Northern Warfare Challenge tests ROTC member’s mental and physical abilities

Nearly two dozen US Army ROTC teams made up of 115 cadets from all around the Midwest met Saturday to test their winter survival skills.

Teams of five competed in the fifth annual Northern Warfare challenge in a timed 22.5 mile ruck march including a 3,600 ft. march up the La Crosse bluffs. Team members also carried backpacks weighing roughly 50 pounds while completing the course.

The event is meant to challenge cadets both mentally and physically by presenting obstacles they may encounter in a real-life winter environment.

Organizers said there are reason’s the course is laid out the way it is.

“Our goal is to physically challenge our cadets. We want to give them an opportunity to compete and also to practice their physical skills but their critical and their creative thinking skills,” said U.S. Army professor of military science Jane Brannan.