This past Friday and Saturday was the annual Commandant's Challenge, which has been going on for 10+ years here at the Academy.
The mission of the Commandant's Challenge is to uphold the cadet standards. In order to inspire men and women to become officers of character and to provide the training required to produce Air Force Officers.
The intent of the Commandant's Challenge is to develop the Air Force Cadet Wing’s appreciation for their History and Heritage through commemorative events in honor of both Fallen Americans and USAFA Graduates in order to instill a sense of pride, humility, and reverence in Cadets through purposeful challenges that enhance the “Warrior Ethos”. It additionally, provides an opportunity for Cadet Squadron Commanders to carry out their squadron’s preparation for Polaris Warrior Training events in order to provide Cadets with a shared sense of responsibility for training.
The CSAR Demo was the first event of the 48-hour training exercise between the Cadet Wing’s 40 Squadrons.
During the CSAR Demo, two HH 60G Pave Hawks flew into the Cadet area above the Tzo. Their mission - To show how trained Airmen conduct precision personnel recovery and combat support in deployed situations. Below is the video of the demo. After the demo was completed the HH 60G Pave Hawks then landed and Cadets were able to talk with the crews and look at the HH 60G Pave Hawks from up close.
Not even 30 minutes later the Cadets began the next event, the Combat Fitness Challenge.
There were 6 portions to the CFC and cadets had to complete them with a partner as fast as they could. Consisting of 20 yards of the buddy carry where they had to switch places after 10 yards, 40 yard sprint, 20 yards high/bear crawl, 30 yards of casualty carry where they had to switch after 15 yards, 30 pushups and finally a 250-500 yard run.
Then bright and early on Saturday morning the cadets had a Ruck "Gear" March out to Jacks Valley where they then completed 3 different courses.
The March began at the Core Values Ramp where cadets had to transport a specified amount of gear which totaled 33 rucks, 15 rifles, vests, 1 jerry can and 1 cot, 2 first aid kits, MREs and 1 sleeping bag per each Squadron from the Cadet Area out to Jacks Valley. They had two hours to complete this stage.
Once they reached Jacks Valley they had to complete three courses. The Obstacle Course, Confidence Course and a Falcon Sprint.
At the Obstacle Course one flight out of each squadron had to complete the course and only had 10 minutes to do so, getting as many people through the course as possible. At the Confidence Course, the cadets again had to have one flight out of each squadron will complete the course and had 10 minutes to get as many people through the course as possible. Finally, the Falcon Sprint which consisted of 6 stages, 20 Burpees, 20 Iron Mikes, 30 Air Squats, a buddy carry, low crawl and finally a sprint.
Overall the scoring for the Commandant's Challenge included time completion, how many from each Squadron participated, any penalties and the number of items/obstacles completed over the two day event.
After the Ruck March to and from Jacks Valley the Cadets gathered on the Tzo for the Closing Ceremonies where the Commandant, General Williams talked to the Cadet Wing and the Cadet Wing Commander C1C Sara Fishbein announced the top three Squadrons of the Cadet Wing.
In third place was Squadron 7!
In second place Squadron 32!
And finally in first place and the winner of the Commandant’s Challenge Trophy was Squadron 6!
To view the rest of the pictures from our coverage of the Commandant's Challenge go to, Galleries - Military Training - Commandant's Challenge. Or click the link below.