BAUMHOLDER, Germany -- For 72 hours, four Soldiers from Regional Health Command Europe competed to be named as the most technically competent, physically and mentally tough 'best medic.'
Once the scores were tallied, Staff Sgt. Michael Graham and Staff Sgt. Gary Hendricks, both from U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Bavaria, earned that title.
In addition to multiple events that tested the competitors' ability to treat and evacuate injured personnel, the Soldiers had to go through a physical fitness test, land navigation, weapons qualification and a written test.
Graham and Hendricks will move on to represent RHCE at the Army Best Medic competition, which will be held September 23 - 27 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
"I'm so excited," said Graham, a combat medic assigned to MEDDAC Bavaria headquarters. "However, I know I have a lot of work to do these next five weeks. I'm going to work with my partner and we're going to put in the effort studying physical routines and things of that nature so we can do our absolute best."
In addition to RHCE, there were six Soldiers from the 21st Theater Sustainment Command who tested at the same time to determine their own winner.
Brig. Gen. Ronald Stephens, the RHCE commanding general, spoke at the awards ceremony about how impressed he was with the range of medical specialists who competed.
"This is a best medic competition but only six of the 10 competitors are medics," he said. "There's a dentist, a preventative medicine specialist, a nurse and a medical service corps officer. This was not just a best medic competition, this was a best Army Medicine competition."
Staff Sgt. Paul Orndorff, a combat medic assigned to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, displayed a positive attitude even though he didn't move on to the next level.
"I didn't win but as a leader in the Army, I wanted to show the junior Soldiers that I work with that they can get out of the office and compete and do something to better their career," said Orndorff.
Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Moore, also assigned to LRMC, was the fourth Soldier to compete for RHCE.
The Command Sgt. Major Jack L. Clark Jr. Army Best Medic Competition is an annual competition that challenges the Army's best medical personnel in a realistic simulated operational environment. The Army requires medics to be agile and adaptive, demonstrate mature judgment and initiative, and to see and exploit opportunities. The ABMC is physically and intellectually challenging and tests the tactical medical proficiency and leadership of the teams.