ROTC’s Ranger Challenge

Every year college ROTC programs from all over the central region come together at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, to compete in the Ranger Challenge.

The Stephen F. Austin Army ROTC program participates in this challenge every year. They choose a hand full of students and train them from the end of August to the challenge at the end of October.

ROTC trains their participants with physical training and other team building exercises. This year some participants felt they could have been better prepared than they were going into the challenge.

“I personally think we did too much PT, not that you could have enough PT, but I think we focused too much on PT and not enough on training for the actual events that were at Ranger Challenge,” said Nick Abshire, freshman.

The team of students who were involved in Ranger Challenge this year were mostly freshman and sophomores. Being that it was their first time there, they were able to take notes from what they did well and what they need to work on more for next year’s challenge.

“PT and the obstacle course were our best events because we did so much of that particular training,” said Abshire.

Army ROTC:

ROTC stands for Reserve Officer Training Corps. This program was created to better prepare students for a leadership position as an Officer in the Army.

“ROTC programs want their students to graduate with a firm foundation of what it takes to become a commissioned Army Officer.”(

There are 88 students involved in the ROTC program at SFA for the fall semester and LTC David Miller expects 10-12 more students to come from National Guard training in January for spring semester.

What is Ranger Challenge?

Ranger Challenge is a competition in which ROTC programs participate in a variety of events that put student’s leadership skills and field knowledge into action. This is a three day competition that began Friday October 26, and ended Sunday October 28

Friday through Saturday the challenge hosted a series of events that lead up to the award ceremony Sunday. ROTC students were challenged in a range of events from individual activities to activities that involved teamwork and leadership skills.


  • PT Test
  • Land Navigation
  • M16 Weapon Disassembly and Assembly
  • Hand Grenade Assault Course
  • One Rope bridge
  • Map reading/ Orienteering
  • Commander’s Challenge (w/Marines)
  • Obstacle Course
  • 10k Ruck march
  • First Aid/ Litter Carry
  • LRC (Leadership Reaction Course)

“My favorite event was the Commander’s Challenge. In my opinion it was the most fun and most challenging,” said Abshire.

The Commander’s Challenge was with Marines, where they taught the Army ROTC students how to do the “high and low carry” of a large black rubber boat. After they learned the carries, they went up against another team in a race.

The race included carrying the boat as a team, rowing in sync, and beating the other team around the figure eight pattern cones in the water. Stephen F. Austin did well in this event and beat the team they were up against.

“They got ahead of us from the start and then after the first cone we passed them up completely, came back and completely smoked them. We got a 10 minute score which was pretty good for us,” said Abshire.


Each of these of these events were set up to challenge the ROTC students in extreme mental and physical situations. They were also intended for these students to further develop their leadership skills.

The link bellow will go directly to the A&M Ranger Challenge page where it explains the competition further:

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