By Jose E. RodriguezSeptember 14, 2016
Five Soldiers competed in the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School 2016 Best Medic competition held at Camp Bullis, Texas. The grueling three-day competition physically and intellectually challenges the Army's best medics in a realistic simulated operational environment testing Soldier's tactical medical proficiency and leadership, challenging the Army's best medical personnel. To enter the competition participants must have either the Expert Field Medical Badge or the Combat Medical Badge. All five Soldiers finished the competition, a remarkable achievement in itself as the best medic competition pushes Soldiers to their limits.
This year's top two competitors were Sergeant First Class Daniel E. Cummings, A Company, 264th Medical Battalion, 32nd Medical Brigade, and Sergeant David I. Hull, C Company, 232nd Medical Battalion, 32nd Medical Brigade. They will represent AMEDDC&S at the Army Best Medic Competition (ABMC) October 24 through 27, 2016 at Camp Bullis. Finishing in third and fourth place were Sergeant First Class Antoine J. Brisson, C Company 232nd Medical Battalion, 32nd Medical Brigade, and Sergeant First Class Antwan M. Williams, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Academy Brigade (Provisional). Brisson and Williams will serve as the AMEDDC&S ABMC runner up team if Cummings and Hull cannot compete. The fifth place competitor was Staff Sergeant Jeremiah S. Gettler, G Company, 232nd Medical Battalion, 32nd Medical Brigade. Gettler will serve as an alternate if Brisson and Williams cannot compete.
In describing the competition, Cummings said it was much more challenging than he expected. He is a 68W Health Care Specialist; more commonly referred to as Combat Medics, and has served in the Army for 14 years. "I definitely prepared for this competition, but there are always unknowns from what you expect," said Cummings. "The other competitors were pretty tough, so it wasn't easy." Cummings would know, as the week prior he competed in the 2016 Army Drill Sergeant and AIT Platoon Sergeant of the Year Competition at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, where he finished in second place. The fact that Cummings was able to compete back to back at the two events with only one day of rest in between demonstrates his endurance and mental fortitude.
Hull mentioned the training benefits of participating in best medic competitions, pointing out the excellent staff support during all the events and the competition overall. "You never get this type of staff support on lanes during normal training like we just did. That was a lot of training in two and half days," said Hull. "Everyone competes to win, but even if you don't win you still learn a lot."
All five competitors mentioned their desire to see more Soldiers participate in best medic, especially younger Soldiers. "Part of the reason I competed was to get more people interested in competing," said Cummings. I've already gotten positive feedback from my Soldiers, asking me to let them know what I learned because they want to compete next year."
With ABMC just a few weeks away Cummings and Hull, plan to train together as much as possible. Hull competed in the ABMC two years ago, and Cummings is deferring to his experience to get ready. "We have just about every medical course under the sun right here at AMEDDC&S," said Cummings. "We want to attend some training here as well as getting some range and trigger time at Camp Bullis." "We're not competing for second place at Army Best Medic. Finishing first the only option."
Visit the Army best Medic Facebook page for the latest information on the 2016 competition, along with the Army Medicine homepage.
Also, read about the AMEDDC&S and upcoming Army Best Medic Competition in the NCO Journal magazine.