Mines News

Release Date Wednesday, October 16, 2019

SD Mines Army ROTC to Host Task Force Ranger Challenge Competition

ROTC Cadets in the Mount Rushmore Battalion take part in a training exercise in the Black Hills. 


The Military Science Department at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology will host 140 cadets from the Dakotas and Minnesota for the Task Force Ripley Ranger Challenge competition at West Camp Rapid on Oct. 18-19, 2019.

The Ranger Challenge serves as Army ROTC’s collegiate athletic competition. The event consists of day and night land navigation, map reading examination, enhanced weapons skill training, weapons assembly/disassembly, six-mile ruck march with 35 pounds, equipment inspection and hand grenade assault course.

The Mines’ Military Science Department’s Cadet Battalion, also known as the Mount Rushmore Battalion, is part of Task Force Ripley which also includes Black Hills State University and Chadron State College cadets. These cadets will compete against ROTC programs from University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, Minnesota State University - Mankato, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities), St. John’s University (Minnesota), South Dakota State University and University of South Dakota. Each cadet battalion from these universities can establish two teams for the competition comprised of a five-person team (four female and one male cadet) and a nine-person team (containing one female cadet).

The winner of the competition in the Black Hills will travel to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., in early November for the 3rd ROTC Brigade Ranger Challenge and compete against five other task force winners. That winning team will travel to the US Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., for the Sandhurst Competition in the spring to compete against teams from other countries and military services.

“Hosting the competition at West Camp Rapid provides the SD Mines’ Military Science Department the opportunity to showcase our cadet physical fitness as well as our different training resources provided by the SD ARNG, and challenging terrain located in Western South Dakota. It’s been several years since we’ve hosted a Ranger Challenge Competition in the Black Hills. For the past three years the competitions were held at Camp Ripley, Minn. that provides significant training areas and facilities but lacked more challenging terrain for our competition,” says Lt. Col. Elvis Coronado, SD Mines’ Professor of Military Science.

The media are invited to cover the event, interview participants and view the competition as it takes place.



About SD Mines  

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,529 students with an average class size of 24. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $63,350. Find us online at sdsmt.edu and on  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat

Contact: Mike Ray, 605-394-6082, Mike.Ray@sdsmt.edu

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