The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Best Ranger: Surviving Day One

Posted on | April 9, 2022 | Comments Off on Best Ranger: Surviving Day One

Staff Sgt. McCain before the Darby Queen event.

After the 19-mile night march, which ended after midnight, Team 41 was in 12th place in the 38th annual Best Ranger competition. The first day’s cut is at 28 teams, so our boys have survived to compete another day, beginning at 9 a.m. at Todd Field. Day One was a seesaw struggle. Team 41 started with a 33rd-place finish in the opening Workout-of-the Day event, but after completing the run-swim-run at Victory Pond followed by the Malvesti obstacle course, had moved up to 26th place.

They kept moving up, completing the Army Combat Fitness Test event in 22nd place. Team 41 really aced the Urban Assault Course event, moving up to 17th place, and the run to the Malone Ranges must have gone well, because they moved up to 15th place. This was a crucial point, because the second day’s cut is to 16 teams for the finals on Sunday, so making it to the top 15 halfway through Day One put Team 41 in good standing to make it all the way. The Pistol Range event didn’t go so good, and they dropped to 17th place, but they killed it in the Live Fire Exercise on Carter Ranger, moving all the way up to eighth place.

That was followed by the Malone Range Movements (another march, I think) with Team 41 dropping to ninth place, and then the Darby Queen obstacle course. This is an extraordinarily demanding event, and it was now 12 hours into a grueling day. Here’s video of the Darby Queen, not showing our team, but giving you some idea of what’s involved:


Team 41 survived this, too, but dropped to 10th place. Here they are at the finish line of the Darby Queen event:

You hear Bob’s little daughter Eliza shouting, “Daddy!” And then her Daddy had to put on a rucksack and do a 19-mile night march.


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