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Best Ranger Competition: 27th Annual David E. Grange Jr.

The 27th annual David E. Grange Jr. Best Ranger Competition was held on Fort Benning, Ga., May 7-9.

The competition tests Rangers' ability to shoot, move, and communicate under extreme conditions, said LTC Kevin Brill Ranger Training Brigade's operations officer.

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More than 40 two-man teams began the quest for the title of Best Ranger, but only 25 can say they were able to complete the ultimate Army competition.

"It's kind of like the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Daytona 500, and the World Cup for the Army and the Ranger community," said CSM Dennis Smith, Ranger Training Brigade command sergeant major. "Just to finish it is saying a lot. These competitors are the best of the best."

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The competition started with a four-mile buddy run, a 250-meter swim, and another three-mile run to their first obstacle course. Following the urban obstacle course, teams had to navigate their way across the camp to firing ranges to conduct a series of weapons skills events before moving out again on another buddy run. The day ended with a spot jump and concluded with an unknown distance foot march.

The grueling first day of events, which had teams traveling more than 30 miles, eliminated nearly half of the competitors. Only 26 teams began the second day's events of completing Ranger skills stations that included rappelling, rope climbs, first aid, hand grenades and additional weapons skills challenges. The day ended with an overnight orienteering, or land navigation, course.

Day three began with the Darby Queen, an obstacle course laid out on a one-mile route. Upon completion of the course, teams constructed a poncho raft for use in the Helocast event. The Helocast event took the teams and their poncho raft over a pond and dropped them. Teams were required to utilize their poncho raft and swim to shore. The day finished with a water confidence test, canoe race, and the final buddy run to the finish line.

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"Over the past three days the competitors covered more than 60 miles on foot for over 60 hours without sleep, and very little food intake," said CPT John Vickery, project officer for Best Ranger. "All those teams that completed the competition are really, really good teams. They represented their units well."

MSG Eric Turk and MSG Eric Ross, who represented the U.S. Special Operations Command, captured first. Two other U.S. Special Operations Command teams came in second and third places. MSG Kevin Quant and SSG George Sankey placed second while SGM James Moran and MSG Evert Solderholm took third.

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(This article was adapted from an article by S.L. Standifird, a journalist with the Joint Hometown News Service.)

2010 Final Standings

1st: Team 6--MSG Eric Turk / MSG Eric Ross, US Special Operations Command

2nd: Team 5--MSG Kevin Quant / SSG George Sankey, US Special Operations Command

3rd: Team 7--SGM James Moran /MSG Evert Solderholm, US Special Operations Command

4th: Team 21--SGT Jesse Collins / SGT Michael Malchow, 75th Ranger Regiment

5th: Team 16--CPT Jeremy Shute / SFC Jared Sarten, 4th Ranger Training Battalion

6th: Team 25--SSG Charles Cogle / SGT Frank Horbay, 75th Ranger Regiment

7th: Team 33--1LT Kevin Alger/CPT Joseph Dechauny, 199th Infantry BDE

8th: Team 3--CPT Kevin Toth / MSG Joshua King, 5th Special Forces Group

9th: Team 37--CPT Derrick Anderson / SSG Christopher Malone, 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard)

10th: Team 41--CPT Robert May / 1SG Kevin Dylus, NC ARNG

11th: Team 23--SSG Eugune Mirador/ SGT Jeremy Billings, 75th Ranger Regiment

12th: Team 22--SFC William Greenwood / SFC Gerald McKinny, 75th Ranger Regiment

13th: Team 19--SSG Thomas West / SFC Jose Magana, 6th RTB

14th: Team 40--CPT Christopher Ahiemeyer / SSG Robert Tobin, Rt ARNG

15th: Team 20--SSG Kyle Skaggs / SSG Michael Ayotte, 6th RTB

16th: Team 17--SFC James Anderson / SFC Larry Forrest, 4th RTB

17th: Team 9--SSG Keith Bach / SGT Anthony Vasquez, 3rd Infantry Division

18th: Team 29--CPT Luke Bandi / CPT Ashton Ballesteros, 199th Infantry BDE

19th: Team 26--SSG Wilton Gleaton / SPC Cristob Cruz, 75th Ranger Regiment

20th: Team 27--CPT Adam Patten / CPT Darrell FawSey, 199th Infantry BDE

21st: Team 18--CPT Andrew Smith / CPT Aaron Chonko, 5th RTB

22nd: Team 39--SFC Vernon Kenworthy / SFC Justin Brekken, Human Resources Command

23rd: Team 10--SSG Warren Cash / SSG Danny Shedd, 3rd infantry Division

24th: Team 34--CPT Owen Broom / CPT Mark Breugem, 199th Infantry BDE

25th: Team 44--CPT John Campbell / 1LT Matthew Schachman, 25th Infantry Division
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Title Annotation:INFANTRY NEWS
Author:Grange, David E, Jr.
Publication:Infantry Magazine
Geographic Code:1U5GA
Date:May 1, 2010
Words:731
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