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Ranger Challenge team excels at Sandhurst competition

Members of the University of North Georgia's Ranger Challenge team pictured here during a road march, part of the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition held in April at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

The University of North Georgia's (UNG) Ranger Challenge team earned an impressive second-place finish among ROTC teams at the prestigious Sandhurst Military Skills Competition held in April at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

RC team Group
The members of UNG's Ranger Challenge team and two military instructors who
accompanied the team to the Sandhurst competition.

"I saw numerous competing teams shout motivation and encouragement for UNG and I heard from many instructors and cadets that they were impressed with UNG’s professionalism, tactical and technical knowledge, motivation and overall conduct," said Capt. Donovan Duke, an instructor from UNG's Department of Military Science who helped the team prepare and accompanied them to the competition.

The team earned a Sandhurst invitation in October by beating other ROTC teams at the Bold Leader Challenge at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The Sandhurst competition included 59 teams, including 36 from West Point, one each from the nation's other service academies, nine ROTC teams, and teams from Great Britain, Germany, Canada, Chile, Japan, South Korea, and Qatar.

Cadet 1st Lt. Ryan Deits, the officer in charge of UNG's Ranger Challenge team, was pleased with the team's performance.

"Every member of the team utilized everything they had learned throughout the year and were able to react to the many challenges that the competition presented," he said. "Every single member of the team really surprised me with their incredible endurance throughout the competition." 

Cadet Addyson Albershardt called it the opportunity of a lifetime.

" I’ve been an athlete my whole life and I’ve never been on a more cohesive team than the relationships I've made this semester," Albershardt said . "I think we were all very motivated just to have the chance to go to West Point. To say the least, I think we shocked a lot of people."

RC team preparing
UNG's Ranger Challenge team loosens up before competition begins.

Cadet 1st Sgt. Jacob Finn credited the support of UNG's military instructors.

"Our cadre at UNG have gone out of their way to give us the proper training and it showed in competition and shows how much they care about our program," Finn said.

Duke added that the team performed well and he expects a return to the competition next year.

“Like many teams, UNG’s team had some minor mistakes throughout the event but were able to quickly bounce back, learn from their mistakes and continue to develop as future officers, not letting those mistakes define them," Duke said. "Mark my words, we'll be at Sandhurst next year!"

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