Embry-Riddle ROTC Team Wins Place in International Military Skills Contest

Soldiers on an Army obstacle course
Cadet Patrick Irvine and Cadet Theodore Race navigate the Ft. Moore, Georgia, obstacle course during the 2024 6th Brigade Ranger Challenge Competition. (Photo: Army ROTC Public Affairs Officer)

Cadets from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Army ROTC have once again won an opportunity to compete against the best military teams in the world at the international Sandhurst Military Skills Competition April 26-27, at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

“This is the fourth time in the past five years that Embry-Riddle will be represented at this prestigious event, which brings together ROTC programs and military academies from around the world to compete,” said Lt. Col. Jerome Reitano, commanding officer of the Daytona Beach Campus Army ROTC program. “We feel incredibly fortunate to be able to represent the university and 6th Brigade at this event. Only 16 of the 274 Army ROTC programs in the country get an opportunity to compete in Sandhurst. This team understands how remarkable this achievement is — not only to do it once, but to have been able to learn from their previous experiences.”

The Embry-Riddle team earned its spot at Sandhurst after placing second in the 6th Brigade Army ROTC Ranger Challenge held Jan. 27-28 at Fort Moore, Georgia. Teams marched with 45-pound rucksacks nearly 20 miles, while competing in a series of physical events that included marksmanship, an obstacle course and tactical casualty care.

“This year’s team, while mainly comprised of new cadets, is led by a veteran senior class that has the experience required to know what to train for and how to do it,” said Reitano. “In addition, the coach, Master Sgt. Jonathan Avery, developed a top-tier and highly demanding — both physically and mentally — training schedule that the cadets execute multiple times throughout the week. It was evident after winning the fastest overall time and marksmanship portions of the competition that our team is on the right track to be competitive at Sandhurst.”

"The accomplishment of qualifying for Sandhurst is a huge payoff for the work we’ve put in together, as in early mornings and long days of training," said Avery. "Being a well-rounded team this year in all key events, while maintaining our level of fitness, will pay dividends in our approach to the upcoming competition in April."

The Sandhurst competition will feature nearly 50 teams from Army ROTC units across the United States, all U.S. military academies and additional teams from across the globe.