After competing at the Ranger Challenge in November, APSU’s Ranger Team has been selected to compete at the Sandhurst competition at the West Point Military Academy in April.
Sandhurst is an annual event which hosts up to 48 teams both nationally and internationally.
“Of these 48 teams, 14 of them are international and three are inner service; so, Coast Guard, Navy, and Air Force,” LTC. Westphal, Professor of Military Science and director of the ROTC program said.
APSU’s ROTC program will be taking eleven cadets.
“The primary team is nine personnel, and that incorporates at least one person from each MS [military science] level, and then we are authorized to take two alternates. So, we are going up to West Point with eleven personnel,” Ranger PLT Team Captain Steven Price said.
According to www.usma.edu, “alternates will run the entire competition with their squad.”
In preparation for the competition, the cadets train every day for different aspects of the competition.
“We just amped up our workout training to every single day out of the week,” MS1 Jasmine Barrios said.
Twice a week, the cadets do cross-fit training at a local establishment, go on long distance runs and go rucking.
Regarding the cross-fit aspect, “it’s to build up strength because we’re not used to picking up weird objects and moving weight around so that when we go to the competition we’re prepared for that,” Co-Captain Daniel Cole said.
“We also once or twice a week go on long distance runs so that we’re working on endurance, and we do ruck marches as well so that everyone is conditioned to carry heavy loads for a long period of time,” Cole said.
“We do a lot of rucking which is a lot of leg strength because when you ruck up hills, your calves and your shins start to burn really bad, so that takes a lot of conditioning to get you up to speed with that,” Barrios said.
The cadets also do sporadic training events which combine their training exercises and simulate what they will do once at Sandhurst.
The cadets also have to prepare for other various tasks such as knot tying, figuring out how to make a rig to carry someone or something, and how to climb objects with the limited tools and equipment that is provided.
While physically the cadets prepare, there is also the mental aspect with a competition of this size.
Mentally, cadets have to take into account the importance of sleep.
“Because we’re training every day, just getting enough sleep will help us to get ourselves ready for it,” Barrios said.
For the competition at Sandhurst and the training involved Barrios said, “It’s definitely challenging, and this is definitely intimidating for me. So, what I would do is just not psyche yourself out about it and keep pushing. Don’t lose the mentality… never quit, never give up. That’s really all you can do with something like this, and train as hard as you can and do the best you can.”
The cadets will be competing at Sandhurst on April 12, 2019.
For more information, visit www.usma.edu or contact APSU’s ROTC program by phone at 931-221-6156.