FORT BENNING, GA — Only 24 of the 49 teams that started the 26th annual Lt. Gen. David E. Grange Jr. Best Ranger Competition Friday remained in the running Sunday when the helocast and swim portion began at Hurley Hill.
Team 21, Sgt. 1st Class Blake Simms and Sgt. 1st Class Chad Stackpole with the 4th Ranger Training Battalion, was in first place after the orienteering, earning the Leandri Award for Orienteering. They also finished first in Friday’s foot march, taking the Rippetoe Award, which is given in honor of Capt. Russell Rippetoe who was killed in Iraq in 2003.
In second place was Team 22, previous winners of the competition, Master Sgt. Daniel Jenkins and Master Sgt. Walter Zajkowski with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, and third place were first time competitors Sgt. Jesse Collins and Sgt. Michael Malchow with the 75th Ranger Regiment.
Sunday’s events included the water confidence test and canoeing down the Chattahoochee River for nearly nine miles.
The final event of the competition was the buddy run, which ended at Lawson Army Airfield’s Freedom Hall, another change from earlier competitions.
“It’s good to change it up,” said Sgt. 1st Class Corey Hawkins, 5th Ranger Training Battalion. “A lot of these guys have competed before, and the changes keep it interesting. The Best Ranger Competition is three days of hell, and it’s a big deal, a sense of accomplishment just to finish it.”
The first team to cross the finish line was Team 46, Capt. Samuel Linn and 1st Sgt. Robert Carter with 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.
However, the overall winners were Team 21, Stackpole and Simms, who finished the four-mile run in second place.
Final team standings:
1st – Team 21 – 2483 points – Sgt 1st Class Blake A. Simms and Sgt 1st Class Chad E.W. Stackpole, 4th Ranger Training Battalion, Ranger Training Brigade, Fort Benning, GA
2nd – Team 22- 2396 points – Master Sgt Walter J. Zajkowski and Master Sgt Daniel E. Jenkins, US Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, NC
3rd – Team 7 – 2165 points – Sgt Michael A. Malchow and Sgt Jesse A. Collins, 75th Ranger Regiment
4th – Team 8 – 2151 points – Staff Sgt Brandon K. Farmer and Staff Sgt Luke R. McDowell, 75th Ranger Regiment
5th – Team 31 – 2138 points – Staff Sgt Michael C. Mutchie and Staff Sgt Miguel A. Antia, 4th Ranger Training Battalion, Ranger Training Brigade, Fort Benning, GA
6th – Team 46 – 2094 points – Capt Samuel E. Linn and 1st Sgt Robert F. Carter, 5th Bde, 2nd ID
7th – Team 23 – 2050 points – Sgt Maj Jesse D. Boettcher and Master Sgt Eric J. Turk, US Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, NC
8th – Team 29 – 1976 points – Sgt Jeremy K. Billing and Cpl Troy V. Jenkins, 75th Ranger Regiment
9th – Team 43 – 1970 points – 1st Lt Thomas M. Halverson and 1st Lt Michael J. Luth, 4th Bde, 4th ID
10th – Team 27 – 1920 points – Staff Sgt Benjamin C. Hunter and Staff Sgt Ian B. Hunter, 75th Ranger Regiment
11th – Team 16 – 1904 points – Staff Sgt Raylan J. Heck and Staff Sgt Adam J. Angisanio, 6th Ranger Training Battalion, Ranger Training Brigade, Camp Rudder, FL
12th – Team 33 – 1864 points – 1st Lt Chris S. Migliaro and Sgt 1st Class Jordan A. Martell, 4th Bde, 4th ID
13th – Team 24 – 1863 points – Maj Jose D. Salinas and Maj Edward A. Sedlock, 199th Infantry Regiment, Fort Benning, GA
14th – Team 17 – 1852 points – Sgt Edward F. Killmeier and Spc Michael E. Pierce, 75th Ranger REgiment
15th – Team 20 – 1779 points – Maj Pete S. Kranenburg and Sgt 1st Class John S. Przytulski, 1st SWTG
16th – Team 26 – 1735 points – Capt Ronald L. Garberson and Capt Anthony B. Aguilar, US Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, NC
17th – Team 49 – 1638 points – Sgt 1st Class Mark E. Breyak and Sgt 1st Class Steve W. Fields, SWC NCOA
18th – Team 5 – 1592 points – Sgt 1st Class Derek G. Wise and Sgt David M. Paul, 25th Infanty Division
19th – Team 14 – 1554 points – Capt Stephen P. Magennis and Capt Todd M. Tompkins, Maneuver Captains Career Course, 199th Infantry Regiment
20th – Team 45 – 1534 points – Capt Lloyd B. Wohlschlegel and 1st Lt Raymond A. Kuderka, 2-27 In, 25th Infantry Division
21st – Team 38 – 1516 points – 1st Lt Anthony J. Kivlehan and 1st Lt Alex B. Armstrong, 4th Bde, 4th ID
22nd – Team 35 – 1492 points – Capt David M. Cochrane and Staff Sgt Anthony L. Fuentes, 6th Ranger Training Battalion, Ranger Training Brigade, Camp Rudder, FL
23rd – Team 28 – 1310 points – Capt Robert B. Killian and 1st Lt Grant R. Barge, 10th Mountain Division
24th – Team 34 – 1297 points – 1st Lt Lauren A. Gore and 1st Lt Benjamin R. Juvinall, 4th Bde, 1st ID