By Melvin Taylor, AW2 Advocate
SFC Landon Ranker is a Continuing on Active Duty (COAD) Soldier with 19 years of service. During those years, Ranker has held several positions throughout his military career and has faced many challenges, including a traumatic brain injury (TBI) he sustained during deployment. Nevertheless, Ranker currently continues to serve in the Army as the Battalion Enhance Warrior Physical Training NCOIC at Fort Campbell, KY. Ranker finds this to be his most rewarding job and one that is fueled by motivation he finds in physical fitness.
As a role model, SFC Ranker believes strongly that every wounded warrior should be able to do physical training within the limits of his or her profile. He is a leader that leads from the front when it comes to physical fitness and made this apparent during last year’s Warrior Games. As a Warrior Games competitor, he brought home two gold medals and one silver medal, competing in three grueling events: 440 Meter Track Relay, 200 Meter Free Style Relay, and the 50 Meter Breast Stroke.
Later this month, Ranker will compete in a cycling race in Franklin, TN, cycling 35 miles in preparation for the upcoming Warrior Games Ultimate Challenge in May. The Ultimate Challenge consists of five events, including cycling. Ranker hopes that this will get him one step closer to his goal to be a Warrior Games “Ultimate Champion.”
What inspires me about Ranker is that during all of his success and challenges, his TBI has not slowed him down at all. In fact, instead of seeing his TBI as an obstacle, Ranker sees it as a motivator to inspire himself to go the extra mile. He is not ashamed of his injury and constantly reminds others that if he can go the extra mile—they can too. This winter he plans to compete in an adaptive skiing program in Colorado and plans to continue demonstrating how athleticism can help motivate progress in other areas of his life.