FORT BENNING, Ga. (April 12, 2018) -- Fort Benning is set to host three different competitions April 13 through 17 to draw focus to the U.S. Army Infantry.

As part of Infantry Week, the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade hosts the 35th annual Best Ranger Competition April 13 through 15, the 198th Infantry Brigade hosts the inaugural Best Mortar Competition April 14 through 16, and the 316th Cavalry Brigade hosts the Lacerda Cup Combatives Competition April 15 through 17.

The David E. Grange Jr. Best Ranger Competition is a three-day competition that pits the military's best two-man Ranger teams against each other as they compete for the title of Best Ranger. The competition challenges two-man Ranger teams in events that test their physical conditioning, Ranger skills and team strategies.

The inaugural Best Mortar Competition is a three-day event that pits the military's best four-man mortar crews against each other as they compete for the title of Best Mortar Crew. Mortars provide indirect fire and are organic to the maneuver commander, and they aid in the success of the unit's mission. Their ability to provide high-angle fires is invaluable against dug-in enemy troops. There are currently three major calibers of mortars used by the Army: the 60 mm, 81 mm, and the 120 mm. This competition will field test new tactics, techniques and procedures and will build esprit de corps among the mortar community.

The Lacerda Cup is a three-day competition that tests hand-to-hand skills and close-quarters combative skill as individuals and teams compete in eight weight classes. The Army Combatives program kindles the flame of the Warrior Ethos by providing relevant combatives training to ensure every Soldier is tough and adaptive to changing conditions, more confident in their abilities, and equipped with the tools necessary to dominate the field of battle.

All three competitions take place during "Infantry Week," one of many other such weeks taking place through the year in celebration of Fort Benning's Centennial.

All competitions are open to the public and events are spectator-friendly. A schedule of events will be released to the community prior to the competition, via the Fort Benning Facebook page: www.fb.com/fortbenningmcoe.

While infantry training and doctrine development took place at a number of locations at different times throughout U.S. history, the current U.S. Army Infantry School began as the School of Musketry at Monterey, California in April 1907. Operating at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, alongside the School of Fire from 1913 to 1918, the School of Infantry moved to a new site near Columbus, Georgia, in October 1918, as a temporary post called Camp Benning. As the permanent Infantry School, the post was renamed Fort Benning in 1922.