FORT BENNING, GA – Soldiers from the 75th Ranger Regiment bested 53 teams as part of their effort to return the title of “Best Ranger” to Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
During the 2017 Best Ranger Competition, April 7 to 9, at Fort Benning, Georgia, Capt. Michael Rose and Master Sgt. Josh Horsager fought through 60-plus hours of physical, mental, technical and tactical Ranger skills trials to win this year’s competition and bring the title back to JBLM after nine years.
Rose said it wasn’t just the drive to win that compelled him to participate in the annual competition, which is in its 34th year.
“It’s an opportunity to come out here and compete against the Army’s best that they have to offer,” Rose said. “And I know my unit is one of the best units in the Army. It’s good to put our names back on the board.”
This isn’t the first time Rose has competed, and it’s not the first time he has been on the winning team, either. Back in 2014, he won Best Ranger while representing the 25th Infantry Division.
“It is a hard competition and I wanted to prove to myself that I could do this again,” Rose said. “I got an opportunity to come back. It’s not so much of a choice that you can come back year after year; you have to line it up with how your career is progressing. I was afforded the opportunity by my command team to come down and compete again.”
This is the third competition for Horsager, though it’s the first time he’s won. Back in 2013, he came in second place.
“This is something I have looked at my whole career as the pinnacle of being a Ranger,” he said. “It is something I can take back to my unit. It will take me a couple of days to realize that I won.”
In second place were Master Sgt. Chad Stack Pole and Staff Sgt. Carlos Mercado, representing the 82nd Airborne Division, followed by Capt. Robert Killian and Staff Sgt. Erich Friedlen, representing the Army National Guard, for third.
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey said the Ranger Competition highlights the best the Army has, and sets the bar high for what Soldiers should try to be.
“This brings out the best in people,” Dailey said. “This is what we want people to emulate. This is excellence. If we can get our Army ready by making them more physically capable and better at their basic skills — that’s what we require from every Soldier — this sets the principle of what Soldiers should aspire to be.”
The Best Ranger Competition was named in honor of Lt. Gen. David E. Grange Jr., a former Ranger instructor and Ranger department director. Grange also commanded Fort Benning, the 2nd Infantry Division, and the U.S. Sixth Army.