101st Rangers show skills at Best Ranger Competition
Story by Spc. Kelvin Johnson Jr., 40th Public Affairs Detachment
FT. BENNING, Ga. – 101st Soldiers, in four teams of two, competed with the top Rangers from around the world in the Best Ranger Competition April 8-10, 2022.
With 51 teams and 33 total events throughout the three days, the 101st Rangers knew they needed to prepare well for this.
“We have been preparing for months,” said 1st Lt. John Greer, with 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). “We’ve been running and rucking for miles and attacking the Air Assault obstacle course.”
Once they arrived, the 101st Rangers were met with three long days and nights of events that challenged their physical, mental and technical skills.
After the opening ceremony, Day One started with a mass run of 10 miles and a swim across Victory Pond to conquer the Malvesti Obstacle Course. Rangers were then required to complete an ACFT with a gold standard score, followed by a team buddy run, range qualification and a buddy team live fire, firing a variety of weapons along the way.
Finishing off the day was the Darby Queen Obstacle Course, stretching about a mile long, as well as a ruck and night stakes.
“The Darby Queen was probably the most challenging event,” said 1st Lt. Matt McKenzie, with 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). “After all the events we have completed so far, this event tested muscular endurance with the obstacles and uphill runs.”
On the second day of the competition, the events that took place were day stakes and a stress shoot.
The day stakes were multiple lanes covering different types of knowledge, including radio assembly and medical lanes in a hostile environment.
The stress shoot challenged the fatigued competitors, limited on ammunition and time, to hit as many targets as possible.
“I think we are executing well,” said Greer. “We prepared for this. We knew what to expect coming in and our training is paying off. We just have to motivate each other to stay focused.”
Lastly, on Day Three, the Soldiers had to complete a final obstacle course, Helocast, litter hoist and one last buddy run to finish.
The 101st Soldiers remained dedicated. Even after 51 teams became 16, three of the four 101st teams were left on Day Three.
“It was definitely challenging, but as Rangers, we should always be ready for a challenge,” said McKenzie.
At the closing ceremony, Gen. Michael X. Garrett, U.S. Army Forces Command Commander, addressed the Rangers.
“You are the example, and you will teach them,” Garrett said. “You will inspire them because Rangers lead the way.”
From the 101st, 1st Lt. Matthew McKenzie and 1st Lt. Michael Singer took 10th place; 1st Lt. Nicholas Chatel and 1st Lt. John Greer took 11th place; and 1st Lt. Aaron Arturi and 1st Lt. John Ryan took 13th place. The fourth team did not place.
“Winning tomorrow begins with the way you choose to lead today,” said Garrett.