SDSU now features new one-of-a-kind confidence course

Nick Lowrey

SDSU’s new ROTC confidence course tests endurance, balance and confidence.

SDSU is now home to one of the few on-campus ROTC confidence courses in the United States.

The new Goodale-Renz ROTC Confidence Obstacle Course was dedicated on Sept. 30, representing a long-term coordinated effort on behalf of the SDSU Foundation, ROTC program, and Goodale family.

Ugene Goodale and his wife JoAnn funded the course in its entirety. After several brainstorming sessions with the SDSU Foundation and ROTC program, the need for a confidence course was identified.

The idea then grew into the only course of its kind in the region. The course contains many obstacles testing balance, endurance and above all: confidence. While a 30-foot rappelling tower dominates the scene..

“We wanted to do something to honor our children who served in the military,” JoAnn said.

“And to help or assist ROTC cadet students,” Ugene added. “Because I was in ROTC and our daughter and her husband were in ROTC here on campus.”

Construction on the new course began last June when the Army Reserve’s 424th engineer company from Rutland, Vt., came to SDSU on their way to Operation Golden Coyote, an annual training exercise held in South Dakota.

Before the course was built, ROTC cadets had to make the eight-hour round trip to Camp Ripley in northern Minnesota to do the training that the new course will provide.

Lt. Col. Kory Knight, an SDSU Professor of military science, said the course would provide cadets with training to help them with team building. The course will also help prepare cadets for many different military training schools.

“I can’t thank the Goodales enough, for helping to develop future military leaders,” Knight said.

“It’s great, it’s good to have,” said Cadet Lt Col. Andrew Larson, the cadet commander of the Army ROTC Company. “It will be good for getting cadets ready for things like the Leadership Development Assessment Course.”

Both of the Goodales are SDSU alumni and work closely with the university. Ugene graduated in 1957 with a degree in civil engineering and a commission in the Air Force. JoAnn graduated in 1959 with a degree in nursing. Ugene is now retired and JoAnn works as a case manager at a private rehab company. They currently live in Pekin, Ill.

“We are dedicating the course to all past, present and future military personnel and their families,” Ugene said.