Ranger training at Norwich University dates back to the late 1950s. This training develops leadership skills of selected cadets by requiring them to perform effectively as small unit leaders in a realistic tactical environment under demanding mental and physical conditions.
Ranger training today at Norwich has evolved into a company level organization. Held twice weekly, training includes dismounted patrolling, battle drills, weapons familiarization and MOUT training. Exercises are held throughout the semester and include day and night missions and bivouacs. Physical training is also a large component of the Ranger program. Intense, organized PT is conducted three times weekly.
The culminating event of Ranger training, Cat Eye Weekend, occurs at the end of each year where candidates are able to apply, and are tested on, all the skills that they have learned throughout the year. At the completion of this rigorous event, candidates are awarded the coveted Cat Eyes, signifying membership in the Ranger Company. Ranger Company participation is open only to Army ROTC cadets.
In addition to weekly training in the fall semester, those who are at least second-year cadets are afforded the opportunity to try out for the Ranger Challenge team. Ranger Challenge is a competition that pits a 12-person team against Army ROTC teams from other schools in the region. Norwich University competes against the other senior military colleges in this competition. The competition is held annually at Fort Knox, Kentucky and consists of several events testing cadets’ land navigation skills, physical aptitude, technical knowledge, marksmanship, and endurance in several other physically and mentally demanding events.