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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2014  08:41:11 AM

Fort Hood LRS Soldiers train for Best Ranger title

Email   Print   Share By Heather Graham-Ashley, Sentinel News Editor
March 27, 2014 | News
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1st Lt. Greg Scheffler and Staff Sgt. Adam Davila, both assigned to Co. C, 2-38 Cav. (LRS), navigate the obstacle course at the Fort Hood Air Assault School March 17 as part of their training to compete at next month’s Best Ranger Competition. (Photo by Heather Graham-Ashley, Sentinel News Editor)
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1st Lt. Greg Scheffler and Staff Sgt. Adam Davila ascend and descend an obstacle while training for Best Ranger.
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1st Lt. Greg Scheffler balances while crossing a beam March 17 at Fort Hood’s Air Assault obstacle course.
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1st Lt. Greg Scheffler, 2-38 Cav. Regt. (LRS), low-crawls under wires at the Fort Hood Air Assault School’s obstacle course March 17 while training for the Best Ranger Competition.
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Staff Sgt. Adam Davila and 1st Lt. Greg Scheffler work on their times assembling weapons while training for the Best Ranger Competition.
While the rest of their unit is deployed to Kosovo, four Long Range Surveillance troopers have been training for the 2014 Best Ranger title.

The four Ranger-qualified Company C, 2nd Battalion, 38th Cavalry Regiment (LRS) Soldiers representing Fort Hood – 1st Lt. Greg Scheffler, Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Lemma, Staff Sgt. Adam Davila and Sgt. Matthew Kurz – have spent the past four months rucking, running, shooting and perfecting the Prusik and other Ranger skills for this year’s Best Ranger Competition.

“In our community of paratroopers, there’s nothing better,” Lemma, who placed 14th in last year’s competition, said.

The Best Ranger Competition, which will be held April 11-13 at Fort Benning, Ga., is an annual event held to determine the armed forces’ best of the best two-man team.

In the paratrooper community, the competition and its title are significant, but for these Soldiers, it is about more than personal bragging rights.

“You’re competitive side comes out and you want to show you’re the best,” Lemma said.

These troops know their unit is counting on them.

“Our unit left us back from deployment for this because our leadership thought this was a big enough deal,” Davila said. “It’s about esprit de corps and showing them that at the Fort Hood LRS, we’ve got some danged good Soldiers here.”

Full-scale training for the competition began in December and has included rucking marathons, stress shoots, Prusik climbs and rappelling, anything and everything to push their own limits.

“I have pushed my personal limits every day to test my training,” Scheffler said. “We go to 100 percent and push past it.”

A recent training day included a nearly 20-mile ruck march, a 5-mile buddy run, a stress shoot at a Fort Hood range, a timed run through the Fort Hood Air Assault School’s obstacle course, then a Prusik climb up the tower and rappelling down the tower. Once the physical work was complete, they went to work with radios and weapons to practice Soldier tasks.

And they are enjoying this.

“I enjoy competing,” Kurz, who is teamed with Lemma for the competition, said. “I want to be around the best the Army has to offer.”

All four seem to share that drive to excel. Kurz, who completed successfully Special Forces selection last year, will report in May. Davila is a Silver Star medal recipient who previously served with a Ranger battalion, and Lemma and Scheffler have previously competed for Best Ranger.

Still, they admit the competition will not be easy.

“Every part of it will be hard,” Davila said. “I’m dreading the whole competition. I’ve never trained this hard in my life.”

With the intense daily training, Scheffler, who is partnered with Davila for the competition, said getting injured is probably his biggest fear.

“I’m terrified of letting my partner down,” he said.

Throughout the training and with help from coaches, the four have attempted to cover every possibility that could be thrown at them during the 60-hour no-rest, no-food, stress-filled competition. And yet. a level of uncertainty remains.

“They give a list of events that could be on the competition,” Scheffler said.

They hope the training pays off in the end.

“You just train as hard and you can and see who’s best,” Lemma said.
 
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