SAN JOSE, NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS -- Four outstanding teams that were motivated, dedicated, fired up, and hyped up, put their all in the 2019 Raiders Challenge that happened on Monday, December 9th. The teams that participated were Team Stallions, Team Omega, Team Alphaquarters, and Team A-pex. Team Stallions were the Top 8 cadets whose scores will be sent to Saipan for the competition.
Team Stallions was lead by Cadet Pvt. II Sir-Lashu Dela Cruz and consisted of Cadet Capt. Charlene Danganan, Cadet Sgt. First Class Tyler Santos, Cadet Cpl. Kylle Cruz, Cadet Cpl. Mary Manuel, Cadet Sgt. Vincent Manibusan, Cadet Sgt. Osi Reyes, and Cadet Pvt. First Class Devin Cing.
Team Omega was lead by Cadet Pvt. First Class Lucas Manglona and consisted of Cadet Capt. Keyla Flores, Cadet Pvt. I Jesse Aquiningoc, Cadet Pvt. First Class Fyema Pelaez, Cadet Cpl. Gierome Ebora, and Cadet Pvt. II Renato Esteban.
Team Alpha Quarters was lead by C/SFC William Tudela and consisted of Cadet Second Lt. Clarence Rodriguez, Cadet Command Sgt. Maj. Julia Biton, Cadet Pvt I Saim Ali, Cadet Second Lt. Emiliana King, Cadet Cpl. Vince Conanan, and Cadet Pvt. II Nino Pascua.
Team A-pex was lead by Cadet Cpl. Matt Soliva and consisted of Cadet Pvt. II Karl Litulumar, Cadet Pvt. II Karl Subia, Cadet Pvt. II Angela Esteban, and Cadet Cpl. Cheraline Epity.
Cadet Lt. Col. Anne Sanchez, Cadet Pvt. First Class Chad Acollador, Cadet Cpl. Ryan Nuera, and Cadet First Sgt. Marisa King were the graders for the entire event. The first part of the challenge was conducted at Tinian Jr./Sr. High School’s JROTC building. Scores were taken for both the individual events and team events. For the individual events, cadets wore PT attire and ACU’s (Army Combat Uniform) were worn for the team events.
The individual events were done first. Cadets paired up within their teams and performed a minute of push-ups and curl-ups. Next, they moved on to the pull-up bar and had to do as many pull-ups they could in one minute. Those who were not able to do pull-ups were allowed to do the flexed arm hang instead (a timed test on how long someone can hang with their chin above the bar). Finishing up the first half of the challenge was the one-mile run.
Cadets quickly changed into their ACU’s and were inspected before starting the second half of the Raiders Challenge. Starting off the first event was the JROTC Van Push; the teams had to push the JROTC 15 passenger van at a distance of 50 Meters. This event was followed by the road march (which was actually a team run) from the school to Kammer Beach where the second part of the team competition was to take place.
The real fun began as soon as all the teams arrived at the destination. Once again, cadets paired up within their team to work together in order to tackle the second event, the Relay Race. In the relay race, cadets had to flip a 200-pound tire twenty four times at a distance of 30 meters, then run another 30 meters carrying a 5 gallon bucket full of sand weighing 40 pounds, this event was followed immediately with a 20 Meter Low Crawl, finally, the pair had to perform a Fireman’s Carry about 15 Meters then alternate positions until the finish line. However, this did not conclude the event for the team, as the other two pairs had to do the same events, albeit in reverse.
The final team event was the most difficult event, which was the beach assault. Four members of the team had to carry a 20 pound rucksack, while the other two members carried the equipment for a makeshift litter. The team had to walk / run a distance of about 150 Meters four times. At the end of the third lap the team had to stop and assemble the makeshift litter, which were two canopy poles and a shelter half. They usually chose the lightest person on the team, who would serve as the cadet who would be carried in the litter for the last lap. This event was made more difficult as the sand made walking and running extremely difficult!
This grueling Raiders Challenge that happens once a year, not only requires you to be physically fit but mentally, as well, since you have to push yourself to an extreme level. Compared to the Cadet Challenge, cadets have to go through additional events and have to wear the ACU, which is at least twice as heavy as normal clothing, during the second section of the challenge. Nevertheless, Raiders is all about teamwork, motivating each other through the entire event, and finishing strong.
The Top 8 scores will be sent to Saipan for judging amongst other schools. As for the rest of the cadets that took part in the Raiders Challenge, they must score at least a 30% in every individual category in order to obtain the coveted black Raider Cord.
The Stallion Battalion gives a hearty congratulations to the Top 8 and teams Omega, Alpha Quarters, and A-pex for taking part in the 2019 Raiders Challenge. It takes a lot of physical and mental strength to engage in this challenge. Hopefully, this encourages the rest of the cadets from the Stallion Battalion to partake in next year’s Raiders Challenge. What one can take from this is to push yourself and perform to the best of your ability. Plus, you’re going to have a team right by your side, motivating you through it. HOOAH!