Operational Detachment Maverick

History of the Operational Detachment Maverick

About 1962 or 1964, Cadet Ed McKinley started the Insurgent Team (IT), the forerunner of the present Ranger Challenge Team and Operational Detachment Maverick (ODM). One of the first few in the nation, the Insurgent Team was started to teach cadets guerilla warfare and insurgency and counterinsurgency tactics.

In the 1970s, the Insurgent Team reached the height of its popularity. The Insurgent Team would rival the Sam Houston Rifles in membership. To the Insurgent Team members, their weekly drills became real. In an article published Feb. 2, 1973, The Shorthorn wrote, “Everything seemed real. Imagination or whatever, one felt that maybe there really was an enemy out there, someone ready to jump up and kill. Therefore it was reassuring to see a soldier clutching his rifle, his eye scanning the bushes for unnatural movement.”

In November 1990, nine cadets represented the university at the Ranger Challenge championship. Amongst them was Joan Black, the first female cadet to represent the Corps through the Ranger Challenge team.

In August 2015, Operational Detachment Maverick (ODM) was formally created as a way to restructure the Ranger Challenge team and pay homage to the Insurgent Team.

Today, ODM is the program’s primary source of small-unit tactics development for cadets desiring to improve their fieldcraft and physical fitness. ODM training begins with a rigorous tryouts process, modeled after traditional special unit selection programs. For as long as cadets remain on the team, they can expect to train critical military skills like tactics, fieldcraft, and the infamous “ruck march”: a team movement in full uniform conducted with 45-pound packs at paces exceeding 13-minute miles, for up to 12 miles. ODM is a team that offers cadets incredible challenges, development, and camaraderie!

Become a ranger

To join ODM, talk to your cadet leadership once enrolled in the program.