Competitors were evaluated during the 72-hour event as they applied combat lifesaving skills in various realistic day and night, high-intensity scenarios.
These scenarios included (simulating) treating a casualty in a chemically contaminated area, carrying a litter, dragging a weighted SKEDCO rescue system, low crawling uphill, passing a stress-shoot range, passing a swim test, passing an obstacle course, carrying teammates more than 50 meters (simulating moving a casualty to safety), and a 4-mile, up hill march with weighted vests.
The top performer and winning team in the 2018 Eighth Army Best Medic Competition were both recognized during an award ceremony at the Camp Casey Theater July 13.
Capt. Jacob A. Orrino, a 121st Combat Support Hospital nurse from Anaconda, Montana prevailed as the competion's top performer.
"I was reasonably surprised by the Top Performer award and I have to give credit
to my teammate SGT Barton for all his hard work and to the rest of the
competitors who pushed me to perform at my best," said Orrino. "As Soldiers we need to train to excel past the demands of war. Some of us put in a little extra
work when everybody else goes home and the results are showcased in events
such as the Best Medic Competition," he added.
Orrino and teammate, Sgt. William T. Barton, a 121th CSH combat medic from San Antonio, Texas defeated the competition, winning the title of 2018 Eighth Army Best Medic and were awarded Army Comendation Medals.
"The first event was definitely harder than I expected, but I think you come to appreciate stuff that challenges you beyond what you expect yourself to do," said Barton.
"I was content since we could bring the trophy home and Sgt. Barton and I were able to represent the great organizations we are a part of in the 65th Medical Brigade and 121st CSH," added Orrino. "However, knowing what the next level of competition is like, SGT
Barton and I have a long road of hard work and training ahead of us as we
prepare for the All Army Best Medic Competition in Texas in September," he continued.
In a close second, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division combat medics: Sgt. Tylery S. Griger of Hawkinsville, Georgia and Sgt. Shion Nagasaka of Greer, South Carolina received runner up honors and were awarded Army Achievement Medals.
In his remarks, Command Sgt. Maj. Richard E. Merritt, Eighth Army command sergeant major highlighted the importance of the Best Medic Competition in regards to mission readiness.
"This competition prepares you for the ultimate mission, which is that of combat," said Merritt. "What you are, as well as being 'docs,' combat medics, flight medics, and nurses, are Warriors, leading from the the front on the battlefield, keeping our men and women alive," he added.
Merritt reemphasized the importance of training as well as the necessity of sharing combat medical skills with subordinates.
"Pass these skills on and remember what you are really doing here today and what this competition is really about," said Merritt. "Training and preparing for combat is necessary for you and those Soldiers you will lead to prepare them for the worst day of their life," he continued.
Guest speaker, U.S. Marine Sgt. Maj. Anthony A. Spadaro, Pacific Command senior enlisted leader, emphasized how combat medics added to the effectiveness of our fighting force.
"They're combat multipliers because when I hear these types of individual efforts, I look at the collective efforts because how many times have we gone up to someone who is supposed to be a practitioner of these great arts for counsel?" asked Spadaro. "Be that man or woman that a Soldier is going to have the confidence to go up to and say 'doc, I need help,' and be able to translate that 'I need help' into something practiceable, something workable, or something acheiveable," he added.
Merrit closed his remarks by mentioning his appreciation for being present for the ceremony, as well as emphasizing the importance of maintaining proficiency.
"It honors me to be here today, in the presence of you warriors, our leaders, our families and our Korean friends," said Merritt. "It takes action to be an expert and to maintain that because you'll have to continue to earn that everyday of your life," he concluded.
The top two teams from the 2018 Eighth Army Best Medic Competition will be competing in the Command Sgt. Maj. Jack L. Clark, Jr. Army Best Medic Competition at Camp Bullis, Texas in September.