By Inkyeong Yun, BAACH Public AffairsSeptember 11, 2017
U.S. ARMY GARRISON - YONGSAN, KOREA -- During the 72-hour-long competition, 2nd Lt. Adam Schafer pushed himself asking the same question over and over in his head, "Can I prove myself?"
After the grueling competition, he finally got his answer by holding the 1st place trophy high up, standing between Brig. Gen. Bertram Providence, commander, Regional Health Command -- Pacific (RHC-P) and Command Sgt. Maj. Richard F. Watson III, senior enlisted advisor, RHC-P.
When Schafer's name was announced as the winner of the Pacific Best Medic Competition, held on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, the intense three-day competition that challenged him physically, intellectually and emotionally passed through his mind vividly.
The competition was designed to test Soldier's tactical medical proficiency and leadership. It consisted of a physical fitness test, obstacle course, force-on-force combat, tailgate medicine test, stress shoot, patient extraction event, warrior task lane, land navigation and a culminating 12-mile road march, all in a realistic simulated operational environment.
Being the first Army officer in his extended family with over 100 first cousins and a young company grade officer who just started his career, Schafer wanted to prove himself, to his Soldiers and people around him.
Competing in the Best Medic Competition was one of the best ways to show his authenticity and determination as a commissioned officer. While working as a busy executive officer in Bravo Company for the 121st Combat Support Hospital (CSH), Schafer worked for a chance to compete in RHC-P's Best Medic Competition.
Schafer shared that he felt honored and privileged to participate in the competition. His biggest motivation was to prove himself to his Soldiers but what gave him the resiliency throughout the competition was the mentorship he got from his 121st CSH leaders throughout his tour in South Korea.
"I just feel so lucky that I met Capt. Rosales and Col. Clarkson in my very first year of my Army career. They have always influenced me to want to grow as one of them, the best leaders who are always leading by example," said Schafer. "Without their advice and support, I wouldn't have been able to achieve what I have achieved so far."
"Also, I want to thank Command Sgt. Maj. White who so generously helped me with the chance to compete, from the qualifiers to the regional competition," added Schafer.
"A great leader shows rather than speaks and 2nd Lt. Schafer was that very example to his Soldiers. He made all of us proud," said Col. Erica Clarkson, 121st CSH commander. "I hope the experiences he gained from this competition go with him through his career and we are so thrilled to see him compete in the all Army Best Medic Competition."
Winning the Best Medic Competition also gave Schafer confidence to go forward in his career and he already has another goal set up. "I want to go to medical school to become a surgeon in the nearest possible future," said Schafer. "I'll work hard as I always do and push myself to the limit because that is the only way you find out what you are capable of."
Schafer will represent the region in the 2017 Army Best Medic Competition in October. Army medics from across the Army will once again compete in a grueling 72-hour competition at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and Camp Bullis, Texas.