MELBOURNE, FLA. — Members of the Florida Tech Army ROTC Ranger Challenge team consistently prove their excellence, and this year is no exception. In an
expanded, five-state-plus-Puerto Rico competition, the largest ROTC competition in the nation, Florida Tech came in first place overall, defeating 42 other
universities from Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Puerto Rico. The Panther Battalion Rangers finished first in four of the nine
events and consistently placed in the top five in the remaining events. The Florida Tech team also took first place last year.
The annual competition, held this year at Fort Benning, Ga., occurred over the course of three days, starting Oct. 24. The teams pushed themselves to their
mental and physical limits while competing in such events as a physical fitness test, rifle marksmanship, construction and execution of a one-rope bridge,
two timed obstacle courses, tactical patrolling exam, timed disassembly and assembly of an M-16, orienteering, and a grueling 6.2 mile team run in full
equipment weighing over 35 pounds.
Professor of Military Science at Florida Tech Lt. Col. Scott Caldwell was there to watch his team take home the championship trophy.
He said, “It was truly a David and Goliath scenario going up against big schools such as the University of Alabama, Louisiana State, Auburn, University of
Georgia and so many others. Our Rangers gave an amazing performance due to the superb training program administered by team coaches Major Jerrold
Tyquiengco and Master Sgt. Michael Sonnenschein over the past three months. In the end, what made the difference was not the size of the dog in the fight
but the size of the fight in the dog, or Panther in this case.”