Cadets in UNI ROTC get the opportunity to participate additional training events throughout the year. Several of these take place on campus or in surrounding areas while others take place at Army installations nation-wide. The Panther Battalion conducts one field training exercise (FTX) every semester. FTXs are a way for cadets to put into practice many of the skills they learn in class and in leadership labs. The spring FTX is conducted with the programs from Iowa State, University of Iowa, University of Nebraska, and Creighton University. Cadets also have the opportunity to attend Army schools such as Airborne, go overseas with the Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency (CULP) program, and participate in internships.
Ranger Challenge is a competition held annually at Camp Dodge in Des Moines, Iowa. The competition is often called "15 hours of Pain." Teams consisting of nine members each are graded on speed and accuracy in several events including: Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), rifle marksmanship, one-rope bridge, hand grenade assault course, orienteering, weapons assembly/disassembly, and a 10 kilometer road march with gear and a rucksack. UNI ROTC's nine member team trains weekly throughout the semester for this competition which is open to any cadet in the program.
Similar to Ranger Challenge, but instead of a 9 man-team, participants compete in 2-person teams. Buddy Challenge takes place in the spring at Lawrence, Kansas. The competition consists of 2-person teams from ROTC Departments across the Mid-West competing in the same skills against other schools and competing against cadets from their own school.
Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency Program
In 2016, University of Northern Iowa Cadet, Jack Rollison spent part of his
summer in Peru with the Cultural Understanding and Language
Proficiency (CULP) program. This was a unique experience as the
U.S. cadets lived with Peruvian cadets in the barracks. This allowed
the cadets to experience the day to day life of a Peruvian cadet.
The cadets did everything from making their bed in the morning
to going to classes to conducting physical training. The U.S. and
Peruvian cadets also went to the field and learned the basics of
Peruvian Army weapon systems and land navigation.At the end of the trip, the U.S. cadets gained a deeper
understanding of Peruvian culture and built friendships with their
Peruvian counter-parts. During the mission the U.S. cadets greatly
improved their communication skills by learning to communicate
ideas even when a language barrier exists. Learning to operate and
coordinate with a foreign military and civilian force is a skill that
will stay with the cadets.
Cadet Professional Field Training (CPFT)
Cadets can compete to attend Army schools and other summer training events. These include Army Airborne School which awards the Parachutist Badge (AKA Jump Wings) and Army Air Assault School which awards the Air Assault badge. Cadets must be contracted with ROTC to attend these schools.