The Weber State University Wildcat ROTC Battalion serves the community in many ways. Recently, the Battalion Cadre and Cadets hosted a group of junior ROTC Cadets from five high schools along the Wasatch Front.
On Oct. 27, WSU welcomed ten teams of junior ROTC Cadets from the five local high schools: Ogden High, Utah Military Academy, Northridge, Ben Lomond and Taylorsville, to compete in the 15th Annual Wildcat ROTC Challenge.
WSU Cadet Battalion Commander Julie Weight said, “The Wildcat Battalion was selected to hold the competition on our campus. Cadets from Weber State University came together and worked hard to plan this event and make it a success. We, as the Wildcat battalion, were honored to do it.”
In welcoming comments, LTC Jason Nierman, the Professor of Military Science at WSU said, “The Wildcat Challenge is an annual event hosted by the Senior Army ROTC Program at Weber State University to provide a physical, mental and team-centric competition for junior ROTC programs in northern Utah.”
More than a hundred high school cadets were joined by roughly 60 WSU cadets, cadre and their family and friends.
After being welcomed by LTC Nierman, the junior ROTC Cadets began a day of friendly competition under the supervision of the cadets and cadre from Weber State.
Captain Stephen Feehan of WSU said that, “The Wildcat Challenge is a wonderful community outreach opportunity that allows high school cadets to compete to the best of their abilities. They build a sense of camaraderie that stays with them for a lifetime.”
One event required a series of push-ups and sit-ups by all nine members of each team. The team that completed the most push-ups and sit-ups was the winner of the event.
Another event challenged the Cadets to build a one-rope bridge, which they then moved their fellow teammates across as fast as possible. Every member of each team was required to cross the bridge along with their equipment.
Knot tying, a critical skill in many military situations, was included in the challenge. All nine members of the teams were required to demonstrate the ability to correctly tie a series of six knots within a set time limit.
An obstacle course challenged the teamwork of the groups to overcome a series of challenges in a limited time. The course included neutralizing enemy targets and moving through the course as a team.
The final event was a 5000 meter march across the WSU campus. All nine members of each team participated in the march, carrying a 20 pound rucksack and a full canteen.
With all teams having completed the events, the scores were totaled and the Northridge “A” Team was the overall winner of the traveling trophy, followed by the Utah Military “A” Team in the number two spot and Ben Lomond “A” Team third.
After the competition, the teams retired to a BBQ hosted by the Wildcat Battalion. At the end of the day, 2nd Lt. Chelsey Kellum observed that, “The high schools trained hard and gave it all they had. Pushing them to their limits and seeing what they could do is the achievement of the Wildcat challenge. They got good a taste of Weber State University ROTC.”
Reflecting on the day, Cadet Officer-in-Charge Nathan Soriano said, “It’s so great seeing all of these schools come together. They look forward to it every year and so do we. We really pushed them this time around, and those kids took it head on. I’m proud that Weber State University can provide such a fun and unique event to the community”
Lieutenant Colonel Nierman also added that he had two goals for the event. The first is to support all of these exceptional citizenship programs with a quality, resourced and professional venue for a collective competition. The second is to encourage cadets from the senior program and the junior ROTC programs to discuss opportunities and to address the potentially anxious transition from high school to college.
He said building these relationships creates mentorship opportunities to help encourage and ease that transition.
The Wildcat ROTC Battalion offers WSU students and the community a wealth of opportunities. To learn more about the Army ROTC program, contact Clyde Ratliff at (801) 626-8609 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.