2010 - EPISODE 8:
26 obstacles spread over 2,000 meters make this one of the most difficult obstacle courses known to man.
Yesterday, Team 21 Sergeants First Class Malchow and Collins, set the standard at Krilling Range on the second stress shoot of the competition. At sunset, the remaining 26 Ranger teams prepare to set out on the night orienteering course, knowing that daybreak would bring them face to face with the Darby Queen.
Day 3. Camp Darby: the finish line to the night orienteering event. It’s dawn and after 12 hours under a 75-pound pack in search of 25 weigh points on a map and nearly 34 miles on their feet, the Ranger teams arrive at Camp Darby.
Sergeant Major E. Solderholm: We’ll see how our points stack up against the first-place team. Hopefully, we got 'em. I don’t know though, they’re pretty tough.
Team 6, still in first place, is anxious to power through the final day.
MSG Eric Turk: One more event down, bring on the Darby Queen.
This is considered one of the most difficult obstacle courses in the U.S. military. It is one mile long and has 26 obstacles with names like “The Tough One,” “The Weaver,” and “The Dirty Name.” The task, conditions and standards for the Darby Queen are as follows: The Ranger buddy teams must stay together at all times. They must clear each obstacle together. If they do not complete an obstacle, a six-minute penalty will be added to their total time. The fastest time wins.
Sergeant First Class Chad Stackpole: Team 17 is getting ready to execute the course here. They’re one of the teams that I’ve trained throughout this year’s competition. They are currently in 15th place after last night’s orienteering. Right now they’re basically, they’re not so much in survival mode, they can make up a couple spots here. If they could go ahead and maintain on the obstacles and execute every one of them without having any deficiencies. A lot of these teams are coming through here and after walking all night aren’t gonna have any energy and they’re pulling off 30-minute times on the Darby Queen. If these guys are anywhere below the 25-, 26-minute mark, respectably, they’ll do pretty well against the field based off how everyone feels right now.
Sergeant First Class James Anderson: Twenty-seven years this has been going on, you know it’s a small amount of people that finish and to be one of those people it’s…you can’t get anything better than that. Being a Ranger is just, as a whole, it’s a mindset. In Ranger school, you learn about yourself and you learn about how you can overcome being tired and being hungry and still complete a mission. Living the Ranger creed, by living that every day, you know when you’re out doing your job that you can go further and faster. Wearing a Ranger tab and being a Ranger and living it is, you never quit. You just go until the mission is complete.
Stackpole: It’s something to come in here and to fall and take an injury like that, he’s not gonna let it bother him. He knows right now it’s nothing more than a gut check. Being a Ranger, just, never quit. Never give up and continue to drive.
Anderson: You gotta do what you gotta do to finish with the mission.
The final three teams are on course. Team 7, Sergeants Major Moran and Solderholm are in third place with only four events to make a move on the leaders, they are in it to win it. Sergeant Major Moran, the 1999 winner of the Best Ranger, knows it will take everything they have to pull it off.
Sergeant Major James Moran: Fourth place in the Queen, that’s not bad for a couple old Sergeant Majors. We’ve got the swim next, cool us down a little bit.
Team 5, Master Sergeant Quaint and Staff Sergeant Sanke, in second place, have been at the heels of the leaders since the start of the competition 51 hours ago. With 26 obstacles and a mile of hills ahead of them, they’re reaching deep for whatever it will take to overcome Team 6. Master Sergeants Turk and Ross understand that until you cross the final finish line, eight hours from now, nothing is given or guaranteed. At any time, you can twist an ankle, submit to the heat or succumb to the relentless pace. Turk and Ross are turning in a blistering time on the Darby Queen, posting the second fastest time behind Team 21, Malchow and Collins. Team 6 is able to hold off the other teams for now.
Up next, with all your equipment jump from a Blackhawk: the Helocast.
Back To Top