Rattler Battalions fare well at competition

ROTC cadets at the annual ranger challenge.
Photo courtesy of Captain Morales.

The Florida A&M Army Reserve Officer Training Corps program traveled to Jacksonville last weekend to compete in a three-day Ranger challenge. The challenge consisted  of rigorous events that tested the cadets’ physical and mental strength. 

Captain Dvante Morales believes his cadets have improved individually and developed comraderie during the Ranger challenge. 

“They definitely developed comraderie,” Morales said. “They pushed themselves through the growing pains while keeping morale high.”

The Brigade commander kicked off the 2020 National 6th Brigade Ranger Challenge competition with his officers in charge. The cadets were briefed on what was expected throughout the challenge. 

Following the briefing was continuous challenges that went of for more than 48 hours.

The “Rattler Battalion” cadets participated in a relay which was comprised of a 100-meter sled carry with 95 pounds of weight, a sprint relay, and a two-mile run with a five-gallon water jug. The cadets marched for approximately 15 miles throughout the three days. 

The Ranger challenge tested the cadets’ abilities to execute tasks under stress and how to work as a team. The cadets also participated in: stress shoot, hand-grenade assault course, and written land navigation, tactical field care, call for fire, and titan challenge. 

Rainfall made its presence known as the cadets were faced with another challenge to complete their tasks in the rain.

The Rattler Battalion had two teams competing in the challenge, each led by a team captain. There was an improvement from the previous year as the Rattler Battalion finished in the top 50 percen t. 

Devin Myrick, the Team A captain, was pleased with his team’s performance. “They all exemplified qualities of grit, tenacity, personal courage, leadership, perseverance, and discipline,” said Myrick. “Each of them pushing themselves to their limits, and giving a portion of their individuality for the good of a higher order.” 

Team B captain, Te-Andre Brown, was proud to be a captain of a team of young cadets. “From a mental aspect, it was challenging because you have to take into consideration different personalities and strengths,” Brown said. “I enjoyed leading my young group, and I hope I was able to teach them lessons so that they can be in my position one day.”

The Rattler Battalion has commissioned future leaders of the U.S Army since 1948. The battalion was established under the first professor of military science and tactics, Major Clarence M. Davenport Jr.  

The ROTC cadets will begin preparing for the next Ranger challenge in the coming weeks.