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Hands-On Challenge

UVU Ranger Challenge team takes on the world at West Point event.

By Jay Wamsley | Photography by Jay Drowns

ROTC member dives for brick
Sandhurst building

The Utah Valley University ROTC Ranger Challenge Team went to West Point, New York, in August, facing off against national and international-level competition designed to test and hone various skills.

ROTC Sandhurst activities

ROTC challenge with weights

Boots, dirt, maps, and gear

ROTC ranger challenge in a boat

ROTC Sandhurst activities

The UVU squad competed against ROTC teams from Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado earlier in October 2018. After winning at that regional level, they competed at the brigade level, in San Antonio, Texas, where they faced other regional winners. Events at each of the competitions can vary, but can include activities such as a ruck march (with a 40-pound pack), marksmanship, weapon disassembly/assembly, artillery simulation, as well as evaluation of a casualty, hand-grenade assault course, fitness challenge, navigation and orienteering, and others.

ROTC rare down time
ROTC takes aim
Bullet shells on a target
Soldier crawls through the mud
ROTC pool challenge
Unit running in the back country

Ranger aquatic challenge

Crawling under barbed wire.
Helping a team member up off the ground.

There were 65 teams at West Point, 14 of which were international, and many from the service academies. The UVU Army ROTC team consisted of Gwynyth Simons, Joshua Peles, Gilbert Burns, Joseph Lloyd, Josh Butikofer, Cooper Wimmer, Travis Hall, Hyrum Ahlman, Tyler Miner, Austin Slade, and Jessica Evenson.

Soldier swims in lake challenge

Three rangers walking away with backpacks on