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DVIDS - News - Miami of Ohio University Captures UW-Madison NROTC Fall Invitational Title - FlagSpin

DVIDS – News – Miami of Ohio University Captures UW-Madison NROTC Fall Invitational Title

MADISON, Wis. (Oct. 15, 2022) – The Miami of Ohio University Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) unit won the overall University of Wisconsin-Madison’s NROTC Fall Invitational Drill Meet and Urban Adventure Race (UAR) title here, Oct. 15.

More than 200 midshipmen from five NROTC units competed in the one-day event on the UW-Madison campus. The Wisconsin Badger battalion planned and ran the entire invitational that has been an annual autumn event for 49 years. In 2020, the invitational was canceled due to COVID-19.

“It feels really good,” said Midshipman 1st Class Kelley Smith, 21, from Cincinnati, the battalion commander. “At the beginning of the semester, I set the expectations of coming here and winning the Wisconsin drill meet. It feels really amazing to travel eight hours (from Oxford, Ohio) and see us achieve our goal.”

The Miami of Ohio RedHawks NROTC Battalion, who have competed in the annual event since 2014 and last won in 2015, scored a total of 844.2 points to win by 87.5 points over second place and last year’s overall winner the University of Illinois (756.7). The host unit, Wisconsin, finished in third place with (637.5), Marquette University followed with fourth (596.7) and the Chicago NROTC Consortium (Northwestern, Illinois Institute of Technology), universities rounded out the top five.

“It means a lot to the unit and is definitely a morale boost”, said Smith, a United States Marine Corps-option midshipman. “When we arrived here the energy was high, but I could see throughout the day it getting much higher. We’re a smaller unit, so it’s a matter of pride to come here and do well.”

The invitational included military drill competitions, a physical fitness run around the campus and a rifle and pistol shooting competition. A Flag Football tournament was also held along with a game of “Jeopardy” on Navy and Marine Corps knowledge.

Miami of Ohio Midshipman 1st Class Naya Smith (no relation), 21, a senior from Rochester, Michigan, and another Marine–option midshipman, said the planning and participating in events like the Wisconsin NROTC Fall Invitational will help up when she commissions as a Marine Corps 2nd Lieutenant and get to her first unit in the fleet.

“I think having the experience of volunteerism (in activities and events) will teach us how to instill that in our units in the Marine Corps. It also helps to motivate our people to want to be

involved in things and not feel like they have been ‘voluntold’ to do things, Midshipman Naya Smith said.”

Another Marine-option and coordinator of the Miami of Ohio drill teams, Midshipman 3rd Class James Coursey, 19, a sophomore from Shelbyville, Kentucky, said it took a lot of early morning work and practice time preparing for the event.

“It means a lot to come here and win. The drill teams and the other teams put in a lot of time and effort. I’m really proud of everyone,” Coursey said.

What makes the Wisconsin event unique is the Urban Adventure Race (UAR), a four-midshipman race around the university campus. The UAR averages between 6.2-miles and 9.2-miles depending on the weather and construction on the campus. The event includes exercise stations on the course. Each exercise station was worth points that were computed into the overall UAR time.

“I think the event went very well,” said Capt. John Barnett, commanding officer and NROTC Professor of Naval Science for the Wisconsin unit, who was hosting his second invitational since becoming the commanding officer in 2020. “I think we had a great morning and afternoon of military exercise, building Esprit de Corps and networking.”

The competition began early in the morning with the UAR around the university’s campus. The course began at the Department of Naval Science building and consisted of several exercise stations that included pull-ups, buddy carries up and down Bascom Hill, that looks over the center of town and the state capital building, and several U. S. Marine Corps exercises out on Picnic Point on the shores of Lake Mendota. The competitors finished at the NROTC building. Miami of Ohio University took first place in the adventure race finishing with 200 total points. Illinois placed second with 160 points edging out third place Marquette who collected 130 points. Wisconsin and the Chicago Consortium finished 4th and 5th respectively in the UAR.

In the pistol and rifle competition, held at an indoor range in Deerfield, Wisconsin. Miami of Ohio finished first with 180 total points in rifle (100) and pistol (80). Illinois scored 150 total points, 100 points in pistol and 50 in rifle to place second.

Also on Saturday, on the university’s band practice field, teams competed in three separate events – platoon rifle drill, squad rifle drill, and color guard. In preparation for the drill competition, the teams spend months practicing precise facing movements in unison. The event was graded by Marine Corps Assistant Marine Officer Instructors (AMOI) from the participating units, who critiqued each movement on the drill field. Miami of Ohio took first place in both the platoon rifle and squad rifle drill. Illinois took first place in Color Guard with 150 points. Wisconsin took home the Flag Football title and Miami of Ohio won the Jeopardy title. Marquette knocked out the most pull ups in the day’s final event before the awards ceremony in the Wisconsin NROTC Department of Naval Science building.

Barnett handed out awards and congratulated all the midshipmen to close out Wisconsin’s 49th event.

The NROTC midshipmen that participated at the Wisconsin NROTC Fall Invitational are among more than 4,000 students enrolled in the NROTC program at colleges and universities throughout the country.

The NROTC program is supported by Rear Adm. Jennifer S. Couture, commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), and her headquarters staff at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois. NROTC was established to develop midshipmen mentally, morally and physically. The program also imbues in them the highest ideals of duty, loyalty and Navy core values in order to commission college graduates as Naval and Marine Corps officers who possess a basic professional background, are motivated toward careers in the Naval service and have a potential for future development in mind and character so as to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government.

NSTC supports 98 percent of initial officer and enlisted accessions training for the Navy, as well as the Navy’s Citizenship Development program. NSTC’s support also includes RTC, the Navy’s only boot camp, also at Naval Station Great Lakes; the NROTC program at more than 160 colleges and universities; OTC at Newport, Rhode Island; and the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) and Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NDCC) citizenship development programs at more than 600 high schools worldwide.

For more information on NROTC visit:

For more news from Naval Service Training Command, visit:

To read more stories and view images and videos, visit the NSTC DVIDs page at

Date Taken:10.15.2022
Date Posted:10.19.2022 12:12
Story ID:431599
Location:MADISON, WI, US 

Web Views:33


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Travis Burnett

Travis Burnett

A pioneer in the flag football community, Travis helped co-found the Flag Football World Championship Tour, FlagSpin and USA Flag. Featuring 15+ years of content creation for the sport of flag football, creating and managing the largest flag football tournaments on the planet, coaching experience at the youth and adult level as well as an active player with National and World Championship level experience.

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