Tropic Lightning strikes for Best Ranger honors

| April 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

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Story by Nick Duke
Photos by Patrick Albright
Fort Benning Public Affairs

FORT BENNING, Ga. — For the first time since 1995, a team representing the 25th Infantry Division took home top honors at the David E. Grange Jr. Best Ranger Competition.

2nd Lts. Michael Rose and John Bergman came from 13th place after Day 1 to win the 31st annual BRC at the end of Day 3.

Rose and Bergman said they knew where they stood early on, but were focused only on completing the competition rather than winning.

Photos courtesy 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs 2nd Lt. Michael Rose climbs a rope during the Best Ranger Competition, April 11. The  competition placed two-man teams in physically and mentally strenuous situations, ultimately testing their prowess based on a scoring system.  (Photos have been altered from their original form; background elements have been enhanced.)

Photos courtesy 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs
2nd Lt. Michael Rose climbs a rope during the Best Ranger Competition, April 11. The competition placed two-man teams in physically and mentally strenuous situations, ultimately testing their prowess based on a scoring system. (Photos have been altered from their original form; background elements have been enhanced.)

“I wanted to walk away from it, whether we were dropped on the first day or whether we won, knowing that we gave it our best,” Rose said. “We couldn’t have done any better. Even if we had placed 26th or 50th, as long as I knew that we gave it our best, I would be happy.”

Bergman said he knew after the first day that the team would have a chance to move up the leaderboard.

“We were here to compete and hopefully to finish; that was our goal,” Bergman said. “We knew we were somewhere in the middle of the pack (after Day 1), and we were feeling pretty good physically. We were getting through every event, and we knew there were so many events coming up that we knew we’d do well in, so we were excited for days 2 and 3.”

Rose and Bergman’s main competition was Team 32, representing the National Guard and made up by Capt. Robert Killian and 1st Lt. Nicholas Plocar.

Killian and Plocar led after days 1 and 2, and even won the final event, a 4-mile buddy run, but came up just short of overtaking Rose and Bergman.

Rose said after the final buddy run, he was unsure who had won the 2014 BRC.

“I thought they maybe had bested us, but I wasn’t upset by that,” Rose said. “We came in focused on giving it our all, and we gave it our all, so if they beat us, so be it.”

2nd Lt. John Bergman competes in the  Best Ranger Competition. Bergman and teammate  2nd Lt. Michael Rose would go on to the win the competition.

2nd Lt. John Bergman competes in the Best Ranger Competition. Bergman and teammate 2nd Lt. Michael Rose would go on to the win the competition.

Both winners said they were able to lean on one another to make it through the event’s toughest moments.

“As cliché as it sounds, without your buddy, you wouldn’t make it through,” Bergman said. “It’s extremely important to have your Ranger buddy with you, so you can push each other the whole way through, through every event. That’s what kept us going — just trying to make sure we didn’t disappoint the guy that’s with us.”

(Editor’s note: Duke is a staff writer for “The Bayonet,” Fort Benning’s counterpart to the “Hawaii Army Weekly.”)

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Category: News

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