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Competition puts Europe’s Army medics to the test

Spc. Edgar L. Garza, nutrition care specialist, 212th Combat Support Hospital, pulls a simulated casualty to a casualty collection point for transport during the 2017 21st Theater Sustainment Command and Regional Health Command-Europe Best Medic Competition in Baumholder, Germany Aug. 30, 2017.

Story by Capt. Jerome Ferrin

30th Medical Brigade

BAUMHOLDER, Germany – Eleven of the 13 Soldiers who entered the combined 21st Theater Sustainment Command and Regional Health Command-Europe Best Medic Competition finished the competition, Aug. 30-31, at Baumholder Training Area.

Only two Candidates from each of the commands will go forward to the Command Sgt. Maj. Jack L. Clark Jr. Army Best Medic Competition.

Capt. Stona Jackson, orthodontist, Dental Health Activity Bavaria, and 1st Lt. Marco Presichi will represent RHCE while “Victory Medics” 1st Lt. Adam C. Eichhorn, Registered Nurse, and Spc. Edgar L. Garza, nutrition care specialist, both from the 212th Combat Support Hospital, will go forward to represent both 21st Theater Sustainment Command and 30th Medical Brigade.

The Best Medic Competition showcases competent medical professionals who can take a Soldier — injured on the battle field — perform immediate lifesaving procedures, and then deliver that patient through the battlespace to definitive care at an Army Hospital such as Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

“The Competition is designed to highlight the importance of the Army Medic,” said Col. Timothy G. Bosetti, Commander, 30th Medical Brigade. “When you hear someone call out ‘medic!’ who is going to come? This event tests the medical skills, the endurance and the resolution of those candidates. So, it gives you confidence that no matter what happens, whatever the situation is, when somebody calls out ‘medic!’ they will come and it will be one of them.”

The event consisted of 16 graded events which included the Army physical fitness test, an eight-mile road march with tactical gear, tactical combat casualty care, a mile run with tactical body armor, weapons proficiency under stress, and other proficiency and physical challenges. Some of the candidates found some tasks more challenging, such as the urban terrain course.

“As a dentist we don’t really handle weapons and move around and jump over walls, so all of that was new to me, but my team mates they told me what to do and we executed perfectly,” Jackson said.

Though the competition was grueling, there were aspects of the challenge which the candidates enjoyed thoroughly.

“My favorite moment was probably the stress shoot,” Garza said. “I want to say it was fun because of the fact you get your workout, you have that high intensity and your blood pressure is going. At the same time you have to fire in a certain amount of time. I think hands down that was my favorite event of the whole competition.”

Ultimately the winners were grateful for the support of their units and families.

“Honestly it is such a blessing,” Eichhorn said. “I’ve got nothing but thanks to my unit and my battle buddies around me, the support they provide everyone. It makes a big difference.”

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