At 0600 on Saturday, 2 April 2022, thirty-six Cadets reported to the track to begin the Eye of the Tiger (EoT) Challenge. The first event of EoT was the Physical Fitness Test consisting of a timed 1-mile run, a max set of pushups in 2 minutes, and a max set of crunches in 2 minutes. After a quick change into their camouflage uniform, the Cadets ate a quick breakfast before they reported back out to the track to complete the next event, the Combat Fitness Test. The Combat Fitness Test required each of the participants to complete a timed 880-meter sprint, 2-minute 30-pound ammo can military press, and a course called the “maneuver under fire” which consists of low crawling, high crawling, a buddy drag, a fireman’s carry, and sprint with two 30-pound ammo cans. Most Cadets were already tired at this point, and we had just begun the 27-hour long challenge.
The next event was a team-building exercise that is the most emotionally, mentally, and physically challenging event of the challenge. It required the group to split into two teams, chose a leader, assign roles, and begin a hike from the track to the obstacle course on a path that contains rough terrain for a distance of 1.5km. During this hike, each team was required to carry three 30-pound ammo cans, a large tractor tire, one Cadet on a stretcher, three cadets in a fireman’s carry, plus all of their packs and rifles. They quickly learned the importance of communication and the power of working as a team.
Next up was a timed run through the obstacle course to include a penalty for each obstacle that they did not complete successfully. Then came the wall climb and rappelling event which required the Cadets to scale the climbing tower and then rappel down within a time limit. And then came lunch in the field, where Cadets were able to catch their breath for a few moments before they were tested on their first aid skills. During the life-saving portion of the EoT, Cadets were presented with a scenario of an injured person which they had to bandage, splint, and/or place a tourniquet on using the training they had received in the weeks leading up to EoT.
Immediately following the life-saving event, Cadets picked up their rifles and packs and began a timed 5km hike which had them traverse several hills, on uneven footing, and even through smoke. Once they had all completed the 5km hike, they were required to hike the 1.5km back to the track where they would eat dinner. Following dinner and once it was dark, the Cadets were split up into 3 or 4-man teams to conduct the “Escape and Evade” event. With less than 2% illumination from the moon, the teams were required to move across the wooded areas in the back of the campus to locate twelve points and to retrieve three markers from key points. Without the aid of flashlights, the teams were set out to walk about 2.5 miles in the dark while also evading the roving patrols of Cadre and TACs. The first team back did so in less than one-and-a-half hours and the last team returned right at the deadline of 2300. Their training on map reading and orienteering worked as every single team was able to locate the required points.
The final exercise of the night was a memory test known as the Keep in Memory Skills (KiMS) test. This event starts with the Cadets being shown a number of objects that they are expected to recall later. After 20-30 minutes of exercise, the Cadets were then given a sheet of paper to record what the could remember of the objects. At this point it was after midnight and several were falling asleep and a number of them forgot to print their name on their paper. The Cadets were then hurried off to the barracks to shower and catch a few hours of sleep. During the course of the day, only one Cadet gave up which is a huge testament to the grit and determination of the group who accepted the challenge this year.
Unfortunately, several Cadets did not arrive as the sandman had them still asleep in their beds as the 0500 Cadet test started. Only 28 Cadets were present for the test where they were not allowed to doze off or they would face failing that event. The musical choice of Corporal Gallivan sounded like what you would hear in an elevator and did its job getting a few of the Cadets a little too relaxed and dismissed. After the test was completed the Cadets were directed to change into their full dress uniform for a uniform inspection and where they were made to individually recite the school song.
For their efforts, all of the participants were next treated to a “warriors’ breakfast” prepared by Flik Dining (our dining hall provider) that included steak and eggs, ham, sausage, fried potatoes, fruit, and the ever-popular chocolate chip pancakes.
The 27-hour evolution culminated with an award ceremony where we presented 18 Cadets with the Eye of the Tiger Patch and Crest. Despite each Cadet truly giving their all during each event, not all of them passed the minimum standards for the required number of events. However, most of those who did not pass only missed it by one or two events. This sets us up for a large group next year who are experienced and more prepared to earn the title of “Official Tiger”.
Those who passed the challenge are pictured below. Congratulations to Great Abiahu, John Classen, Parker Dohm, Aiden Dykstra, George Hohman, Archie Hooper, Kelston Hudson, Keylen Hudson, Phoenix Johnson, Lucas Lopes, Matthew McConnell, Sebastian Medina, Nick Meyers, Michael Morino, Noah Rollins, Michael Silas, Thomas Vaughan, and John Wall.
The Admissions team at Hargrave Military Academy is gearing up for a busy fall season! We have a number of events coming up where families can meet with us. Our goal is to provide each family with the information they need to make an informed decision about their child’s education. If someone you know is considering (or should be considering) Hargrave, please reach out and let us know! We would love to meet with them in person.
Here are the upcoming events where families can meet with our Admissions team:
April 30th – Open House – Chatham, VA
May 5th – Hargrave In Your Town – Houston, TX
May 6th – Hargrave In Your Town – Dallas, TX
May 10th – Hargrave In Your town – Deerfield Beach, FL
June 11th – Open House – Chatham, VA
July 16th – Open House – Chatham, VA
Hargrave develops young men into leaders of character who are prepared for lifelong success.
We are a college-prep boarding school for young men in grades 7–12 & Post Graduate.