Guardsman continues push toward Best Ranger

Staff Report with contributions from Capt. Ryan Hubbs

Road March

Capt. Ryan Hubbs prepares to begin a practice road march at Fort Benning, Ga., in preparation for the 2014 Best Ranger Competition. (Courtesy photo)

FORT BENNING, Ga. — As the weeks dwindle down to the 2014 Best Ranger Competition, training and preparation only intensify for the participants. Capt. Ryan Hubbs, a Kentucky Guardsman from the 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry keeps his eyes on the prize of raising his own Colt pistol in the air if he is named the Best Ranger.

Hubbs, along with other competitors are currently at Fort Benning, Ga., making the most of each day they have preparing for the April event.

“It is important to understand that just being the most physically fit will not guarantee victory, it will only separate you into the next tier. Practicing, strategizing, and rehearsing your techniques are what will separate those competitors at the top.”

“No time is wasted here. Even in our hotel rooms at night we practice rigging our ruck sacks for airborne operations, studying Ranger History, and tying knots for time. The rest of our down time is spent recovering, doing stretches, foam rolling out the knots in our legs, and taking ice baths, followed by Epsom salt baths.”

60ft Rappel Tower

Capt. Ryan Hubbs rappels down from a 60 feet high tower at Fort Benning, Ga., during practice for the 2014 Best Ranger Competition. (Courtesy photo)

Hubbs said the competitors are training 10-14 hours per day, dedicating themselves to the event. He estimates that they run and average of 20-30 miles per week, 4000-5000 meters in the pool and more than 20 miles on road marches. And the mileage only increases each week.

“Each competitor down here is extremely competitive. Everything we do is timed and measured and no one wants a loose a single event. It is a very interesting environment where everyone is extremely encouraging and helpful to each other until it is time to compete and then we all try our best to crush our competition.”

Soldiers from active-duty Ranger units and Special Operations Command teams also compete in the prestigious event. Fo several years, members of the National Guard have competed and have finished well, but Hubbs believes that more Guardsmen will finish strong this year.

“I suspect by the start of Best Ranger the National Guard will have the most physically fit and technically proficient Soldiers in the competition.”

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