25th ID Warriors finish in top five at Best Ranger Competition

| April 22, 2016 | 0 Comments
Left — Capt. David Matthews and 1st Lt. Colton Barber of Team 9 prepare a simulated casualty for evacuation during the Best Ranger Competition 2016 at Fort Benning, Ga., April 16. They went on to finish 4th place overall and plan to compete again in the future.

Capt. David Matthews and 1st Lt. Colton Barber of Team 9 prepare a simulated casualty for evacuation during the Best Ranger Competition 2016 at Fort Benning, Ga., April 16. They went on to finish 4th place overall and plan to compete again in the future.

 

Story and photos by Sgt. Ian Morales
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs

FORT BENNING, Ga. — After months of training, two teams from the 25th Infantry Division competed in this year’s Best Ranger Competition, here, from April 15th-17th.

For 60 plus hours, Capt. David Matthews and 1st Lt. Colton Barber of Team 9, and 2nd Lt. Jeremy Dettmer and Sgt. 1st Class Eric Guevara of Team 10, endured one of the most challenging events the Army offers to test their mental and physical strength.

Sgt. First Class Eric Guevara of team 10 fires his M4 Carbine at a stress shoot range during the Best Ranger Competition 2016 at Fort Benning, Georgia April 15th. This is Guevara’s second time competing and first time representing the 25th ID.

Sgt. First Class Eric Guevara of team 10 fires his M4 Carbine at a stress shoot range during the Best Ranger Competition 2016 at Fort Benning, Georgia April 15th. This is Guevara’s second time competing and first time representing the 25th ID.

“It was a lot more grueling than I expected. Over the course of three days, we got to do a lot and cover a lot of ground. It showed me that I could move a lot further than I thought I could,” said Barber.

Team 9 finished in 4th place, while Team 10 finished in 12th place. Members of both teams are considering competing again next year.

During the competition, the teams were faced with buddy runs, obstacle courses and timed events testing their technical skills as Rangers.

“I think their mental toughness was unrivaled,” said team coach Capt. Hardy Merril. “They really left nothing for the swim back, always pushing themselves one event after another.”

2nd Lt. Jeremy Dettmer of Team 10 scales the first obstacle of the infamous tri-tower challenge, April 16. Team 10 wento on to finish 12th place overall with only 22 other teams out of the 50 that started.

2nd Lt. Jeremy Dettmer of Team 10 scales the first obstacle of the infamous tri-tower challenge, April 16. Team 10 wento on to finish 12th place overall with only 22 other teams out of the 50 that started.

The battles for position were fought fiercely with every point making the difference between staying the course and going home the first day.

Traditionally, 24 teams are cut from the competition after the first night, giving the remaining teams an idea of what they must do to stay in the event.

Team coach and 2013 Best Ranger Competition winner, Sgt. 1st Class Raymond Santiago, said, “I feel they did well. I feel they’ve given their all. You can see throughout the competition just how strong they look compared to a lot of teams over there.”

Pushing themselves to the limit, and then some, helped both Tropic Lightning teams get across the finish line Sunday afternoon.

“The knowledge gained from this experience will help us prepare for the next one,” Barber said. “I have a feeling we’re going to do much better and distinguish ourselves.”

BRC

The next Best Ranger Competition is slated for April 7-10, 2017, at Fort Benning. For more information, visit the Best Ranger Competition page on Facebook or bestrangercompetition.com.

1st Lt. Colton Barber (left) and Capt. David Mathews of Team 9 complete an 8-mile ruck march to their next event, April 15. Team 9 and 22 other teams out of 50 completed the 60-plus hour competition.

1st Lt. Colton Barber (left) and Capt. David Mathews of Team 9 complete an 8-mile ruck march to their next event, April 15. Team 9 and 22 other teams out of 50 completed the 60-plus hour competition.

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