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4ID Medics Test Skills during Iron Horse Best Medic Competition

Sgt. Dong Moon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 299th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, executes a litter carry course at the Medical Simulation Training Center as part of the Iron Horse Best Medic Competition at Fort Carson, Colo., Oct. 4, 2017. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Daniel G. Parker)

Story by Capt. Daniel Parker

14th Public Affairs Detachment

FORT CARSON, Colo. – 4th Infantry Division medics challenged their minds and bodies during the Iron Horse Best Medic Competition here Oct. 3-5.
Staff Sgt. Mitchell D. Walker, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, served as a planner and evaluator for this year’s IHBMC.
“The important thing about a competition like Iron Horse Best Medic is that it allows those medics that already distinguished themselves with either EFMB or CMB to continue advancing their skills to perform at the top of their practice,” said Mitchell.
The expert field medical badge or the combat medic badge are required for soldiers to participate in IHBMC. Both badges set medics apart either through rigorous training or combat experience.
For Sgt. Seamus K. O’Neel of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 299th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st SBCT, this competition proved difficult.
“You gotta give it your all to move on and progress, and it shows you what you’re capable of when normally you don’t really get the opportunity to compete against your peers,” said O’Neel. “There’s nothing easy about it.”
It began with the Army Ranger Physical Fitness Test at Pershing Field followed by a 100-question exam. Competitors also conducted simulated medical evaluation and casualty treatment lanes at the Medical Simulation Training Center. The third and final day culminated with a 12 mile foot march.
4th Inf. Div. Surgeon, Lt. Col. Mark Stackle, believes this competition showcases the talents of Ivy Division medics.
“They are not only great medics and professionals who are certified to render aide,” said Stackle. “They are also outstanding soldiers, and this competition gives a chance to kind of highlight both aspects of that.”
The Ivy Division has a 100-year long history of service, and medics have been an integral part of that history since the division’s activation Dec. 10, 1917.
“The 4th Infantry Division has utilized medics on the battlefield since the First World War,” said Mr. Joseph E. Berg, 4th Inf. Div. museum director. “They have really provided that thread of care for the combat soldier throughout the existence of the division.”
1st SBCT “RAIDERS” took home the top two spots for the 2017 Iron Horse Best Medic Competition.
Sgt. Dong Moon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 299th BEB, and Sgt. Andres Fernandez, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Bn., 9th Inf. Reg., achieved the highest overall scores, respectively, and they will progress and prepare for the Army Best Medic Competition.
IHBMC served as the final test for the top two 4th Inf. Div. medics to compete at the 2017 Command Sgt. Maj. Jack L. Clark Jr. Army Best Medic Competition Oct. 28 to Nov. 3 at Joint Base San Antonio and Camp Bullis, Texas.

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