Sixty miles over a span of 60 hours with plenty of obstacles and tactical courses, as well as physical and mental challenges.
That’s what Capt. Corbett McCallum, a 1993 graduate of Hornell High School, and SFC Gerald Nelson endured en route to winning the 22nd Annual David E. Grange Best Ranger Competition at Fort Benning last weekend.
McCallum, 30, a former Howard resident and Nelson, 37, of Oklahoma are both stationed at Fort Benning in Georgia. McCallum is an Army Ranger training instructor with the 4th Training Brigade.
On Monday, the pair was honored at the awards ceremony, featuring Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the Army’s chief of staff, as guest speaker and award presenter.
“It’s on par with an eco-challenge or Iron Man competition. It’s not just a physical and mental competition, the skills in the competition are skills they are testing for combat,” said Corbett McCallum, when reached by telephone Saturday afternoon. “They’re not just looking for the strongest and fastest soldiers, they are looking for well-trained soldiers.
“Last year to finish was a big accomplishment,” he added. “This year – to finish it and win it – it’s indescribable.”
McCallum and Nelson finished first with 1,352 points, topping the second-place team by 79.5 points. Of the 23 teams that began the event at 6 a.m. April 22, only 11 teams finished the event April 24 at 2:30 p.m.