Army ROTC heads to West Point

Cadets in Rensselaer’s Army ROTC competed in a national military skills competition, the Ranger Challenge, from October 22 to 24. The Mohawk Battalion, a 12-member team with RPI, Siena College, University of Albany, and Union College cadets, placed second out of 45 teams, qualifying them to compete at the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition at West Point for the first time in over ten years.

The Ranger Challenge for the 2nd Brigade of the Army ROTC is held Every October in Fort Dix, New Jersey, the home of the United States Army Cadet Command’s 2nd Brigade. The varsity sport of the ROTC world, the challenge is a two-day event that tests teams’ abilities through ten events: physical fitness, night orienteering, obstacle course, one-rope bridge, “the burden,” tactical combat casualty care, hand grenade assault course, weapons proficiency, tug of war, and ruck march events.

The Mohawk Battalion team performed impressively, placing first in the one-rope bridge, second in tactical combat casualty care and the hand grenade assault course, third in “the burden,” and fourth in night orienteering. Overall, the team placed second, behind Penn State’s Nittany Lion Battalion.

There are eight Army ROTC brigades around the nation, each representing a different geography of the United States and hosting their own Ranger Challenge. Only the top two teams of each of the eight Army ROTC brigades are sent to the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition in April. Every team consists of nine primaries and three alternates. RPI has four primaries in the Mohawk Battalion: Gregory Kotlyarsky ’25, Patrick Best ’24, Brandon Chasse ’22, and Andrew Kazmer ’22.