The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will be participating in the seventh Annual Squad Tactical Challenge on March 24.  

The purpose of the Squad Tactical Challenge is to provide a stressful situation for cadets to develop their leadership. Cadets must train their subordinates over time and plan for the events to be successful. The entire Corps of Cadets began training for this event when they returned for the spring semester, over two months ago. Also, cadets’ leadership and ability to react moment by moment is tested during the event.

“Squad Tactical Challenge is an important event because it gives our units a chance to bond and is a practical application of the leadership skills they have learned in the Corps of Cadets. It is also a fun event we all look forward to each year,” explained the regimental commander, Cadet Col. Amanda McGrath of Springfield, Vt., a senior majoring in history in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and pursuing a minor in leadership studies. McGrath is a recipient of the Duncan A. Macleod '48 Memorial Emerging Leader Scholarship and is a member of Air Force ROTC who will attend pilot training after graduation in May.

Cadets in each squad will be assigned leadership positions at random and will be given a chance to lead in a tactical situation. This year’s challenge will include 65 squads, each consisting of approximately nine cadets. This will be an all day event with the first squad starting at 7 a.m. and the final squad finishing at approximately 4 p.m.

The competition will start at the stop sign just past the 460 overpass on Smithfield Plantation Road. Here squads will receive instructions for the rest of the event. They will move to the obstacle course, the first station of the 11-station event.

Events along the way will include a litter obstacle carry where cadets will have to navigate a litter through an obstacle course; a rope bridge station where squads will have to construct a rope bridge that spans a 25-foot gap and then each navigate the bridge one cadet at a time until all are across; and a station at the rappelling tower where two cadets will be selected at random and required to rappel. The challenge will conclude at Shultz Dining Hall where cadets will be tested on essential cadet knowledge.

Extensive training and planning have gone into the Squad Tactical Challenge. This is an excellent opportunity for cadets of all classes to demonstrate leadership lessons they have learned throughout their time in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. All are invited to stop and watch cadets as they compete in the event.

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