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Alumnus wins Best Ranger Competition for record 3rd time

April 24, 2019

University of North Georgia (UNG) alumnus and Army Capt. Michael Rose, '11, became the first person to win the David E. Grange Jr. Best Ranger Competition three times when he and teammate Capt. John Bergman earned a victory at the event April 12-14 in Fort Benning, Georgia.

The annual competition hosted by the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade is a two-man team event where competitors must be active military who are Ranger Qualified. Rose and Bergman represented the 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The pair also teamed up to win the Best Ranger Competition in 2014 as second lieutenants when stationed with 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Keith Antonia, associate vice president for military programs at UNG and a Ranger Hall of Fame member, said Rose made UNG proud.

"It takes unbelievable guts, stamina and grit just to complete the grueling competition. In fact, over half the buddy teams consisting of the Army's most elite soldiers drop out from shear mental and physical exhaustion or injury," Antonia said. "Winning the competition is a tremendous feat. Winning a second time is awe-inspiring. But winning a third time is unprecedented and puts Capt. Rose in a category all by himself."

The same weekend as Best Ranger Competition, Rose's younger brother, Paul, was part of the UNG Ranger Challenge team that won the ROTC Cup and finished third at the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition.

Rose's second Best Ranger title came in 2017 when paired with Master Sgt. Josh Horsager. They were stationed with the 75th Ranger Regiment at the time of that win.

Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, commended Rose and Bergman for their victory.

"Their skills were tested, they were stretched to their physical and mental breaking point, and they rose to the test," said Townsend, also a UNG alumnus, according to a report from Bryan Gatchell with the Fort Benning Public Affairs Office. "They did it to test themselves against the very best of the best."

Rose will have his own company command in the near future, an opportunity he eagerly awaits.

"If you train hard, you put in the work now, you put in the sweat, you put in the effort now, when the time comes you're going to be successful, and you're going to achieve what you need," Rose said, according to Gatchell's report. "You're going to bring everyone home. That's what I'm going to take away from the competition. That's what I'm going to take forward as company commander."

Sixteen teams competed in the final round. A mass start run, obstacle courses, a swim in uniform, weighted carries, weapons ranges, marches, and night land navigation were among the events.

The competition is named after Lt. Gen. David E. Grange Jr., father of Maj. Gen. David L. Grange, a 1969 alumnus of North Georgia.

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