Attention Bob Novak - Read This Letter
Missed Blackmail Opportunity - "Hello Irony!!!"

Best Ranger Competition

The Best Ranger Comptetion was finished at the end of April and will be aired on ESPN on July 3rd.


The extreme physical and mental competition is to determine the best Ranger two-man team in the world. It's a gruelling sixty hour event that covers sixty miles and twenty nine combat tasks with no time for sleep. All events are timed and points are awarded for each event and sub-event.

It's the original Eco-Challenge, Survivor, and The Amazing Race (my favorite show on tv).

The Best Ranger trophy is now named for Ranger Captain Russell Rippetoe who was killed when he tried to help a pregnant Iraqi woman who was luring him into a trap - when he was close to the woman, the car behind her exploded.

Usually, teams from the Army, Navy and Marines compete; however, the competition is open to the public and cocasionally foreign military teams enter. For example, the winners in 2001 were a Marine and an Army Ranger who teamed (and trained) together.

Over the last few years, fewer teams from the branches have participated due to on-going operations (there was no competition last year). In 2002, 43 teams entered but only 18 finished.

Here is what the Best Ranger Competition is comprised of:

Day 1
0700 Competition begins at RTB HQ
PT Test (unknown distance run, pull-ups, push-ups and sit-ups)
Spot Jump (timed Airborne Operation)
Marksmanship (M4 rifle, M9 pistol)
Medical Litter Carry (over 120 pounds for 3 miles)
Canoe Challenge
Begin Footmarch (More than 20 miles with a 60 pound backpack)

Day 2
End Footmarch
Ranger Stakes (skill events - Map reading, weapon assembly - M9, M4, M249 and M240 in less than seven minutes, call for artillery fire, demolitions, grenades, bayonett assault course, clearing a room, communications)
Prusik Climb (60 foot climb and rappel)
Begin Land Navigation (More than 20 mile orienteering course)

Day 3
End Land Navigation
Water Confidence Test
Helo Cast and Swim (exiting a helicopter over water)
Darby Queen Obstacle Course
Timed Buddy Run (have to finish as a team)

Day 4
1000 Awards Ceremony (Ranger Memorial)

For a Day by Day account of the Best Ranger Competition, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (bring back memories Cate?) has it - Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 (the winners). The Army's Official Write Up is here and here.

You'll be able to see all of the gruelling action on ESPN on July 3rd.