RIT Army ROTC Earns First Place in Grueling Competition




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Tiger Battalion best among 22 schools in annual Ranger Challenge

Note: Digital photograph available

Imagine doing at least 78 sit-ups and 71 push-ups, and then running two miles in 13 minutes. Members of Rochester Institute of Technology’s Army ROTC Tiger Battalion, 1st Brigade, did more than imagine it—the battalion captured first place in the annual Ranger Challenge Competition, Eastern Region, this month, turning in the top performance in the Army physical fitness test.

Competing against 21 other schools, RIT also earned first place in the patrolling exam, which is a written test of basic infantry skills, and in orienteering.

RIT never placed below fifth in other challenges during the two-day contest, which included an obstacle course, marksmanship, rope-bridge construction, timed weapons disassembly and assembly, and a 10-kilometer road march. Cadets trained six days a week for six weeks in preparation for the competition in Fort Devens, Mass.

“Bottom line: these kids are in shape. They obviously worked very hard for this and it paid off,” says Maj. Donald Powell, who coaches the cadets along with Master Sgt. Robert Yelder.

“We should have a strong team again next year when we defend our title,” Powell adds, noting that Tiger Battalion loses only two cadets to graduation next spring.

Note: RIT’s Army ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) and Air Force ROTC programs are part of the university’s College of Applied Science and Technology, the college of innovation. The college offers 71 undergraduate and graduate degree programs and 39 certificates and diplomas emphasizing technology, service management and multidisciplinary studies.