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News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

PSU team 1st in grueling Buddy Challenge

Just four days before the ROTC Army Ranger Buddy Challenge competition, ROTC Cadet Tyson Patrick discovered his “buddy” wasn’t going to be able to make the trip. In stepped Cadet Katherine Medrano. That turned out to be fortunate for the two Pittsburg State University students, because the pair brought home the first-place trophy from the event.

The PSU cadets competed against 79 teams from 28 colleges and universities from 10 states on April 28 at Wentworth Military Academy in Missouri. Teams could be all male, all female or co-ed.

“Fortunately, the competition was mostly physical,” Patrick said.

Physical may be an understatement. The competition began with a 4.5-mile buddy run in battle dress uniform with combat boots, load-bearing equipment and a rifle. Later, Patrick and Medrano had to carry a simulated casualty on a litter across 400 yards of broken terrain, negotiating a variety of obstacles. Then there was the true obstacle course and a grenade assault course. To wrap the day up, the cadets faced a 6.5-mile march in full battle dress with combat boots, a 35lb. rucksack and rifle. At the 4-mile mark, the cadets had to construct a poncho raft and swim their equipment across a 100-yard water obstacle.

Other tests during the day included weapons assembly and disassembly of the M16 rifle and the M249 squad automatic weapon and a knot test in which the cadets were required to tie the basic 10 knots used in military mountaineering.

Back home at PSU, Patrick and Medrano are rested and relaxed. They said their success at the Buddy Challenge reaffirmed that the rigorous preparation they go through on a daily basis in ROTC at Pittsburg State is preparing them well for the challenges they know are ahead.

For more on ROTC at Pittsburg State University, visit the Web site at http://www.pittstate.edu/mil/.

---Pitt State---