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Furman cadets compete in Ranger Challenge

The Paladin Battalion competed among 48 teams at the 2017 Ranger Challenge at Fort Pickett, Va., and came away with a win.

Furman University ROTC cadets participated in the annual Ranger Challenge at Fort Pickett, Va. in late October, and they came home with a win—Furman’s first since 2012. The Ranger Challenge is a competition in which teams of 11 cadets take on events to test mental and physical strength, and to prepare for Advanced Camp, the summer capstone training camp for U.S. Army Cadet Command.

The tasks for the competition include M-16 disassembly/assembly, Army Physical Fitness Test, day and night orienteering, a written land navigation test, grenade assault course, Basic Rifle Marksmanship, a “mystery event,” and an obstacle course, among others.

Teams from all ROTC schools in 4th Brigade faced-off in the two-day challenge. Competing among battalions from Delaware to South Carolina, cadets trudged over 14 miles with 40-pound rucksacks during the 11-hour contest. Furman was awarded a streamer for finishing first during an event where members were required to report information of value. In the event, the team ran three miles and was tested on various pieces of intelligence placed along the route.

Cadet and team captain Anthony Marino said, “Winning a streamer is important because only five teams win streamers at the competition. This means out of the 48 teams competing, we were the best in this event.” Marino credits the success to setting clear goals, early preparation, completing targeted workouts, and taking part in labs simulating the tactical aspects of the competition.

“The success we had this year can’t be credited to one individual, but rather to the team as a whole,” said Marino. “They truly pushed themselves to their limits and overcame great adversity to be successful.” Marino also credits the support he received from Furman’s Captain Sam Given, ROTC instructor Randall Weisner, and Cadet Jack Edwards ’20, Marino’s second in command.

Said Capt. Given, “Each Cadet displayed grit, character and resiliency. These men and women represented Furman University and the Paladin Battalion with distinction.”

Team members for Ranger Challenge 2017 include:

Anthony Marino (’19), Team Captain
Connor Dial (’20)
Grace Drummond (’20)
John “Jack” Edwards (’20)
Tyler MacAlister (’21)
Sean McClaren (’21)
Max Nation (’21)
Noelan Parrent (’21)
Emily Thomas (’21)
Matthew “Buzz” Thompson (’21)
Bailey Wood (’21)

For more information, contact Major Ryan Forshee, Professor of Military Science, Furman University Army ROTC Paladin Battalion at 864-294-2047, or

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