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JMU takes first place out of 47 in ranger challenge

by Hannah Lynn Robinson



The ranger team at James Madison University was named champions of the 2019 Army ROTC Ranger Challenge on Saturday, Oct. 19 at Fort Pickett, Virginia. The cadets took gold after 10 hours of navigating through the woods with heavy rucksacks and completing challenging military tasks including marksmanship and an obstacle course.

“Half of this team will commission in May and I know that they are well prepared to serve our country as Army officers,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Tolman, director of the military science department. “I've been at JMU for three years and have seen the incredible amount of work that they have put into preparing for this competition—they earned every bit of this victory.”

Curt Doescher, team captain for JMU, from Ashburn, Virginia, said that leading the team has been the greatest privilege of his college career. “Our win speaks to the program, its cadets and the alumni base that allows for an incredible atmosphere.”

Katherine Reebals, a freshman and one of the two women on the 11-person team from Ruckersville, Virginia, says that she is proud of the perseverance shown by her teammates. “This win shows that when we work as a team we can accomplish great things.”

JMU has consistently performed well at the challenge and has won the event 13 times since 1987. The victory comes with an invitation to compete in the Sandhurst Competition at West Point against the best teams from around the world in April 2020.

To arrange an interview with Tolman and the cadets, please contact me.

Media contact: Hannah Robinson,, 520-222-2808

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Published: Monday, October 21, 2019

Last Updated: Friday, May 20, 2022

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