By Keith Boydson, Maneuver Center of Excellence Public Affairs /
FORT BENNING, Ga. – After enduring and conquering three-days of intense and grueling competition, the 75th Ranger Regiment team of Capt. Michael Rose and Master Sgt. Josh Horsager captured the 2017 Best Ranger title April 9 over 52 other elite Ranger teams.
The team maintained the number one ranking going into the third day after a strong showing through Saturday night and during the final day of events, which included the Darby Queen obstacle course, Water Confidence Course and the final Buddy Run.
The 75th Ranger Regiment team was able to slip past Staff Sgt. Carlos Mercado and 2009 winner Master Sgt. Chad Stackpole of the 82nd Airborne Division who finished in second place.
“This competition was just as tough as the last one, my body is toast right now” said Capt. Michael Rose, a member of the 2-75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Lewis, Wash., and who was also part of the winning team in 2014. “I’m more proud of this win because we brought the title back to the 75th Ranger Regiment and this one is for them.”
His partner, Master Sgt. Josh Horsager, 2-75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Lewis, Wash., echoed that sentiment.
“This is something I’ve looked forward to since I joined the Army,” said Horsager. “It’s been one of my career goals and I’m proud to represent the 75th Ranger Regiment.”
Rounding out the top three was last year’s winning team of Capt. Robert Killian and Staff Sgt. Erich Friedlein of the National Guard.
Of the original 53 teams to begin the competition, only 21 completed the Buddy Run on the final day of competition.
In his keynote address during the awards ceremony April 10, Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, Vice Chief of Staff, United States
Army, commended all the Ranger teams who competed in the 34th annual David E. Grange Jr. Best Ranger Competition.
“Each one of these great Rangers embraces the Warrior Ethos, and at the end of those few days, they will carry those values and experiences back to the units to train and develop the next generation of leaders,” said Allyn.
The three-day Best Ranger Competition has been compared to the Ironman and Eco-Challenge competitions.
The event challenges two-man Ranger teams in events that test their physical conditioning, Ranger skills and team strategies. The events are purposely scheduled back-to-back and around the clock for 58 hours, allowing little time for rest and meals.
“This willingness to fight through pain, to persevere in the face of adversity and to work together to ultimately triumph, are the hallmarks every one of us holds dear and that ultimately assures success in life,” Allyn said.