Ranger Challenge

Ranger Challenge team members accomplish more before 0800 than most college students accomplish in an entire day.

The program is the Army ROTC Varsity Sport, with teams forming early and training often.. Teams comprised of top-talent at each participating college and university go up against domestic and international competitors in events including patrolling, marksmanship, weapons assembly, one-rope bridge, grenade assault course, Army Physical Fitness Test, land navigation, and a ten-kilometer road march. The top two teams from each brigade go on to the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition hosted by The United States Military Academy at West Point.

Those competing spend two days running a myriad of obstacles including weapons disassembly/assembly, grenade assault, gas mask function, rifle and pistol shooting, programming a radio, carrying a casualty, land navigation, and lugging their minimum 35-pound rucks for approximately 30 miles. The winner of the competition is chosen based on performance at each of the obstacles as well as the speed with which they complete them.


Training for the Ranger Challenge team extends well beyond the academic year. The 2nd Class cadets on the Ranger Challenge team also participate in CST at Fort Knox, which involves platoon-level tactics. Others throughout the summer maintain a regime with specified workouts to keep them in shape for the following year’s tryouts.

The majority of cadets who participate in the Ranger Challenge either continue in schools like the Sapper Leader Course with the Army or Cadet Troop Leader Training (CTLT). 


VMI cadets participating in Ranger Challenge prep and competiton at West Point, photos courtesy of US Army Cadet Command.


VMI: Forging 21st Century Leaders