Video by Fort Benning Television, MCoE PAO
FORT BENNING, Ga. – The Best Ranger Competition is a three-day event hosted annually at Fort Benning by the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade.
Now in its 34th year, it is regarded throughout the military community as one of the toughest, most physically demanding competitions in the world. It has grown from a local contest into an Armywide competition to find the Army’s best Ranger team.
The first Best Ranger Competition was held in 1982. Its namesake is retired Lt. Gen. David E. Grange Jr. — a veteran of 20 campaigns in three wars and a former commander of Fort Benning. The field of competitors numbered only 12 during the first competition, earning them the nickname of “The Dirty Dozen.”
In 1984, the competition was expanded to include those serving in Ranger units across the Army. In 1987, participation in the competition was opened to all Ranger-qualified Soldiers.
The Best Ranger Competition made its television debut in 2002. The Outdoor Life Network produced a program hosted by Oliver North. That year, only 18 of the 43 teams to begin the competition finished it. In 2012, the competition was streamed live online for the first time.
Only two competitions have been canceled during the competition’s history: In 1991, due to Operation Desert Storm, and in 2003 because of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The competition includes 26 events on average and they vary from year to year. Events generally fall into two categories: legacy events and mystery events. Legacy events are those that have been part of the event since its inception or for many years. Mystery events are those that remain secret, even to the competitors, in order to test their ability to rise to the challenge.
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