John Gefelman and Joshua Camiller, Ferris State University students enrolled in the university’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), were selected to compete in the rigorous Ranger Challenge at Fort Knox, Ky.
“It felt really good to be chosen,” said Gefelman, a junior from Carson City studying Pre-Med. “It showed me that my hard work had been recognized and paid off.”
Camiller, a junior from Jenison majoring in Criminal Justice, said that he was “honored to be given an opportunity” to represent Ferris.
The cadets met rigorous physical challenges to be chosen for the challenge and joined selected members of Ferris ROTC’s sister company at Central Michigan University at the October event in Fort Knox.
Approximately 300 students from universities across the United States competed in six challenges during the three-day event.
Gefelman worked alongside Camiller to prepare for the Ranger Challenge as well as during the event, which included extreme tests of agility, stamina and strength.
Neither cadet had prior experience with the Ranger Challenge or Fort Knox. Camiller and Gefelman agreed that the experience was challenging and rewarding.
“The land navigation course was by far the worst; it was pitch black and each one of us were covered in mud,” Camiller said. “We couldn’t find anything to save our lives, but it was so much fun. It was cool to compete with new faces and learn new things from others.”
A land navigation course requires students find several posts in the ground using only coordinates from a map. To obtain the coordinates, students used a protractor, a compass and degree ratings.
Cammiler and Gefelman were friends prior to the challenge, and were proud to compete in it together.
“We stuck together and helped each other when we needed it,” Camiller said. “It felt good to have a friend along for the experience.”