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Events and Activities

ROTC offers many opportunities to excel.

Army ROTC is not entirely classroom and field training. There are many opportunities to get to know fellow cadets better and increase your skills in a variety of areas. Cadets voluntarily participate in these events; although some are popular enough they require competition just to make the teams. Summer training programs, which help develop ROTC skills and more specialized military skills, are also available for cadets.

There are two Ranger Challenge events that provide the opportunity for universities to compete with each other by completing several often grueling military tasks.

Ranger Challenge

Every Fall there is an annual Ranger Challenge Competition held at Camp Dodge in Johnston, Iowa. Ranger Challenge is a demanding, non-stop competition designed to provide the ultimate physical and metal challenge to our cadets. Nine-person teams from Army ROTC Departments across the Mid-West compete; those who make it to the final competition truly represent the best Army ROTC has to offer. ROTC members team up by school to match stamina, determination, and military skills in an annual competition called the most demanding intercollegiate contact is the country. "The Warrior Spirit"- That's what Ranger Challenge is all about. Battalion teams leave Ranger Challenge with strong bonds, sharp skills, and a definite feeling of pride and accomplishment.

  • Orienteering
  • Army Physical Fitness Test
  • One-Rope Bridge
  • Hand Grenade Assault Course
  • Rifle Qualification
  • Weapon Assembly/Disassembly
  • Patrolling
  • 10K Road March

Buddy Challenge

Similar to Ranger Challenge, but instead of a nine- person team, participants compete in 2-person teams. Buddy Challenge takes place in the spring at Lawrence, Kansas. The competition consists of 2-person teams from ROTC Departments across the Mid-West competing in the same skills against other schools and competing against cadets from their own school.

Color Guard

It is a great honor for Cadets to participate in the Color Guard, representing our nation's Colors. Members of the Color Guard presents the American Flag at campus social events, ISU Cyclone football and basketball games, the Drake Relays, military appreciation events, and community functions throughout the school year.

Cyclone Battalion Alumni Picnic

Always held the Saturday before classes start, the picnic gives all new and returning cadets the chance to catch up. The Iowa National Guard hosts the picnic, bringing in games and great food. Iowa State Army ROTC Alumni are invited as are the Cadets' and cadre's family members.

Military Ball

This Military Formal is a chance for Cadets and Cadre to be recognized for their outstanding achievements. The formal consists of a guest speaker, dinner, awards ceremony, and an optional dance. This is also a great opportunity for the Cadets to introduce their friends and family to the Battalion.

Winter Survival

A ROTC and Boy Scout Tradition for over twenty years, this event gives the Cyclone Battalion the chance to pair up with Boy Scouts from around the state in training day filled knowledge of how to survive the cold. Water procurement, personal hygiene, fire-building, shelter-building, land navigation and several other skills are taught, while enjoying food, hot chocolate and general camaraderie.

Football Security

Cyclone Battalion Cadets can be found during the football season, pulling security in the Alumni Lots before and during our Big XII Football games. All cadets volunteer to work for CSC Security, ensuring spectator safety and parking awareness.


Every fall and spring the Cyclone Battalion goes to Camp Dodge for a Field Training Exercise. We leave on Friday afternoon and return on Sunday afternoon. Cadets get the opportunity to practice all the skills they have learned to date: they will orienteer on the land navigation course, qualify with the M16-A2 Rifle, go through the Field Leader’s Reaction Course and the Confidence Course, rappel, and many other activities.

Combat Water Survival Training (CWST)

Each Semester cadets participate in the CWST Lab. This includes a 25 meter continuous-swim, jumping from the high dive (3 meters) while blind folded with weapon in hand, swimming 15 meters in uniform while holding a weapon, jumping into the water and removing all gear while still submerged, and constructing a floatation device with the uniform pants. This is generally the most popular lab we hold each semester!

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