DuPont Protection Technologies recently had the opportunity to honor some of the best soldiers in the world at the Best Ranger Competition in Fort Benning, Ga. The 60-hour competition features physically and mentally demanding challenges devised by the U.S. Army to determine the best two-man team from the entire United States Armed Forces. DuPont has been a supporter of the event since its inception 29 years ago.
Fifty-one teams from all over the U.S. military competed this year with 17 dropping out after the first day. The order and distances of the events were not known beforehand so teams could not develop a strategy. The back-to-back events include such challenges as a grenade assault course; land navigation at night; rifle shooting with moving targets; a helicopter jump; and what is described as “the mother of all obstacle courses.”
Master Sgt. Kevin Foutz won the Best Ranger title with his teammate Sgt. First Class Thomas Payne. Both are Special Operations soldiers. They said it was teamwork that got them through the tough competition. "Where my weaknesses are, he had strengths. And vice versa. We knew we were going to have to drag each other along,” said Kevin.
Throughout the event, competitors donned body armor, helmets and army combat uniforms (ACUs). DuPont™ Kevlar® brand fiber is used in both soft and hard armor applications and has helped protect military personnel for more than 40 years. In addition, DuPont™ Nomex® brand fiber provides flame resistance for many military uniforms including the FREE (flame-resistant environmental ensemble), A2CU (Army Aircrew combat uniform) and iCVC (improved combat vehicle crewman coverall).
“As a founding partner of the Best Ranger Competition, we are honored to show our continued support for the event and for the men and women of our armed forces,” said Bill Weber, vice president, DuPont Protection Technologies North America. “DuPont began developing products for America’s military over 200 years ago. We are excited to be a part of an event that allows us to support all those who work to keep us safe.”