Valley Forge Military College Wins Coveted Ranger Challenge

Valley Forge Military College Cadets stand together after emerging victorious at the Spartan Ranger Challenge
Image via Valley Forge Military Academy & College
Valley Forge Military College Cadets stand together after emerging victorious at the Spartan Ranger Challenge

Cadets at Valley Forge Military College emerged victorious as the number one military junior college at this year’s Spartan Ranger Challenge held at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The Ranger Challenge is an annual senior Army ROTC competition testing the mental and physical toughness of Cadets from military schools across the nation.

“The teamwork on display from all the Cadets of Valley Forge Military College is inspirational,” said Command Sergeant Major Daniel Beard from 1st Brigade Spartans, United States Army Cadet Command.

“Each demonstrated leadership, teamwork, and resilience in event after event throughout the three days of the Ranger Challenge. These Cadets are amazing representatives of VFMC and the Spartan Brigade. I am proud to be their CSM and humbled to have been able to watch their exceptional performance during Spartan Ranger Challenge.”

The various challenges include a wide range of basic soldier skills including ruck marching, rifle and pistol marksmanship, land navigation, knowledge of doctrine, obstacle courses, a zodiac boat race, and the use of hand grenades.

The three-day event is blind – meaning competing Cadets have no knowledge of the events to come – a test of itself to remain sharp and flexible during the unknown. Eleven VFMC Cadets competed. All are part of the VFMC Early Commissioning Program and will graduate as officers in the US Army Reserve or National Guard.

“This victory highlights the quality of Cadets here,” said Col Stuart B. Helgeson, President, Valley Forge Military Academy & College. Our Cadets are dedicated to going beyond basic requirements and competing and winning under pressure. They are dedicated to excellence, collaboration towards victory, and exude a willingness to develop themselves as the future leaders of our Army.”

Key individuals went above and beyond, enabling the team to thrive, maximize their abilities, and win under pressure.

Army Captain Andy Schrantz was this year’s team coach. 

“He used his perspectives as a collegiate swimmer and experience as an army officer to coach and mentor this incredible team,” said Lieutenant Colonel Joshua A. Meyer, Professor of Military Science, VFMC. “Also, Cadet Nathan Moore, the Ranger Challenge team captain, displayed outstanding leadership during training and competition. Nate ran additional practices to prepare the team and maintained high morale, focus, and motivation during the competition.”

The other military junior colleges included Marion Military Institute, New Mexico Military Institute, and Georgia Military College. Senior military colleges included Virginia Military Institute, the Citadel, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Norwich University, and the University of North Georgia; of which Virginia Military Institute was the winner.

Valley Forge Military College is a private two-year college committed to equipping young men and women to boldly face the challenges of life. It is the Military College of Pennsylvania.

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