Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Best Ranger Competition

From the Ranger Training Brigade 2005 Best Ranger Competition website:

The Best Ranger Competition is an annual event conducted by the RTB in honor of LTG (R) David E. Grange, Jr., past Director of the Ranger Department and Fort Benning Post Commander.. The original concept for this competition was developed by the Chairborne Rangers of Clearwater, Florida. To determine the best two-man buddy team in the Ranger Department. Over the years the Competition has been expanded to include all Ranger qualified personnel in the United States Armed Forces as well as some foreign countries. The competition is a 3-day event consisting of physical and mental tasks undertaken with very little rest between events. Selected events must be completed to remain in the competition. The historical attrition rate averages approximately 60%. Competitors are not aware of test sequence until arriving at the test site. The competition has grown over the years to be one of the highlights for Fort Benning with multi-media coverage and outstanding guest speakers.
If you ever have the chance to watch the Best Ranger Competition, live or on the Discovery or Military channels, you should. It is a grueling, three-day event that is open to all Ranger qualified personnel. It gives you an idea of just how elite and well trained these Special Operations soldiers are. These "rough men" who watch the night!

The photo is of the 2005 winners crossing the line.

Rangers readying for contest
April 21 challenge couples Ranger skills, triathlon-like endurance events

Staff Writer

The annual Best Ranger competition is just two months away.

But don't bet for a minute that serious training for the event, which started in 1982, hasn't already begun. And not just at Fort Benning, where last year's champions and runners-up reside, but at Army Ranger units around the globe.

The first event in the competition, named for David E. Grange, is scheduled to start at 6 a.m. April 21 at Malvesti Field. The formal awards ceremony will be held April 24.

The competition has been compared favorably to the Eco-Challenge and to Hawaii's Ironman triathlon. It challenges two-man Ranger teams in events that test their physical conditioning, Ranger skills and team strategies.

The events are purposely scheduled back-to-back and around the clock for 60 hours, allowing little time for rest and meals.

The competition is conducted on a "come as you are" basis, with no tasks or events announced prior to the competition. In the past, these events have included weapons firing, extended road marches and land navigation courses, Rangers skills and parachute jumps. All events are timed and competitors score points for each completed event. Both team members must complete each task.

Of the 23 teams that started the 2005 competition, only 11 finished. The competition was not conducted in 2003 because of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The only other time the competition was canceled was during Operation Desert Storm.

Capt. Corbett McCallum, 29, and Sgt. 1st Class Gerald Nelson, 37, of Fort Benning's 4th Ranger Training Battalion, won the event last year and were presented Colt pistols by Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the Army's chief of staff, and then post commander Maj. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley.

Capt. Marc Messerschmitt and Capt. Rick Ahern, also members of the 4th Ranger Training Battalion and winners of the Best Ranger Competition in 2000, finished second in 2005.

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