A team from Oregon State University's Army ROTC took first place in the 8th ROTC Brigade Ranger Challenge competition, that occurred Feb. 9-10 at Joint Base Lewis -McChord near Tacoma, Washington. The win secures their participation at the 2024 Sandhurst Military Skills Competition at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

“Their victory at the 8th ROTC Brigade Ranger Challenge was not just a win against peer institutions; it was a demonstration of effective leadership, teamwork, and the relentless pursuit of excellence,” said Maj. Zachary Horne, assistant professor of military science with the OSU Army ROTC. “These cadets, through sweat and determination, showcased the values that the ROTC program instills in its members, setting a high bar for future teams.”

OSU Army ROTC had two teams comprised of 11 cadets competing in the Ranger Challenge, which is considered the “varsity” sport of Army ROTC. It offers cadets an opportunity to learn and practice leadership, team and individual military skills and tactics beyond those instructed in the classroom and during leadership labs. 

The focus of the training is centered on light infantry tactics as well as additional skills at the rifle platoon and squad levels.  Some of the events are a 10-mile team ruck march, weapons qualification, hand grenade assault course, one-rope bridge, obstacle course, tactical combat casualty care, communications and a functional fitness challenge. 

Oregon State’s two teams (Black and Orange) competed against 16 other universities and 20 total teams from Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. The OSU AROTC Black Team took the win, securing its place at Sandhurst. 

The Sandhurst Military Skills competition will feature 48 teams from across the globe. Only 16 teams of the 274 AROTC programs across the country earn a place in this competition, and this will be the third year that OSU has qualified. That event takes place in April.

OSU’s winning team includes cadets Augustine Senn, Natalie Goldsmith, Brian Ramirez, Jack Galli, Tyler Hughes, Baylor York, Benjamin Anderson, Gabriel Espinoza, Layna Boyd, James Riherd and Braeden Barkes.