Twenty-one ROTC students from Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla will head to Fort Leonard Wood on Friday, October 15th, to push themselves to the limits in a three-day competition against teams from seven other Midwestern universities. The team that wins the ROTC Ranger Challenge will advance to the broader regional round. Beginning with a rifle marksmanship qualification on Friday, October 15th, the competition will conclude on Sunday, October 17th, with a mystery event starting at 3:30 a.m., immediately followed by what’s known as the crucible—a two-hour undertaking that combines physical and skills challenges. Over the course of the weekend, participants will move up to 20 miles with all their gear, as a team, but will also be scored individually on challenges. Those challenges range from land navigation and the ability to provide emergency medical treatment to tying knots, crawling under barbed wire, and marching six miles with rucksacks that weigh up to 35 pounds. The list of student participants includes three from the Fort Wood area–Ethan Gatzemeyer, a senior in aerospace engineering from Waynesville, Eric Alcante, a junior in undergraduate students from Fort Wood, and Aaron Lucio, a junior in undergraduate studies from Waynesville. The challenge is designed to develop adaptive leaders who can manage mental and physical stresses similar to those experienced while conducting military operations.