General: Budget issues resolved for Best Ranger Competition

benw@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 26, 2013 

Budget issues for the 30th annual David E. Grange Jr. Best Ranger Competition at Fort Benning have been resolved, clearing the way for the April 12-15 event. Retired Lt. Gen. David E. Grange Jr. said today the three-day competition bearing his name has resolved all budgets concerns amid across the board cuts the federal government has faced since March 1.

“For the young and the old, it’s going to be good for everybody,” Grange said in a telephone interview.

An official decision on the competition comes a day after Fort Benning officials announced the addition of two U.S. Marines Tuesday from Camp Pendleton, Calif., entering the grueling competition.

Fort Benning public affairs spokeswoman Elsie Jackson said Marines Master Sgt. Vincent A Marzi and Gunnery Sgt. Matthew C. Kostielney will take part in the event.

Since it was established in 1982, the Best Ranger Competition has pushed two-man teams to test their physical conditioning, Ranger skills and team strategies. The contest runs for about 60 hours to determine the best Ranger team.

None of the events for the competition is announced in advance although tasks have included weapons firing, extended road marches, land navigation courses and parachute jumps. Each team scores points at the completion of each task.

Last year, 50 teams started the competition but only 34 finished after battling injuries and an extended road march.

The event only has been canceled twice since it was established. The competition wasn’t held in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm and 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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