Here's a pretty amazing story about a business graduate at the University of Montana kicking some serious butt! And with that opening line, you might assume I'm talking about some sort of academic accomplishment but that guess wouldn't even be close.

Wow! Now that's impressive!

What comes to mind when you think about what it takes to be an Army Ranger? Probably something like hard work, commitment, and dedication, right? Now ramp it up to the highest level and you have UM grad student and Army Maj. Michael Blanchard. I believe the expression "cream of the crop" is what would be used in this situation. Earlier this month, Blanchard and a partner placed fifth out of over fifty teams at the Best Ranger Competition held in Fort Benning, Georgia. What exactly does that mean? Well, it means that the two of them are considered among the top 10 Army Rangers in the country based on how they placed in the physical competition. Dang!

It wasn't even his best finish in the competition!

Blanchard originally attended UM as a pole vaulter and member of the Griz track and field team in 2006 before returning years later for his current studies. A press release about his latest accomplishment says it was during his first stay in Missoula that he decided to join the military. He would actually compete in the Best Ranger Competition for the first time in 2016 with the same partner and finish third overall. In this latest competition, a 60-hour event spread over four days against other elite Army Rangers, Blanchard was older (34) than most competitors making the team's finish even more impressive.

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Now that training and the competition are complete it's back to school for Blanchard. Oh, and also back to running at least 40 miles every week to stay in shape! I guess you just never know when you'll get the itch to tackle the Best Ranger Competition once again. Check out more with Army Maj. Michael Blanchard and his Best Ranger Competition experience HERE.

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