Best Ranger Competition

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U.S. Army Capt. James McClare and 1st Lt. Anthony Day participating in the 2016 Best Ranger Competition.

The David E. Grange Jr. Best Ranger Competition is an annual competition held in Fort Benning, Georgia hosted by the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade. It is a two-man team competition where competitors must be active military who are Airborne Ranger School Qualified.[1] While competitors must meet the aforementioned qualifications, the event itself is open to the public.


In 1981, a civilian organization was formed under the name of Chairborne Rangers, Inc. The organization was formed under Dick Leandri, who was a personal friend of the former Commanding General of Fort Benning, Lieutenant General David E. Grange, Jr. Leandri wanted to honor Grange, so he and several other businessmen formed Chairborne with the purpose of supporting an event.[2] The popularity of the event has grown so much since its inception, that many bases hold Pre-Best Ranger competitions to select the best teams available.

BRC History[edit]

In July 1981, the Ranger Department was asked to design and conduct a “Ranger Olympics” in order to identify the best two-man Ranger team in the Army. From the very beginning the objective was clear. The competition should place extreme demands on the team’s physical, mental, and technical abilities as Rangers. The standards of performance must vastly exceed those required of the average Soldier.

The Best Ranger Competition has been appropriately named in honor of Lieutenant General David E. Grange, JR., former Ranger Instructor, Ranger Department Director, and Commanding General of Fort Benning.

The first two Best Ranger Competitions were held as competitions between teams from each of the three Ranger Department Divisions. But in 1984 the Competition was expanded to include teams from throughout the Army. Interest in the Best Ranger Competition has risen to such a high level that many of the participating commands now conduct preliminary competitions to select the teams which will represent them at Fort Benning each year.

The Best Ranger Competition is an established event which Rangers throughout the military community regard as one of the toughest, most physically demanding competitions in the world. The competition has grown from a local contest into an Army-wide competition. To support this ultimate test of physical, mental, and technical abilities, many hours of planning, preparation, and coordination are necessary. Special recognition goes out to the “Chairborne Rangers” from Clearwater, Florida. This group of patriotic and civic-minded citizens conceived the idea for this competition. They have supported the Best Ranger Competition from the very beginning. Their continued support is greatly appreciated.

1 Typical qualifications: a. Expert in profession b. High level of physical and mental stamina

2 Characteristics: a. Average age: 28 b. Average height: 5’10” c. Average weight: 165 d. Rank: Specialist to Major e. Volunteer f. Airborne Ranger qualified g. Decathlon caliber h. Soldier – athlete i. 26% are prior competitors

3 Preparation process a. Exceeds Ranger PT standards b. Volunteers for competition c. Rigorous train up phase at unit d. Unit identifies 2 man buddy teams e. Unit conducts preliminary trials f. Unit selects final teams g. Teams report to RTB h. 60+ hours of continuous competition

4 Best Ranger Statistics a. 60+ Continuous hours b. 60+ miles covered on foot c. Competitor carries 80+ pounds of equipment during competition d. No programmed sleep e. 26 military tasks i. Move ii. Shoot iii. Communicate

5 Historical event listing a. Best Ranger Physical Readiness Assessment (multiple physical events combined over an unknown distance and duration) b. RPFT (Push-ups, Sit-ups, 2 mile run, and Pull-ups) c. Malvesti Obstacle Course d. Marksmanship (M4, M9, M240B, M249, M203, Shotgun, and Foreign weapons) e. Water Confidence Test f. Airborne Operation g. 20+ mile foot march h. Map reading i. Call for fire j. Use of military GPS k. Operate military communication devices l. First aid m. Knot test n. Weapons assembly o. Demolitions p. Hand grenades q. 20+ mile orienteering course r. Helocast and swim s. Darby Queen obstacle course t. Numerous buddy runs u. Numerous unknown distance run or foot movement v. Multiple combat oriented stress shoots w. Canoe or boat movement x. Multiple mystery events (competitor receives no information on event until they arrive at starting point) y. Mountaineering and climbing


The event has been cancelled two times since 1982. The first was in 1991, due to Operation Desert Storm, and the second was in 2003 during the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

List of winners[edit]

Year Soldier Soldier Unit
1982 SFC Philip Sebay SFC Charles Light 3rd Ranger Company, Benning Ranger Division
1983 SSG Michael Tilson SSG Kevin Connell 2nd Ranger Company, Mountain Ranger Division
1984 SGT David Bazemore III SGT Gregory Georgevitch 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
1985 SSG Harvey Moore, Jr. SGT Paul Scurka HHC, 75th Ranger Regiment
1986 SGT Paul Scurka SGT Bart Sexton HHC, 75th Ranger Regiment
1987 SSG Joe Ullibari SGT Ross Wilson 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
1988 SGT John Schlichte SPC Karl Schlichte 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
1989 SGT Guy Fichtelman SGT Mike Sonnenschein 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
1990 SSG Mark Sheehan SSG Bobby Beiswanger 4th Ranger Training Brigade
1991 Canceled due to Operation Desert Storm.
1992 SFC Tom Wilburn AFC Alven Brashier 5th Ranger Training Brigade
1993 CPT Blain Reeves SSG Erik Wilson 4th Ranger Training Brigade
1994 CPT Edward Garcia 1LT Michael Richardson 82nd Airborne Division
1995 SSG Eric White CPT Michael Trisler 25th Infantry Division
1996 SSG Jeff Struecker SPC Isaac Gmazel 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
1997 LT Hansen LT Robishaw 101st Airborne Division
1998 SFC Eric Riley SSG Thomas Smith 4th Ranger Training Brigade
1999 SSG Teran SSG Moran Ranger Training Brigade
2000 2LT Messerschmitt 2LT Ahern IOBC Detachment
2001 GYSGT Keith Oakes SFC William Patterson 5th Ranger Training Battalion
2002 PT Duane Patin SSG Daniel Jenkins 5th Ranger Training Battalion
2003 Canceled due to the Invasion of Iraq.
2004 SSG Colin Boley SSG Adam Nash 75th Ranger Regiment
2005 CPT McCallum SFC Nelson 4th Ranger Training Battalion
2006 SFC John Sheaffer SPC Mikhail Venikov 75th Ranger Regiment
2007 MAJ Liam Collins MSG Walter Zajkowski United States Special Operations Command
2008 SSG Cherry SSG Broussard 75th Ranger Regiment
2009 SFC Simms SFC Stackpole Ranger Training Brigade
2010 MSG Turk MSG Ross United States Special Operations Command
2011 MSG Turk MSG Walter Zajkowski United States Special Operations Command
2012 MSG Kevin Foutz SFC Thomas Payne United States Special Operations Command
2013 SFC Raymond Santiago SFC Timothy Briggs Ranger Training Brigade
2014 2LT Michael Rose 2LT John Bergman 25th Infantry Division
2015 SFC Timothy Briggs SFC Jeremy Lemma Airborne & Ranger Training Brigade
2016 Capt. Robert Killian Staff Sgt. Erich Friedlein Army National Guard


  1. ^ "The Competition". Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  2. ^ "About Best Ranger". Retrieved March 2, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Best Ranger Competition at Wikimedia Commons