ROTC obstacle course dedicated

The Goodale-Renz ROTC Confidence Obstacle Course, northeast of the Performing Arts Center, was dedicated September 30 during an event at the site.

Thanks to Gene and JoAnn Goodale, the Goodale-Renz ROTC Confidence Obstacle Training Course is a reality on the SDSU campus. The Goodale family and SDSU ROTC members dedicated the course September 30. Gathering at the course are, front row, from left, JoAnn Goodale, Gene Goodale, 1st Lt. Jared Bloomgren, SFC Brad Jorgensen. Second row: Mike Goodale, Evan Renz, Diane Renz, Lt. Col. Kory Knight, Russ Chavez. (Andrew Bakken photo).

The two-acre course—which includes a rappel tower, a small incline wall and ten ranger challenge stations—was funded through donations from alumni Gene and JoAnn Goodale of Pekin, Illinois, in honor of their family’s commitment and service to the U.S. military.

Gene was active in Air Force ROTC as an SDSU student from 1953 to 1957 and attained the rank of captain during his service as a communications officer. He is a member of the SDSU Foundation Council of Trustees. JoAnn earned her degree in nursing and serves on the development council for the College of Nursing.

Their daughter, Diane, and her husband, Evan Renz, met as ROTC students at SDSU. Diane was commissioned a Medical Service Corps officer in 1983. Evan is a colonel who continues to serve on active duty as director of the Burn Center at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas.

The Goodales’ son, Michael, served as a U.S. Army sergeant from 1990 to 1994. He was an Army ranger in the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu, also known as Black Hawk Down.

Construction of the obstacle course this past summer was a joint training exercise and building project of the 424th Engineer Company of Rutland, Vermont, and the 153rd Engineer Battalion of Huron. The South Dakota Army National Guard members completed the project.


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