The David E. Grange Jr. Best Ranger Competition will kick off Friday at Fort Benning, Georgia.
The storied and famously tough three-day competition pits two-man teams against each other in back-to-back events. The winning duo will earn the title of Best Ranger.
This year, 50 teams will participate in the competition, which is hosted by the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade.
Units slated to participate this year include the 82nd Airborne Division, the 101st Airborne Division, the 2nd Infantry Division, the Army National Guard, the 10th Mountain Division, 7th Special Forces Group and the 75th Ranger Regiment.
Also competing this year is the Guard's Capt. Robert Killian, who came in second place in 2014 and 2015. His partner this year is Staff Sgt. Erich Friedlein.
Competitors, who must be Ranger School graduates, are put through events that test their physical conditioning, Ranger skills and team strategies. The events are back-to-back and around the clock for 60 hours, allowing little time for rest and meals.
In the past, events included weapons firing, extended road marches, day and night land navigation courses, Ranger skills and parachute jumps. All events are timed, and competitors score points for each completed event. Both team members must complete each task.
The Best Ranger Competition was established in 1982 and has been compared to the grueling Ironman and Eco-Challenge competitions.
Last year, just 24 teams made it into the final day of competition. Of the 50 teams at the starting line in 2014, only 26 finished the competition.
This year's Best Ranger Competition will begin at 6 a.m. Friday. Organizers estimate the competition will wrap up Sunday afternoon.
A formal awards ceremony will take place 10 a.m. Monday at McGinnis-Wickam Hall on Fort Benning.
The Best Ranger Competition is open to the public. A schedule of events is available on the Fort Benning Facebook page. Family members and friends are encouraged to post updates on their teams during the competition using the hashtag #2016BestRanger, @Fort Benning.