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Awards / Honors

Army ROTC takes 1st place nationally at 21st annual Bataan Memorial Death March

March 25, 2010

This past weekend, CSU Army ROTC took first place in the 21st annual Bataan Memorial Death March, a 26.2 mile march through the high desert terrain of White Sands Missile Range, N.M. This marathon is conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health, and in many cases, their very lives.

Courage, sacrifice, and unprecedented will

The CSU champion cadets as they march through the New Mexico White Sands Missile Range. The winning team includes: Scott Geers, Nathan Seitz, Ryan Donaldson, Michael Doryland and Peter Hertlein.

As the years have progressed, fewer and fewer WWII Bataan survivors have been able to attend the event which honors their courage, sacrifice, and unprecedented will to survive.

As the New Mexico sun rose on the dawn of race day, emotions ran high as the American flag waved overhead and the playing of Taps reminded the thousands of spectators and participants of that solemn event of 1942.

As fighter-jets roared overhead, and a cannon thundered, the tributary race began.

Combat boots and heavy packs

This year, CSU's Army ROTC focused on competing in the heavy category. This category requires a team of five to carry a minimum of 35-pound packs (water excluded), wearing combat boots and Army combat uniforms for the duration of the marathon. In addition to a five man team, three cadets also competed in the heavy category as individuals.


The cadets followed an intense training cycle specifically tailored for the event which began immediately after winter break. Training consisting of forced marches between 8 and 24 miles with 35 to 50 pound packs. Additional fatigue factors were implemented by adding four 5-gallon water jugs which the eight competitors were forced to carry as a team over rough terrain for up to 10 mile increments.

The challenging marathon course included grueling uphill stretches.

CSU Army ROTC Team

  • Ryan Donaldson
  • Michael Doryland
  • Scott Geers
  • Peter Hertlein
  • Nathan Seitz

Painfully accomplished goal

With a strong rivalry against the University of Wyoming (the champions for 2008 and 2009), the CSU heavy team set out to take the title home; painfully, they accomplished that goal. The CSU Cadet Team’s time was 5 hours, 45 minutes, and 22 seconds.

The five-man team completed the course besting Wyoming's winning times for the previous two years, and secured first place out of ROTC Heavy teams nationwide by over 15 minutes as the West Point Black and Gold Team took second place honors.


Contact: Joy Sholts
E-mail: joy.sholts@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-1637