Old Guard Rangers leave for elite competition
April 29, 2009
- Four Old Guard Rangers to compete in Best Ranger competition at Fort Benning, Ga.
Four superior Rangers will represent the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) in the 26th anniversary of the Best Ranger Competition at Fort Benning, Ga.
The competition began in 1982, named in honor of retired Lt. Gen. David E. Grange. It was suspended in 1991 for Operation Desert Storm and again in 2003 at the start of operations in Iraq.
With the maximum participation of 50 two-man teams, Cpt. Josh R. Norton and Staff Sgt. Chris L. Malone will be competing and Cpt. Ryan M. Hamel and Lt. Derrick M. Anderson are ready to fill any open slot available. This year marks the first for the Old Guard's participation in the competition.
"Even though it's our first year competing for the unit, hopefully we pave the road for the future teams' success," said Hamel, who is grateful for being given the opportunity to compete.
"We're proving that we're not just a ceremonial unit but also sound tactical leaders with combat experience who are willing to give 110% to cross the finish line," said Malone.
Since the Inauguration, the four Rangers spent the past 100 days rigorously training in preparation.
"The training was self-taught, self-motivating and self-driven with the support of the chain of command," said Norton.
The two teams leave the Regiment with great confidence as their peers and chain of command send them off with best wishes. This competition truly identifies the most capable Soldiers of the Army, said Lt. Col. Robert Forte, 1st Battalion Commander.
"Pace yourselves and have fun, it will be an incredible experience," said Command Sgt. Maj. David Martel, Acting Regimental Sergeant Major.
The nonstop 60-hour competition begins with a physical fitness test on May 8 until May 10 when competitors cross the finish line after the final road march. The best two-man team from the entire U.S. Armed Forces will be announced at an awards ceremony scheduled for May 11.