Bofinger, CWU cadets win ROTC top honors

ELLENSBURG — Brianna Bofinger of Poulsbo and Central Washington University’s Army ROTC Ranger team took top honors at the 46th annual Sandhurst Competition for military cadets.

The competition was April 20-21 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. CWU cadets bested all other ROTC teams, including those from the Citadel, and squads from the Air Force, Coast Guard and Naval academies.

CWU finished 13th overall, the highest ever for an ROTC team in the history of the Sandhurst competition, which, this year, involved 55 teams, including international squads from Australia, Canada, China, Chile, England and Spain.

“The best equipment, the most talented individuals, and the most elite institutional reputation can’t make up for lack of camaraderie and hard work,” said Major Jay Cook, CWU military science professor.

“(Our) communication and trust is incredibly high. Some schools cultivate individuals; CWU creates amazing teams and that gives us a remarkable edge when we go into competition.”

Cadets competed in 10 events: boat movement, combat casualty first aid and evacuation, land navigation, marksmanship, obstacle course, rappelling, rope-bridge building, weapons assembly and grenade throwing, an encounter with a mock improvised explosive device, and a mystery event that required physical and mental toughness.

Team captain Sean Flanagan, a senior from Cle Elum, said the event is designed to make participants think on their feet. In this year’s event, competitors had to move a 15,000-pound piece of field artillery.


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