Ocala native could be named U.S. Army Europe’s Best Warrior



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Wiesbaden, Germany – An Ocala native will compete to be named U.S. Army Europe’s Best Warrior for 2014.

Pvt. Benjamin Ranew, a rifleman with Company B, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, is among 29 top U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) Soldiers, Noncommissioned Officers (NCO), and officers who will compete in the USAREUR Best Warrior Competition at Grafenwoehr, Germany, September 14 – 19.

The six-day event takes place at USAREUR’s Joint Multinational Training Command facilities in Grafenwoehr, Germany, and challenges competitors to complete a series of approximately 20 tasks and missions. Competition events are designed to test each warrior’s knowledge, physical and battlefield skills in hands-on and situational testing, and oral and written examinations.


Those events include a day and night land navigation exercise, an obstacle course, a physical fitness test, a hand-to-hand combat tournament, a battlefield medical scenario, and other physical activities. Soldiers and officers also participate in a simulated media interview, write an essay, take a written examination, and demonstrate their military knowledge and bearing for a board of sergeants major.

Ranew said he’s proud to represent his platoon and company “Reckless Platoon” and “Blackfoot Company” of the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry, in the competition.

“I would not be moving on to the USAREUR level without their support and guidance,” Ranew said.

“While I have not yet earned the title of ‘Best Warrior,'” he added, “I believe I embody the necessary skills, attributes, and refuse-to-fail attitude that every soldier, and the Best Warrior, should possess.”

Ranew and his fellow competitors were previously selected as best warriors in local competitions at their units across Europe. The enlisted soldier event here takes place alongside similar events to select USAREUR’s top non-commissioned officer and junior officer.

Winners in each competition category at the USAREUR level go on to compete at the Department of the Army level, October 6–10 at Fort Lee, Va.