By Mrs. Flavia Hulsey (Regional Health Command Pacific)August 10, 2018
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- MEDIC! Few words elicit such a response on the battlefield as a call for a medic, said Regional Health Command-Pacific Command Sgt. Maj. Clark Charpentier during his remarks to 19 Soldiers who competed for the title of Pacific Best Medic Aug. 7-10 at JBLM.
"What they have done and what they have shown is that not only are they medically ready to deploy, but they are ready to deploy as a medical force," Charpentier said at the Aug. 10 awards ceremony just before the top performers were announced.
With the highest score of all competitors, Sgt. Samuel Arnold, 520th Medical Company, 62nd Medical Brigade, was named 2018 Pacific Best Medic. The runner up with the second highest score was Staff Sgt. Andrew Hardin, 520th Medical Company, 62nd Medical Brigade.
The competition's top performers from each respective unit were:
Regional Health Command-Pacific
Sgt. 1st Class Adam Pohovey, Madigan Army Medical Center
1st Sgt. Daniel Cummings, Brian Allgood Army Community Hospital (runner up)
7th Infantry Division
Spc. Ulysses Dubon, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team
1st Lt. David McKeon, 296th Brigade Support Battalion (runner up)
62nd Medical Brigade
Sgt. Samuel Arnold, 520th Medical Company
Staff Sgt. Andrew Hardin, 520th Medical Company (runner up)
These individuals will all go on to compete at the U.S. Army-level competition -- the 2017 CSM Jack L. Clark Jr. Best Medic Competition -- in September at Camp Bullis, Texas.
"The real winners of this competition, probably are not even here with us today. The real winners of this competition are probably the individuals that these leaders are going to train and develop to the skills they've gained this week and the skills they've honed this week," Charpentier said.
More so, Charpentier added, the ultimate winners are individuals whose lives are saved by these medics when on the battlefield in austere environments.
Motivated by the strength of the competitors around him, Arnold said the competition was different from his day-to-day duties as a treatment platoon team leader.
"It was good because everybody made me compete even harder," Arnold said, following his announcement as the competition winner. "When certain people were beating me on certain events, overall, I tried to do as best as I could, and it worked out."
Arnold and the RHC-P overall top performer, Pohovey, agreed that the competition challenged their physical and medical proficiency.
"As a medical force, we should all have those basic medical skills. A lot of it was TC3 (tactical combat casualty care), which everybody should have those general medical skills," said Pohovey, who now serves as a physical therapy assistant at Madigan. "It was a good refresher for me, and I look forward to taking that back to those who are under me and to the next level of competition."
Overall, competitions like this are about being well rounded, Pohovey said.
"You can't be an expert in just one field and do well. It opens your eyes -- you do well in one event and maybe not so well in others."
Both plan to take this experience and prepare for the Army competition next month.
"Before we came out here, we didn't really know what to train. Everything was pretty varied; they went over TC3 quite a bit -- prolonged field care. I think I need to focus on maybe less physical and more on the medical side," Arnold said, who came in first in the culminating 12-mile ruck march.
The Pacific Best Medic Competition was hosted by RHC-P in coordination with JBLM-based units including I Corps, 7th Infantry Division, 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command and Madigan Army Medical Center as a joint Medical Command, and Forces Command effort. Competitors came from Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, Japan and Korea to compete. The competition included an array of training exercises and combat lifesaving techniques, including a physical fitness test, water survival test, written test, force on force combat, land navigation, litter run and prolonged field care, stress shoot and obstacle course, and ruck march.
This challenging event is open to all active duty, Reserve and National Guard medical personnel who have the Expert Field Medical Badge or the Combat Medical Badge. The Army Best Medic competition will be a 72-hour competition that challenges the Army's best medical personnel in a demanding simulated operational environment. In it, competitors earn points through successful completion of evaluated events during the testing phases.