By Mr. Michael Maddox (ROTC)October 23, 2018
FORT PICKETT, Va. (Oct. 21, 2018) -- After miles of ruck marching and having skills tested throughout 15 different events, the ROTC team from the University of Delaware was named the winner of the 4th Brigade Ranger Challenge at Fort Pickett this past weekend.
There was only a two point difference between first and second place, leaving the team from John Hopkins University in second, and followed by Campbell University in third.
After the competition was over and Cadets had a good night's rest, Col. Farrell Duncombe, 4th Brigade commander, shared his thoughts on the event and how the Cadets performed as part of the awards ceremony.
"I want to congratulate all of you for going through the Ranger Challenge competition -- I'm very proud of you all. I know and I recognize that you are all better for it," he said. "It was demanding and challenging - challenging physically, emotionally, mentally, and to your leadership abilities as well as followship abilities. You've also learned more about how to think about yourself and about others."
He went on to ask the Cadets to continue to build on what they had learned at Ranger Challenge.
"I ask you to take this back to your programs -- don't be stingy with it - share it with everybody else at your program," Duncombe said. "That will help them to become better students, as well as when they prepare to go out to Cadet Summer Training next year, which will be a little bit tougher than last year. It'll be a little longer, more demanding, but I know that you all are ready and will do very, very well."
Claudia Bacon, team captain for University of Delaware, said her team went into the Ranger Challenge with specific plans in mind.
"We kind of knew what to expect from last year, but we also had a lot of new people on the team this year. I told them before we started that we would be a respectful team, we do an event and we move on -- what happens happens, and we would leave it all here," she said. "We didn't want to regret anything. I think that we used common sense, adaptability and the will to pull through -- I'm really proud of my team."
Bacon, who has been on the team for three years, attributed the win to a change in strategy from last year.
"We had a whole tactical schedule this year because last year we were used to a physical competition - we came very physically prepared and not as tactically prepared," she explained. "This year, we knew we needed to up it on tactics, so that was our main focus while we kept the physical aspect as well."
Being the top team for the brigade means the University of Delaware will represent the brigade at the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition. Bacon said her team will be adjusting strategy for Sandhurst.
"We've heard that Sandhurst is very physical so I have a lot of studying to do, and we need to figure out a game plan, but we're very excited to be going," she said.
Other winners by event were:
Resection: West Virginia University
Perform Communications: Loyola University
Measure Distance on a Map: Liberty University
Report Information of Value: East Carolina University
Correct Malfunction: Georgetown University
Request Medical Evacuation: Campbell University (Team 1)
Camouflage (yourself and equipment): Clemson University
Obstacle Course: University of Virginia (Team 1)
(Employ) Hand Grenade: The Johns Hopkins University
Apply a Combat Tourniquet: Wofford College
Visual Signaling Techniques: Norfolk State University
Identify Terrain Features on a Map: The Johns Hopkins University
M4/M9 Range: West Virginia University
M4 Function Check: Georgetown University
Identify Topographic Symbols: The Johns Hopkins University