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Volume 2, Issue 2                                    University of Houston

ROTC team excels at regional competition

By Rodney Malapitan
Staff Writer

The UH ROTC team placed seventh out of 25 teams participating in the fifth annual Brigade Ranger Challenge, held in October at Fort Hood.

Teams from Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico competed against each other in a contest of seven events testing their military skills. UH has placed in the top 10 for the last three years.

The first event was a fitness test, which included doing as many push-ups as possible in two minutes, followed by a two-minute sit-up drill and a two-mile timed run. The teams were then given a written exam testing their expertise in patrolling maneuvers.

At 6 a.m. the next day, the teams competed in a six-kilometer relay race, followed by negotiating a grenade assault course and a land navigation course.

During the navigation event, teams were given 90 minutes to find as many designated points as possible using a map and compass. The UH team won first place in the event for the second year in a row.

Courtesy of UH ROTC

The UH ROTC team finished seventh at the recent Ranger Challenge held at Fort Hood. The team includes (from left) Randy McClendon, Sgt. 1st Class Freddy Kail, Mario Tecson, Austin Richter, Gregory O'Malley, John Somers, Joshua Sturgill and Guillermo Alvarez.

The next event, the timed M-16 rifle disassembly and re-assembly, had participants run 50 meters from the starting point to a table holding the rifles. The participants disassembled the rifles, re-assembled them and ran back to the starting point.

The last and most grueling event was a 10-kilometer march done while wearing a helmet and carrying a 35-pound rucksack and an M-16. The UH team finished in 70 minutes, only seven minutes behind the best time.

The UH Ranger Challenge team was comprised of sophomore cadets Randy McClendon, Joshua Sturgill, Gregory O'Mally and John Somers, junior cadets Guillermo Alvarez and Mario Tecson and senior cadet Austin Richter.

The team was coached by Sgt. First Class Freddy Krail, who began training for the competition in August. Every morning from 6 to 7:30, team members went through an exhausting physical fitness regimen to increase their endurance and stamina, including hours of push-ups, sit-ups, road marches and runs of up to 10 miles.

"This is the third year in a row I've coached the team, and they've done an excellent job every year," Krail said. "They are a really hard-working group of individuals who each do their best for the good of the team. I'm proud of them."

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