Ranger Challenge was a grueling 26-mile long trek filled with events in below-freezing temperatures all while carrying our rucksacks. The actual event started the night before with a 4.5 mile relay race with the fastest members on the team. Depending on how well the team did on the relay race determined when we could start the 26 miles. Thankfully we were one of the fastest teams and got to be the first team to start the day of events. It was cold and we could not wait to start moving.
The events that we had to do were a medical lane, weapons lane, calling for artillery fire, maneuvering a zodiac boat, making a rope bridge, doing a PT test, and finally, conducting a live-fire stress shoot with a M4 carbine and M9 pistol. These events did a great job at testing the physical and mental endurance of the team, especially once the rope bridge started. We all got soaked in the water and there was no way around it. Our feet were freezing and we had to do a run for the PT challenge. We then had to put our 35-50 pound rucksacks back on and march a few more miles to the stress shoot. At this stress shoot lane our hand froze from the rain and cold as we tried to put our shots downrange.
After the shooting we had to march all the way back to the starting line which was 12 miles away. Due to the horrid rain and snow conditions the final ruck march got shortened to 9 miles. We were beyond thankful. We put on our ponchos, which made us look like gigantic turtles and began the trek back. Everyone finished, no one was left behind. We had to pull and push each other to keep on moving forward, but we all made it. We had started at 0600 and we were done by 1600
The next morning we had one more event to do. The obstacle/confidence course. We jumped and ran through those obstacles as fast as we could. We completed some obstacles which we had never even seen or done before. Finally we finished and completed Ranger Challenge. We then all packed up in the vans and went to Dunkin Donuts and then back to Michigan Tech.