Visiting Army Reserve builds ROTC obstacle course


The National Army Reserve has worked to build an obstacle course for the SDSU campus.

For their annual training, 108 soldiers in the 424th Engineer Company of Rutland, Vt. are helping out the SDSU campus by building the Ranger Challenge course for the ROTC program. Soldiers from four states, including New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts, are at the university working on the project.

The new obstacle course is expected to be around 1,500 feet in length and about 200 feet wide. The course is going to be ecologically friendly by not moving any of the trees or natural surroundings for the 11 obstacles being built within the course. Much of the course will include height obstacles to help the cadets prepare to jump out of airplanes. The cost to build the obstacle course is coming from the annual reserve training budget. Gene and JoAnn Goodale provided resources for the project. Gene Goodale being retired military, donated all of the equipment for the Reserve to use.

“One of the biggest obstacles is overcoming adverse weather conditions,” 1st Lt. Matthew Huff said.

Rain and wind added an extra challenge to the project.

This course will help train the cadets of the SDSU ROTC program for military service, such as officer training or the Army Airborne School. “It will enhance the confidence of our future leaders,” said Lt. Col. Kory Knight of SDSU’s ROTC program.

Not only will the cadets of ROTC get training, but also the Reserve. With this annual training the soldiers learn a variety of skills.

“It’s good experience for them to work as a team,” Knight said.

After eight days of working on the course, the National Reserve team traveled to Rapid City, S.D., to train with that area’s National Guard team in extended combat training exercises.