FORT BENNING, GA. - Part of being a Ranger in the United States Army is accepting the challenge to be the best. When the opportunity of being the best of the best came in the form of an Army competition, the challenge was too good to pass up for the son of a Cherokee woman.
Staff Sgt. Kyle D. Skaggs, son of Bonnie Prell of Cherokee, recently competed in the 27th Annual David E. Grange Jr. Best Ranger Competition for the chance to be one of the best.
"It has been something I have always wanted to do ever since I saw the competition for the first time on ESPN when I was young," said Skaggs, a
2005 graduate of Washington High School. "I am always looking to challenge and better myself."
The Best Ranger Competition covers more than 60 miles in 60 hours with various events in a marathon style "Ranger Olympics" that includes running, marching, swimming, obstacle courses, marksmanship, orienteering, and basic
Ranger skills events like parachute jumps, rappelling and first aid.
For Skaggs, the preparation for Best Ranger was almost as rough as the competition itself.
"We started training a couple of months prior," said Skaggs, who was representing a 4th Ranger Training Battalion team. "Our only job was to prepare. We did three hard days and two lighter days, using weekends to recover. We did three to five workouts a day ranging from weight lifting, running, ruck marching, body armor runs, swimming, and working on skill sets."
Hour after hour, mile after mile, and event after event, Skaggs gave everything he had to be one of the final teams standing at the very end of the competition. Regardless of the results, he can take pride in knowing he competed in one of the most difficult competitions the Army has to offer.
"I hope this competition pushes me harder than anything ever has," said Skaggs. "Anything this difficult, if you don't come to win, you fail."
With the 2010 Best Ranger Competition now behind him, Skaggs is weighing his options about returning for another go at being the Best Ranger.