NIU ROTC to compete in Ranger Challenge

By Rich Bruen

The NIU Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corps program is preparing for another semester of exciting military training.

According to Capt. Arture Phiele-Sardinia, assistant professor of military science, the ROTC will participate in a training exercise called the “Ranger Challenge” at Ft. McCoy, Wis., on Oct. 16-18.

The Ranger Challenge consists of nine-man teams from 10 schools competing against each other in weapons marksmanship, land navigation and other military training exercises, Phiele-Sardinia said.

Maj. Jeff Hopkins, assistant professor of military science, said the winner of the Ranger Challenge will travel to Ft. Knox, Ky., to compete in regionals.

“Hopefully, we’ll win the Ranger Challenge,” he said.

Additionally, Phiele-Sardinia said the weekend would provide an opportunity for the NIU ROTC to work together, as the entire unit also will travel to Ft. McCoy for their once-per-semester field training exercise.

The training exercise will be the first time the freshmen ROTC students get to spend time in the field with a military unit.

“It will give the freshmen firsthand experience on what military training is really like,” Phiele-Sardinia said.

The NIU ROTC program has 115 members, he said.