The Return of the Best Ranger Competition

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National Guard soldiers 1st Lt. Christian Briggs, left, and Spc. Jerry Marksbury navigate the Malvesti obstacle course, the second event in the Army's grueling three-day Best Ranger Competition on Friday, April 16, 2021 at Fort Benning, Ga. (Photo by: Corey Dickstein/Stars and Stripes)

This past April, 52 teams of Ranger School graduates returned to Fort Benning, Georgia to compete in a series of extreme physical and mental challenges for a chance to be awarded the title of “Best Ranger.” The Best Ranger competition, also referred to as the “Army’s Super bowl,” takes place over a three-day span and consists of highly strenuous activities designed to test physical, mental, and technical capabilities. These individuals participate in various obstacle courses of high intensity, miles-long marches and runs, and weapons and tactics challenges, all while operating on limited sleep and food and while carrying significant loads on their backs.

“Everything we see within the Best Ranger competition is what we would do at some point in combat,”

-Antwan Dunmyer, the commander of Fort Benning’s Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade which hosts the competition.

The Best Ranger competition, which is the signature event of Fort Benning’s annual Infantry Week, was cancelled for the third time in history in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fort Benning officials worked hard to hold the event this year on a smaller scale. 

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