For the sixth time in as many years, Weber State University’s Army ROTC hosted the Junior ROTC competition.
WSU’s ROTC program uses the event as a recruiting opportunity to bring local high school students to their program, which they can enter as second officers.
Each year, five Utah high schools come to WSU’s University Village to compete in an all-day event that tests the young cadets both physically and mentally.
Local high schools, such as Ben Lomond, Northridge, Taylorsville, Clearfield and the Utah Military Academy from Riverdale, compete each year.
“We want the kids to have an amazing experience,” said Dakota Nichols, who runs the event. “The event is made for the cadets to push themselves in a very challenging event.”
The teams competed in eight different events, starting with Kim’s Game. The cadets were given a list of images and words to memorize before going through a physical workout. After the 15-minute workout, they took a test to see what they remembered.
Next, the cadets ran a course, carrying gallons of water and an injured battle partner on a stretcher. Each team was scored by how many laps they completed.
For the next 20 minutes, the teams worked together to see how many push-ups and sit-ups they could push out as a team.
The next event was one of the most difficult of the day: the obstacle course. Cadets worked in pairs, belly crawling, tire flipping, covering each other in a battle situation and testing their arm accuracy by simulating throwing a grenade.
“The course is always a big hit for the cadets,” Nichols said. “They get to work together on a course that simulates what we go through on a battlefield.”
Cadets then went through three different rope courses, which focused on tying and climbing, before finally going on a 5K march with heavily packed bags.
The winning school at the event got to then go home with a trophy — a prize for every school to compete for next year.