April 9, 2009

183rd RTI hosts JROTC Raider Challenge

By Sgt. Jesse L. Houk
Virginia Guard Public Affairs

FORT PICKETT, Va. — The Fishburne Military School and the Virginia National Guard's 183rd Regional Training Institute hosted the JROTC Raider Challenge at Fort Pickett April 4. 

The JROTC Raider Challenge is a multi-state, annual competition that tests students in five categories including a physical fitness challenge, orienteering, a rope bridge, first aid/litter carry, and a 5-K forced march.

  Raider Challenge

Two JROTC cadets race towards the finish line during the physical fitness test portion of the Virginia Army National Guard Raider Challenge. Eighteen teams competed in the Challenge, which also included land navigation, first aid and a 5k road march. The event was hosted by the 183rd Regional Training Institute at Fort Pickett, Va., April 4. (Photo by Spc. Geoffrey Dudley, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

“It’s good that we come out here and help these students because it allows them the opportunity to see how we conduct ourselves as professionals,” said Master Sgt. Charles R. Flynn, chief instructor for 2nd Battalion, 183rd RTI.

Although hosted by Fishburne Military School, the Virginia National Guard played an intricate role in making the Raider Challenge happen.

Recruiting & Retention Command provided five Soldiers to support the event while the 183rd RTI provided 20 troops. 1st Battalion, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Battalion and the Officer Candidate School section of 183rd RTI all participated in grading and assisting the students in the Raider Challenge.

Meanwhile, the Fort Pickett Maneuver Training Center provided billetting and range coordination for the event.

The eight-person teams representing their schools competed for both team and individual recognition. 

Robert E. Austin, a freshman from Sanford, N.C., represented Lee County High School and was excited to see his team pull together.

  Raider Challenge

Michael Therrien, a JROTC cadet and senior at Thomas Stone High School in Waldorf, Md., performs the Army Physical Fitness Test during the Virginia Army National Guard Raider Challenge at Fort Pickett, Va., April 4. Hosted by the 183rd Regional Training Institute and Fishburne Military School, the Challenge tested each cadet team on their physical fitness and Soldier skills. (Photo by Spc. Geoffrey Dudley, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

“My team did a real good job of working together,” said Austin.

“It’s a lot of teamwork,” said Thomas L. Jones, retired lieutenant colonel and JROTC senior army instructor at Heide Trask High School in Rocky Point, N.C. “It really tests their stamina, their perseverance, and their fitness. When they do this all, give everything they got and then go do these other skill, it’s like playing two football games back to back. At the end of the day this force march is tough on them.”

The Raider Challenge is a change of pace for the Soldiers of 183rd RTI.  Much of their training is centered on producing training exercises that generate more proficient Soldiers. The Soldiers of the 183rd RTI find the Raider Challenge as a different type of motivator.

“The main reason we do this is community service,” said Flynn. “We help high school students as they come through. It lets them interact with us and helps shape how the way they think of Virginia Guardsmen. So it’s good so we can interact with them and they can get a feel of what we are like.”

Official Final Results Of Raider Guard 2009 (April 4)

Overall

  1. Harrisonburg High School (350 Points
  2. Magna Vista High School (340 Points)
  3. Fishburne Military School (290 Points)
  4. Lee County High School (280 Points)
  5. Heide Trask High School (210 Points)

Physical Fitness

  1. Lee County High School (1943)
  2. Massanutten Military Academy (1879)
  3. Harrisonburg High School (1877)
  4. Courtland High School (1822)
  5. Magna Vista High School (1811)

Rope Bridge

  1. Magna Vista High School (2:30)
  2. Lee County High School (2:40)
  3. Harrisonburg High School (2:44)
  4. Fishburne Military School (3:07)
  5. Heide Trask High School (3:19)

First Aid Litter Carry

  1. Magna Vista High School (4:10)
  2. Harrisonburg High School (4:50)
  3. Heide Trask High School (5:29)
  4. Northern Nash High School (5:50)
  5. Fishburne Military School (5:55)

Orienteering

  1. Thomas Stone High School
  2. Fishburne Military School
  3. Courtland High School
  4. Heide Trask High School
  5. Spotsylvania High School

5k Road March

  1. Harrisonburg High School
  2. Lee County High School
  3. Magna Vista High School
  4. Fishburne Military School
  5. Massaponax High School 
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