2010 Best Ranger wrap-up

lgordon@ledger-enquirer.comMay 10, 2010 

From ledger-enquirer.com/lilygordon:

What a weekend!

I'm sure those of you who were there from Friday through Sunday are feeling the way I do right now: Totally drained.

You know what, though? There's a satisfaction in knowing that I stuck with it and did the best I could telling as many stories I could.

The competitors were awesome. The competition was fierce. All you families were so great and so nice and so supportive. You too deserve a pat on the back. We all do, I think.

In the end, Team 6, consisting of Master Sgts. Eric Turk and Eric Ross earned their Colt .45 pistols and the title of Best Ranger (team). Not too far behind them were Staff Sgt. George Sankey and Master Sgt. Kevin Quant (Team 5). In third place was Team 7 -- Master Sgt. Evert Soderholm and Sgt. Maj. James Moran.

Click on the link to the left to peruse the final results. The page had not yet been updated when I checked it at 8 a.m. today, but I'm sure they'll post everything soon.

A couple of random notes I didn't get to report in today's story:

1. I spoke to retired Lt. Gen. David E. Grange, the man for whom this competition is named, yesterday at Victory Pond. The general looks amazing. He and his wife were all smiles and looked like they were really enjoying themselves.

2. Retired Lt. Col. Joe Rippetoe, the father of Capt. Russell Rippetoe who died in 2003 while supporting combat operations in Iraq, was also in attendance for the helocast and water confidence test events Sunday. The overnight road march that takes place between Days 1 and 2 of the competition is named about Capt. Rippetoe. Lt. Col. Rippetoe told me that coming to Fort Benning always makes him feel young again.

3. Cheryl Ross, wife of BRC winner Master Sgt. Eric Ross, said her husband and Turk have been deployed a lot so far this year. Such a statement makes me think that these guys didn't have that much time to train for the competition together, which to me makes their accomplishment all the more incredible. The two men did compete in, and win, the Baatan Memorial Death March in New Mexico in March, so obviously these guys are in amazing shape and have incredible endurance.

4. Capt. John Vickery, of the 4th Ranger Training Battalion, was a well-spring of information for me this weekend and I wanted to thank him personally. One of the tid bits of information that stuck in my mind he told me while we were following a team through the Darby Queen obstacle course Sunday morning.

He said that the guys who do well in this competition (top three I'd say) will get a letter of commendation for their achievement that will go into their permanent record for all their future commanders to see.

This competition isn't about the cool schwag the competitors get at the end (though it IS really cool and expensive stuff). First off, it's about honor. Second, and I'm reading into what Vickery told me, but I think it's safe to say that it's also about getting a boost in your career.

The last thing I have to say is thank you for following me through the 2010 Best Ranger Competition. Wednesday, this blog will go back to being my kick-butt military blog. I hope you'll continue to keep up with me and all things Fort Benning/military in the future.

Also, if you have any cool stories you'd like for me to tell, please don't hesitate to email me at lgordon@ledger-enquirer.com or leave your comments on my blog: ledger-enquirer.com/lilygordon.

Today I'll be covering the closing ceremony for the BRC. Gen. David Petraeus will be the guest speaker. Come on back to Ledger-Enquirer.com later this afternoon for an update.

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