KU News Release

March 17, 2011
Contact: Lt. Col. John Clark, Army ROTC, 785-864-1113

Army ROTC to host 17th annual Ranger Buddy Competition on April 2

More Information

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas Army ROTC cadets will be among the 240 students from across the United States challenging themselves at the 17th annual Kansas Army ROTC Ranger Buddy Competition.

Two-person teams from 21 colleges and universities in 11 states will compete Saturday, April 2, at the Overlook Park area at Clinton Lake southwest of Lawrence. The contest is a spectator event that is free and open to the public. Cadets on male, female or co-ed teams will go through a series of events as they vie for the title of Best Ranger Buddy Team. They will be scored for their performances, and the team with the best overall time wins.

KU will partner with Kansas State University, Pittsburg State University, the University of North Dakota and the Kansas Army National Guard to host this year’s event.

“The Armywide Ranger Buddy Competition gained incredible popularity years ago from its exposure on the Discovery and National Geographic TV channels,” said Lt. Col. Vic Hamilton, professor of military science at KU. “Although the Kansas Army ROTC Ranger Buddy Competition differs slightly from that format, the competitors universally refer to it as the ‘Iron Man’ competition for ROTC cadets. I encourage everyone to come spend the day in support of these outstanding competitors.”

Competition will begin at 6:30 a.m. with a 10-kilometer buddy team run, followed by a five-event round robin and a final 10-kilometer ruck march. Cadets know four of the challenges in advance, but the fifth is kept secret until contestants reach that stage of the contest.

One of the events that will challenge the cadets is the M16 rifle disassembly, reassembly and functions check. A hand grenade assault course will test cadets in throwing dummy grenades at a variety of targets. A third competition will require cadets to tie a series of increasingly complex knots in a rope. The fourth event, the “crucible,” will put cadets through a physically demanding obstacle course.

“If ever there was an ROTC open house event, this is it,” said Lt. Col. John Clark, KU Army ROTC admissions officer. “The cadets leave nothing on the table when it is done. If you are curious about ROTC training, this event highlights the toughest aspects of it. I encourage spectators to visit anytime during the day to cheer on fellow Jayhawks to victory.”

Schedule of events

6 a.m. — First formation/opening address
6:30 a.m. — Buddy Team 10K run
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Group events
4:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. — Buddy Team 10K forced ruck march
6 p.m. — Awards ceremony

For more information, go to the KU Army ROTC website and click on Ranger Buddy Challenge Invitation.

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