Gonzaga University’s Black Team Cadets with the Bulldog Battalion, the Army ROTC unit for Whitworth and Gonzaga universities, defended its Task Force Big Sky Ranger Challenger Championship title this past weekend in Montana.
This year, the annual competition among Northwest ROTC units was held in the Lubrecht Experimental Forest, north of Missoula. Several cadets, friends and family members supported Bulldog Battalion members as they competed against ROTC students from the University of Montana, Montana State University, the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Boise State University,
Brigham Young University-Idaho, and Idaho State University.
Led by Master Sgt. Duane Hudson and Cadets Patrick Constantino and Shannon Price, the Bulldog Battalion teams flourished. Gonzaga’s Black Team finished first in the Army Physical Fitness Test, One-Rope Bridge, Hand Grenade Assault Course, and 10-Kilometer Ruck March.
Sophomore Scotty Oplinger scored the highest on the physical fitness test for men while freshman Jenna Peterson achieved the top score for women. Gonzaga’s Gold Team was forced to contend with rugged terrain, the presence of bears, injuries, snow, and tough foes; while the team did not earn a medal, its performance was exceptional, said Lt. Col. Alan Westfield, an assistant professor of military science.
Both teams wore patches of units during the competition, symbolizing the connection between the troops in the field and those who will soon join them after commissioning.
“All truly earned their Ranger Challenge Tabs. Our future is bright,” Westfield said. “These young persons are competent, committed, confident and prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.”
For more information, contact Lt. Col. Alan Westfield at (509) 313- 6517 or via e-mail.