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About the U of M Army ROTC Ranger Challenge Detachment

Ranger Challenge is the varsity sport of Army ROTC

 The Ranger Challenge Team comprises either a nine-cadet or five-cadet team, with an alternate male and female competitor on each team. Ranger Challenge teams compete against other colleges nationwide in events such as patrolling, marksmanship, weapons assembly, one-rope bridge, hand grenade assault course, Army physical challenging events, land navigation, and forced ruck marches of various distances. Ranger Challenge started at the University of Minnesota in the 1950s. The team won first place in the Task Force competition held at Camp Ripley, Minnesota, and the 3rd ROTC Brigade competition at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, in 2023. The Golden Gopher 9-cadet team is now scheduled to compete in the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition, an international military skills competition at West Point, New York, that first began in 1967 with the presentation of a British officer's sword to the United States Corps of Cadets by the British Exchange Officer.

Ranger Challenge Motto

“Civilize the mind, make savage the body.”

How do you become a member of the elite Ranger Challenge Detachment?

Ranger Challenge hosts tryouts at the beginning of every semester. If you think you are up to the challenge, the tryout consists of a Ranger Physical Fitness Test consisting of two minutes of pushups and sit-ups, pull-ups, a five-mile run, and a forced six-mile ruck march. The minimum standards for males and females to train with the Ranger Challenge Detachment Team are as follows:

Male minimum standards:                                    Female minimum standards:

2 minutes pushups:  42                                             2 minutes pushups:  19

2 minutes sit-ups:  53                                                2 minutes sit-ups:  53

Pull-ups:  6                                                                   Pull-ups:  1

Five-mile run:  40:00 minutes                                   Five-mile run:  45:00 minutes

6-mile ruck with 35 lbs:  1 hour 15 minutes           6-mile ruck with 35 lbs:  1 hour 30 minutes

Incoming male MS I entry-level standards:       Incoming female MS I entry-level standards:

2 minutes pushups:  32                                             2 minutes pushups:  13

2 minutes sit-ups:  43                                                2 minutes sit-ups:  43

Pull-ups:  3                                                                   Pull-ups:  Not required

Five-mile run:  45:00 minutes                                   Five-mile run:  50:00 minutes

6-mile ruck with 35 lbs:  1 hour 30 minutes          6-mile ruck with 35 lbs:  1 hour 45 minutes

Practices and Competitions

The team practices every weekday during the semester, usually in the morning from 0600-0745 and on Wednesdays from 1630-1830. The Ranger Challenge Task Force competition is typically held in October, with the winning team advancing to the regional Brigade Ranger Challenge Competition in November. The top two finishers in the 9-man Brigade Ranger Challenge competition are allowed to compete at the Sandhurst Competition at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY, against teams from around the world.

Only members selected into the Ranger Challenge Detachment are eligible to try out for the Kansas University two-person Ranger Buddy competition held annually in April.