‘This is the year’

Photo courtesy of Capt. Jason King

“Hey if we’re going to do it, this is the year.”

That was Capt. Jason King to his younger brother Master Sgt. Joshua King, an operations sergeant with 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Campbell, Ky., while discussing the 2015 Best Ranger Competition a few months ago.

The captain, who serves with the Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District, is stationed at Fort Irwin as the resident engineer for the water treatment plant project. He also oversees civil engineer projects repairing storm damage that occurred on Fort Irwin in 2013.

The brothers ultimately did participate as one of 50 teams in the April 10-12 trial held at Fort Benning, Ga. For the senior King, it was his first Best Ranger. His brother had competed three times previously, and had given the older brother “a hard time” about participating. Teams come from units who are eligible to be invited. The 5th SFG sponsored the captain.

Though not finishing, they competed in events such as: the Ranger physical assessment (monotone push-ups and sit-ups, two minutes each); five-mile run followed by a two mile run with armor plates; Malvesti obstacle course; three-mile buddy run on uneven terrain (wooded area and mud creeks); a 700-meter swim; two-mile foot movement with ruck; an urban assault course; three-mile weighted carry foot movement (additional ammo can, approximately 80 pounds added to team); M4 rifle range; day orienteering (three hours of walking through heavy vegetation), and; the 15-mile night foot movement.

“We didn’t do as well as we wanted to,” King said. “In fact we started in last place after the push up and sit up event, but slowly inched our way to 41st place prior to the night foot march.”

King stated he appreciated spending a week with “what truly is the best of the best.”

“These guys are amazing and, knowing that they are on our side, should have everyone confident that we have a very strong force defending our country,” King said. “One competitor did 112 sit ups during the initial physical fitness event. 112!”

The engineer also stated he valued the time with his brother, including conducting an airborne jump during Competitors Week – prior to Best Ranger.

“Jumping with my brother was awesome and well worth all the painful events that would follow,” King stated.