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USD ROTC Team Wins Regional Competition

ROTC won the Ranger Competition in Minnesota. The USD ROTC team won the Ranger Competition last weekend at Camp Ripley, Minnesota.

VERMILLION, S.D. – A team of University of South Dakota Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Cadets won first place against teams from South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota in the regional Ranger Challenge Competition last weekend. The last time USD won was in 1990.

The team traveled to Camp Ripley, Minnesota to compete in the 48-hour competition. USD has competed in the Ranger Challenge every year, and it is considered ROTC’s version of a varsity sport.

“Since the start of the school year, our team of warrior-leaders trained tirelessly and entered this year’s competition believing that anything is possible,” said Major Dan Sundberg, chair of the military science program at USD. “This year’s Ranger Challenge was a grueling competition that tested our cadets’ strength, knowledge, teamwork and intestinal fortitude.”

USD will travel to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri to compete against winning teams from Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas on Nov. 2.

“Our team persevered, despite early setbacks, and finished with class,” Sundberg said. “They are a cool, collected and calm group that embodied the ROTC attributes of scholar, athlete and leader.”

The team consisted of the following 11 members.

  • Cadet Tanner Smith, junior - social work (team captain)
  • Cadet Raeann Patrick, sophomore - nursing (team assistant captain)
  • Cadet Sam Powell, senior - business
  • Cadet Jake Preble, senior - business
  • Cadet Cole Clemitson, senior - medical biology
  • Cadet Seth Titus, senior - nursing
  • Cadet Curtis (Shay) Weber, junior - business (Wayne State College)
  • Cadet John Boes, junior - criminal justice
  • Cadet Bailey Dejong, sophomore - medical biology
  • Cadet Austin Shaefer, 2nd year law student
  • Cadet Carter Yungwirth, freshman - biology


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News