FORT BENNING, Ga. — Infantrymen spring into action here, going head-to-toe in three overlapping Soldier-skills competitions, April 13 to 17.
The Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade hosts the 35th annual Best Ranger Competition April 13 through 15, the 198th Infantry Brigade hosts the inaugural Best Mortar Competition April 14 through 16, and the 316th Cavalry Brigade hosts the Lacerda Cup Combatives Competition April 15 through 17.
The Best Ranger Competition pits 50 two-Soldier Ranger teams against each other in mission-critical skills areas that include running in full body armor, swimming, air assault, land navigation, physical fitness and even turning a poncho into a raft.
Capt. Robert Killian said the event is a three-day endurance test that measures mental acuity as well as physical fitness.
The Combatives Tournament tests hand-to-hand and close-quarters combative skill as individuals and 19 teams compete in eight weight classes.
During the inaugural Best Mortar Competition, Soldiers compete using their 60, 81 and 120mm mortars in high-angle fires.
This first-of-a-kind competition pits teams of 11C indirect fire infantrymen against each other in tactics, techniques and procedures.
Further details of the three events are unavailable as of press time, April 13, because elements of the competition are supposed to be a surprise to the Soldiers, testing their mental and physical agility, and their ability to rapidly adjust to changing and chaotic scenarios, similar to what they’d face on the battlefield.
Pictured above: Fifty two-person teams of Ranger-qualified Soldiers and one team of Ranger-qualified Coast Guardsmen take part in several events to test physical endurance, mental agility, and technical and tactical skills for the 2018 Best Ranger Competition April 13 at Fort Benning, Georgia. The David E. Grange Jr. Best Ranger Competition is an annual event in its 35th iteration to determine the top-performing two-person Ranger team from units across the Army as well as sister services.