September 20, 2014  

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Southern Miss ROTC Team Fares Well in Prestigious Ranger Challenge

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Members of the Southern Miss ROTC Ranger team participate in the annual Ranger Challenge held Oct. 14-16 at Ft. Benning, Ga. (Submitted photo)

Two months of 5:30 a.m. training exercises paid off nicely for members of the Southern Miss ROTC Ranger Team that walked away with a third-place finish in the Army Ranger Challenge held Oct. 14-16 at Ft. Benning, Ga.

The Southern Miss team included 11 members – nine participants and two alternates. Cadet Staff Sgt. Daniel Roy, a criminal justice major from Slidell, La., served as the team captain.

A total of 45 teams competed in the grueling competition which spans 36 non-stop hours. Cadets compete in a series of 11 times events in which penalties are accrued for improper technique. Each team is required to have at least one female cadet participate in any one of the 11 events.

A sampling of the events illustrates the physical demands on each participant:

  • 10-kilometer road march in full battle gear weighing approximately 50 pounds
  • Trauma Lane – secure a dummy victim weighing 250 pounds from a fallen chopper, evaluate the casualty and transport the victim to safety
  • Commander’s Challenge – a nighttime quarter-mile run in near black lighting where cadets carry between 40-80-pound water cans
  • Stress Shoot – Cadets run 200 meters over hills carrying a 40-pound water can in full battle gear before conducting an M-16 firing course and M-9 firing course

“The 11 cadets from each team represent the best each school has to offer and spend at least two months of intensive training before the annual competition,” said Roy. “Not only was the lack of sleep a challenge but the event also tested the teamwork and mental and physical strength of each team.”

Team members included Roy, David Hester, Byron Cassidy, Tommy Rajnic, Bobbi Baldwin, Travis Hodge, Matt Franklin, Nathan Pfeiffer, Trey Collier, Dustin Dubose and Nolan D’Angelo.

For more information about the ROTC program at Southern Miss, call 601.266.4456.