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Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2011

Rangers announce Puckett Leadership Award winner

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The 75th Ranger Regiment announced the 2011 recipient of the fourth annual Colonel Ralph Puckett Leadership Award at an awards ceremony July 1 at the Ranger Memorial.

The recipient is Capt. Todd Elrod from 2nd Battalion.

Five junior officers, representing three of the regiment’s four battalions, participated in the competition. Tasks included the Army Physical Fitness Test, qualify on an M-4, stress shoot, common task testing, land navigation, five mile run, combatives, leaders reaction course, urban orienteering, written exam, essay and board.

The award is named after retired Col. Ralph Puckett, former honorary colonel of the 75th Ranger Regiment and war hero.

“It is an honor and also humbling to have this award named after me,” Puckett said. “There are certainly a number of great Rangers who the Regiment could have named this competition after.” Puckett observed all aspects of the competition.

“All of the competitors are in outstanding physical condition,” he said. “This competition challenges the competitors physically, mentally and professionally.”

As the regiment continues to hold this competition, it improves the combat testing phase every year. For many of the evaluators, this is their second or third year evaluating the competition.

“In my opinion, this competition is even better than last year,” said Puckett. “The noncommissioned officer evaluators are experienced, highly skilled and professional Rangers. These men have brought this competition to a new level.”

The competition tested core Ranger Skills and the ability to think through tactical and complex problems in demanding circumstances and generate successful outcomes.

“It’s an honor to receive this year’s award,” Elrod said. “Col. Puckett is an amazing man. I aspire to be like him and follow his leadership example.”

Select junior officers serving in the 75th Ranger Regiment, who exemplify the values, ideals and character of the Regiment, were nominated for the competition.

There are three Col. Ralph Puckett Leadership Awards presented to outstanding officers on post. An award is presented to the Officer Honor Graduate at the U.S. Army Ranger Course. Recipients of this award perform successfully in each leadership position, complete the Ranger Course without repeating any phase and are acclaimed by their peers. The third Puckett Leadership Award is presented to an officer who displays exceptional leadership in the Maneuver Captains Career Course.

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