NOVEMBER 15, 2006


NSU Army ROTC Ranger Team wins at fall 2006 Ranger Challenge competition

The NSU ROTC Ranger Team shows off the results of their hard work at the First Annual Arkansas Ranger Challenge Competition. The team includes, bottom row from left: Cadet Kryistal Sanders (Claremore, Sophomore), Team Captain Cadet Garret Claxton (Coweta, Junior), Cadet Wyatt King (Turpin, Freshman), Cadet Terry Hill (Kellyville, Junior), Cadet Arthur Clymer (Edmond, Junior); top row, Cadet Derek Parks (Tahlequah, Senior), Cadet Jack Mooney (Big Cabin, Senior), Cadet Wade Koblinsky (Eufaula, Freshman), Cadet Mark Moore (Roland, Freshman), and Team Coach Captain Michael Higgins.

It was a fine day for competition in October as the Army ROTC Ranger Team earned the coveted Scott K. Powell Memorial Award at the First Arkansas Ranger Challenge competition. The team won five of nine events and placed high in the remaining four resulting in an uncontested overall first place finish.

The Ranger Challenge competition is a grueling 24-hour test of military skills, mental strength and physical stamina. The cadets compete in nine events: Two written examinations covering Land Navigation and Patrolling, the Army Physical Fitness Test, One-Rope Bridge, Orienteering, a Sand-bag Relay, the M-16 Disassembly/Assembly, the Hand Grenade Assault Course and a 10-kilometer Ruck Run.

The best and brightest from six schools throughout the state of Arkansas and Oklahoma competed. All teams started with nine members, and in the spirit of “never leave a fallen comrade,” had to finish with all nine.

The NSU Army ROTC Ranger Team consisted of Team Captain Cadet Garret Claxton (Coweta, Junior), Cadet Jack Mooney (Big Cabin, Senior), Cadet Derek Parks (Tahlequah, Senior), Cadet Arthur Clymer (Edmond, Junior), Cadet Terry Hill (Kellyville, Junior), Cadet Kryistal Sanders (Claremore, Sophomore), Cadet Wyatt King (Turpin, Freshman), Cadet Wade Koblinsky (Eufaula, Freshman) and Cadet Mark Moore (Roland, Freshman). Cadets Jerrod Spring (Tulsa, Sophomore) and Mark Plum (Bristow, Sophomore) provided support throughout the event.

Several cadets were lauded for their efforts through recognition for individual excellence by winning select events: Mooney for a perfect score on the Land Navigation written examination, Parks for the fastest time in M-16 Disassembly/Assembly, Sanders for the highest score on the Army Physical Fitness Test. and Parks, Hill and Koblinsky for posting the highest score during the Orienteering event.

“These cadets exemplify what it takes to be an Army officer in today’s world. The stellar outcome of this competition is a direct result of the heart and dedication that they’ve invested and I’m extremely proud of them,” said Team Coach Captain Mike Higgins.

Next up for the NSU Ranger Team is a competition in the spring with details yet to be determined. The team will begin their arduous training regiment early next semester to prepare for the event.

For more information about Army ROTC at NSU, contact Major Jason Junkens at (918) 456-5511 ext. 3066, visit their website at, or stop by Haskell Annex Room 4.

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