Special Operations team takes top prize at Best Ranger Competition

Published: Apr. 16, 2012 at 2:59 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 16, 2012 at 8:49 PM EDT
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(Source: U.S. Army)
(Source: U.S. Army)

FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) - A team from the US Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg won this year's 29thannual Best Ranger Competition Sunday. Master Sgt. Kevin Foutz and Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Payne won the top spot among the 34 teams who competed in the 3 day events. 

In second place for Best Ranger was a team from Fort Benning's Ranger Training Brigade - Staff Sgt. Raymon Santiago and Staff Sgt. Chad Acton. Rounding out the top three, in third place were Sgt. 1st Class Zach Phillips and Staff Sgt. Matt Madiar – representing the U. S. Army National Guard.

The Richard A. Leandri Award went to the 101st Airborne Division's Captain Benjamin Schenck and 1st Lieutenant Andrew Rinehart.  The award is named after Richard A. Leandri, who was inducted in the Ranger Hall of Fame for his dedicated support of the US Army Rangers. 

[SLIDESHOW: 2012 Best Ranger Competition]

Leandri was also the founder of the Clairborne Rangers, a group who supported the Ranger Olympics, which later became the modern day Best Ranger Competition.  This award is normally awarded to the team with the best time after the first night of events. 

The trophy for the best combined foot marches, the Captain Russell B. Rippetoe award, went to Captain Erik Edstrom and Staff Sergeant Sean mcapline of the 3rd Infantry Regiment. The team finished Friday's 15.5 mile foot march from Camp Rogers to Camp Darby in 3 hours and 15 minutes and Friday's foot march of 14.8 miles in 2 hours and 56 minutes. 

The teams were honored for their stamina and endurance on post Monday morning. Of the 50 teams that started Friday, only 34 finished the 3-day, 60-hour long event.

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