cadets zero their M-16 rifles in preparation for the next day’s events.
Cadet Carly Garland engages targets on the 9mm pistol range.
Cadet John Howard is inspected before the rock climbing wall event.
Cadet Christian Goldbach scales the climbing wall.
Cadet Jameson Palmer rappels down the climbing wall.
EWU Cadets John Howard (left), Christian Goldbach (center), Jameson Palmer (standing), Kyle Stanton (right), and Carly Garland (foreground) prepare for the M-16 buddy shoot range.
EWU Cadet engages a target on the M-16 buddy shoot range.
Cadet Coy Odiorne, the EWU ROTC Ranger Challenge team captain, engages targets on the M-16 range.
While other Cadets were engaging targets on the buddy shoot range, the rest of the Cadets had to move sandbags for additional points.
Cadets John Howard (left) and Cheyenne Sweet (right) move sandbags during the M-16 buddy shoot range.
Cadet John Howard pulls security on the React to Contact event.
EWU ROTC 2018 Ranger Challenge team takes a break as they wait to board a CH-47 Chinook helicopter.
EWU ROTC Cadets ready to board CH-47 Chinook helicopter.
CH-47 Chinook helicopter takes EWU ROTC Cadets to the night land navigation site.
EWU ROTC Cadets plot land navigation points.
EWU Cadets scale a cargo net with 50 pound duffel bags during the obstacle course event.
EWU ROTC Cadets scale Jacob’s Ladder with 50 pound duffel bags during the obstacle course event.
EWU Cadets complete a rope obstacle during the obstacle course event.
EWU Cadets high step over an obstacle.
EWU ROTC Cadets crawl under a wire obstacle.
Cadet Kyle Stanton back crawls under a wire obstacle.
EWU Cadets work their way through the weave obstacle.
EWU Cadets march to their next event.
EWU ROTC Cadets receive instructions before competing in the Grinder Event. From left: John Howard, Kyle Stanton, Bryce Stanton, Carly Garland, Chad Triplett, Scott Hinshaw, Coy Odiorne, and Cheyenne Sweet.
During the Grinder event the Cadets had to pull a 210 pound dummy on a stretcher up a steep hill while wearing gas masks.
EWU ROTC Cadets pull sled with a 210 pound dummy on it to the summit of the hill during the Grinder event.
Dog tags of former ROTC Cadets killed in action from all the regional ROTC programs that was placed on top of the hill at the end of the Grinder event.
Dog tag of EWU alumni Medal of Honor Recipient Bruce A. Grandstaff who was killed in action in Vietnam on May 18, 1967.
The view looking down at Ft. Harrison, Montana from the top of the Grinder event.
EWU Ranger Challenge team captain, Coy Odiorne discusses strategy with the other team members.
EWU Cadets receive briefing before competing in the paddling event.
EWU Cadets paddle across a lake in Helena, Montana.
EWU Cadets take a break after completing the paddling event.
Cadet Jameson Palmer participates in the weapon assembly/disassembly event.
Cadet Kyle Stanton disassembles a M9 pistol.
Cadet Chad Triplett assembles a M-249 machine gun.
EWU Ranger Challenge team excited about their performance during the 2018 Ranger Challenge competition.
2018 EWU Ranger Challenge team pictured at Ft. Harrison, Montana. Back Row from left: Bryce Stanton, John Howard, Kyle Stanton, Jameson Palmer, & Cheyenne Sweet. Front Row from left: Coy Odiorne, Chad Triplett, Christian Goldbach, Scott Hinshaw, & Carly Garland.