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Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets to hold 12th annual Platoon Tactical Challenge

March 10, 2017

Teams of cadets cross Stroubles Creek as part of the 2016 Platoon Tactical Challenge.

Cadets use ropes to make their way across Stroubles Creek above the water.
Teams of cadets cross Stroubles Creek as part of the 2016 Platoon Tactical Challenge. The annual event happens no matter the weather.

The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will participate in the Platoon Tactical Challenge, an all-day corps-wide competition on March 18.  

The Platoon Tactical Challenge is a situational training exercise consisting of several stations. In all, 26 platoons of cadets will run the course and negotiate the challenges at each station in the fastest time possible.

“The purpose is for cadets to further develop their leadership skills, work as a cohesive unit, and hone in on their personal strengths and weaknesses,” said Cadet James Heck, this semester’s regimental operations officer and a senior from Ashburn, Virginia, majoring in mining engineering.

“This year’s Platoon Tactical Challenge will be more difficult than those of years past. This year we are giving cadets more control, forcing them to find their own way through the course and make decisions that are most beneficial for their platoon,” Heck said.

The challenge begins at 7 a.m. and will continue most of the afternoon. The community is invited to watch. Locations include the Duck Pond and the corps’ obstacle course on Smithfield Road.

Each platoon is made up of 30 cadets: the platoon leader and sergeant and four seven-cadet squads. Cadets have been training for the challenge since the start of the spring semester.

The stations include a water crossing, rappelling, item recovery and assembly, and pioneering, which involves building two, five-foot platforms using provided materials, then moving a 55-gallon drum from one platform to the other. There also will be a commander’s challenge, which will remain unknown to cadets until they arrive at that station.

Scoring will be based on how fast the platoon can complete all events without picking up penalties.

Written by Cadet Jasmine Jacobs, a senior from Newport News, Virginia, majoring in public relations

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