A duo from the 75th Ranger Regiment has claimed the coveted title of Best Ranger 2017, officials announced Sunday.

Capt. Michael Rose and Master Sgt. Josh Horsager won this year’s grueling competition, besting a field of 53 teams.

Rose and Horsager led virtually throughout the three-day event, and they held the lead Sunday going into the third day of competition.

Rose is a repeat Best Ranger champion, having won in 2014.

In second place this year were Staff Sgt. Carlos Mercado and Master Sgt. Chad Stackpole of the 82nd Airborne Division. Like Rose, Stackpole also is a previous champion, winning in 2009.

Staff Sgt. Carlos Mercado and 2009 winner Master Sgt. Chad Stackpole, representing the 82nd Airborne Division, came in second place in the 2017 Best Ranger Competition.
Photo Credit: Patrick A. Albright/Army

This year’s third place team was last year’s winners, Capt. Robert Killian and Staff Sgt. Erich Friedlein of the National Guard.

Of the original 53 teams to begin this year’s Best Ranger Competition, which kicked off 6 a.m. Friday, only 21 teams remained to complete the buddy run on the final day of competition.

Capt. Robert Killian and Staff Sgt. Erich Friedlein of the National Guard came in third place in the 2017 Best Ranger Competition. The duo won last year's event, bringing home the Guard's very first Best Ranger title.
Photo Credit: Patrick A. Albright/Army

The annual David E. Grange Jr. Best Ranger Competition at Fort Benning, Georgia, is one of the toughest, most elite competitions in the Army. 

The three-day event, famous for its punishing pace, has been compared to Ironman and Eco-Challenge competitions, and it pits two-man Ranger teams in events that test their physical conditioning, Ranger skills and team strategies.

The competition’s events are scheduled back-to-back and around the clock for almost 60 hours, allowing little time for rest and meals.

Competitors must be graduates of the Army Ranger School.

A formal awards ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Monday at McGinnis-Wickam Hall in Fort Benning’s Marshall Auditorium.