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. 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. 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.
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
List of winners
|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|
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