‘Military-friendly’ university wins 2018 Ranger Challenge

Category:  News
Wednesday, November 7th, 2018 at 6:44 PM
‘Military-friendly’ university wins 2018 Ranger Challenge by Anisa Venner-Johnston
Contributed Photo

Last month, Edinboro University’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) won the 2018 Second Brigade Ranger Challenge, a collegiate competition aimed to test cadets mentally and physically. 

Over 40 schools – including Edinboro, Princeton, Cornell, University of Maine and Penn State – competed in the challenge. 

Currently, there are 74 cadets in the ROTC program. A total of 25 tried out for the team, with only nine making it. EUP cadets trained Monday to Friday, from 5:15 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., as well as Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning. 

Through tryouts, if any cadet was having academic difficulties, they were removed from the team. Master Sgt. Mark Kirchoff, the cadre coach for the Ranger Challenge, didn’t want grades to slip during training. 

Kirchoff also wanted his team to believe in themselves and work hard.

“Every morning before we started our workout, I would ask them ‘Why? Why can’t you win?’ My goal was to make them believe in themselves. Make them understand it didn’t matter where they came from, or who they would compete against. I told them if they put in the work and gave everything they had, then they were going to shock the world.” 

Team captain and Edinboro senior, Cameron Silvis, credits teamwork for their win. “The reason we were so successful wasn’t because of my leadership. It was because the entire team worked as a team throughout the train-up and competition. Edinboro is founded on hard work, grit and a never-give-up attitude, and that’s exactly what was showcased by the team at Fort Dix.” 

Edinboro will next represent the Second Brigade at the Sandhurst Competition. The competition takes place in April and will be held at West Point MIlitary Academy. Another eight brigades from the U.S. will compete alongside international teams from places like Canada, Germany, Korea and Poland. 

Edinboro was also recently awarded a gold distinction as a military friendly school. Previously, in 2009, the institution received a bronze distinction. Now nine years later, they were awarded a gold distinction after what was cited as significant achievements from the Veterans Success Center. Edinboro and Slippery Rock University are the only schools in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), and two of six schools in the state, to have earned a gold distinction. EU’s Erie county neighbor, Mercyhurst University, earned bronze. 

Military friendly schools are decided by Victory Media. Victory Media awards distinctions to schools who prove to provide positive education outcomes, as well as a commitment to helping service members.

Edinboro’s Veterans Success Center is focused on providing resources to veterans, current service members and service families.

Anisa Venner-Johnston can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

Tags: news, rotc, eu rotc

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