More than 100 Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets from 10 high schools as far away as Alaska gathered on Furman University’s campus for the annual Furman Paladin Battalion Raider Challenge held Saturday, March 1.
The day’s events, planned entirely by Furman ROTC cadets, presented high school cadets with a variety of physical challenges while teaching the importance of teamwork and providing a glimpse into ROTC programs at the college level.
Participating cadets came from high schools including Landrum, Pickens, Blythewood, Spartanburg, Clyde A. Erwin, Chesnee, Lugoff-Elgin, Liberty, Charles D. Owen, and Bethel High School from Alaska.
“We are very proud to host these teams of JROTC cadets on the Furman campus each year,” said Lieutenant Colonel Tom Gilleran, professor of military science. “Our cadet leaders experience the complexities of planning, resourcing, executing and scoring a large training event. Our younger cadets get the opportunity to interact with and help motivate the competitors.”
The day started out with a modified Army physical fitness test, then challenged teams to construct and deconstruct a rope bridge over a stream in the shortest amount of time possible. The competition concluded with “The Commanders’ Course,” a six event obstacle course that included everything from log carrying to a tire pull.
“I thoroughly enjoyed working the Raider Challenge for the first time this year. Seeing and guiding these high school cadets so motivated me,” said Jasmin Waites ’17. “The Raider Challenge is definitely a program I want to be a part of for years to come.”