Respect Camp: Blain Reeves

July 04, 2023

Respect Camp: Blain Reeves
Amidst the sweeping landscapes of Colorado and Texas, where the values of hard work and discipline are woven into the very fabric of life, emerges a figure whose unwavering dedication and relentless pursuit of excellence embody a profound philosophy. Blain Reeves, nurtured on a sprawling family farm, internalized the wisdom of his parents, who instilled in him the belief that true success demands unyielding commitment. Rooted in a strong moral foundation, his journey led him through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at Texas A&M University, culminating in an extraordinary military career that witnessed his retirement as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2008. From his debut in the Best Ranger Competition taking 5th place to the very next year where he claimed the title of “Best Ranger”. Blain became a guiding light for aspiring individuals eager to tread a similar path, ultimately finding his purpose within the hallowed halls of the Ranger Training Brigade.

From the crucible of his experiences, a fundamental truth emerged—mental fortitude resides in the tireless pursuit of personal growth and the relentless challenge of one's limits. Unaware of the transformative power that awaited him, Blains' participation in the 1992 Best Ranger Competition became the catalyst for a lifetime devoted to pushing boundaries and embracing formidable trials. As the years flowed, his path intertwined with the arduous courses of "extreme" level competitions and schools, further shaping his character and moral fiber. At the heart of Reeves' philosophy lies a deep understanding that the pursuit of greatness transcends mere physical accomplishments. It is a quest for personal growth and the continual refinement of one's character. With each obstacle surmounted, he exemplifies the connection between effort and virtue, demonstrating that true fulfillment lies not solely in achieving success, but in upholding the ethical principles throughout the arduous journey. His experiences of being humbled, either through self-imposed challenges or witnessing the extraordinary feats of others, foster a deep sense of empathy and compassion. It is within the discomfort of his own pursuit that he finds solace, knowing that by pushing his own limits, he cultivates the wisdom and authenticity that inspires trust and admiration in others.

In a world often dominated by instant gratification and mediocrity, Blain stands as a testament to the enduring values of hard work and discipline. His philosophy calls upon others to embrace the pursuit of greatness, not merely for personal glory, but as a means to cultivate character, inspire others, and contribute to the betterment of humanity. In his unwavering commitment to relentless effort, he illuminates the path to a life lived with purpose, integrity, and moral fortitude.

Best Ranger 1993 Blain Reeves

Blain says, “I really grew up as a kid on a big farm in Colorado from 1972 - 1979 where we raised wheat, barley, hay, alfalfa, cattle, and horses. Then the family eventually moved to Texas where we lived from 1979 - 1987. I learned early on from my parents the value of a good hard day's work & discipline, and that nothing in life comes free. I also had instilled in me the duty to serve something bigger than myself. That early conditioning as a kid eventually had me going through ROTC in college at Texas A&M University, and eventually I wound up in the military as a commissioned 2LT. With an overseas deployment and a couple of other assignments I eventually found myself working at the Ranger Training Brigade. After an extensive amount of mentoring from some very good senior non-commissioned officers, I found myself competing in the 1992 Best Ranger Competition. Although I didn't realize it at the time, that competition became the catalyst for a lot of follow on "extreme" level competitions and schools. Here I am 31 years later still doing the only thing I know....CRAZY!!!!”

Blain finds it difficult to pick out the biggest obstacle he’s overcome in life. “This is hard to answer”, he says. “I would really have to think hard about this because I actively seek out obstacles to throw in front of myself routinely.” Each event presents its own set of obstacles and challenges. Many come in the form of racing/competition; such as cycling, adventure races, and ultra-marathons.

Blain remains in a constant state of being humbled...either by imposing it upon himself or by witnessing others do incredible things. He says, “I am in my happy place when I am uncomfortable because I know that it will only make other situations more tolerable.” He believes that it translates to others as someone who has, “been there - done that” and he continues still today. So there's a bit of "trust" or "bona fides" established, which is reassuring to those he helps and works with.

Best Ranger Competition 1993 Blain Reeves

Blain is laser focused on the Badwater 135 UltraMarathon starting on July 4th 2023. Beyond Badwater he hopes to use his fitness and continue to build on that for some big events in the fall. Blain is passionate about his support of the Project Athena Foundation, a non-profit organization that "helps survivors live their adventurous dreams". “This is such a rewarding thing for me just to witness and participate in LIFE CHANGING events for people. I will always continue to seek out the "grind" just as I have for the past 30+ years.” “Even though,” he says, “it gets tougher with age. I definitely do not plan on stopping or slowing down anytime soon!

I tend to respect everyone the same but I REALLY respect those that know and share the same values of hard work and discipline. This applies to anyone… from any walk of life.”

Best Ranger Competition 2023 Blain Reeves

Blain’s unwavering commitment to personal growth extends far beyond the pursuit of external success or recognition. For him, personal growth is a profound journey that involves continuous self-improvement and the cultivation of one's character. His philosophy goes beyond the realm of superficial achievements and physical accomplishments. He understands that true fulfillment and virtue are found in the relentless effort exerted and the values upheld throughout the journey. It is through this process that one develops resilience, integrity, and a strong moral compass. This perspective emphasizes the intrinsic value of personal growth, highlighting the significance of character development and the adherence to ethical principles. It underscores that the pursuit of excellence is not solely about external markers, but about the internal transformation and the impact this can have, not only on yourself but those around you as well.

By embracing this philosophy, Blain encourages the next generation to prioritize the journey of personal growth, emphasizing the importance of ethical conduct, integrity, and the continual pursuit of excellence. Through this approach, anyone can not only achieve external success but also contribute to the betterment of society and inspire others to embark on their own transformative journeys. This philosophy surpasses the pursuit of external accolades, as he acknowledges that genuine fulfillment and virtue stem from the ongoing dedication and the principles upheld throughout the journey. His philosophy inspires individuals to embrace the profound journey of personal growth, fostering character development, and contributing positively to the world around them.

Also in Ascend Together Initiative

Project Athena Foundation
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"I would have to say that this journey with Project Athena has been the most life-altering experience since my son was born. This adventure and the incredible group of people were the therapy I never knew I needed. It gave me a purpose that I so needed. The 16-week training plan held me accountable and pushed me through mental and physical barriers. It lit a fire under me to do something wonderful for myself and step out of my shell. This experience allowed me to meet the most amazing people that I will be lifelong friends with." - Christy Edwards, 2023 Harbor to Cove.
The National Ranger Association
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Respect Camp: Jon Turner
Respect Camp: Jon Turner

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Growing older it was clear that being outside and engaged with military culture were two of the greatest influences in my life. My family would often let me wander the wooded area alone at age 6, exploring the environment from multiple lenses - one being that of wonder towards the diverse ecosystem while trying to understand how everything worked, and the other from this pseudo-tactical/ survival perspective, sneaking around and blending into the environment with the intent of becoming a commando, a survivalist, someone who could sustain themselves with what was provided. Fieldcraft has been a part of my life for the entirety of my existence.