Medics compete to see who is best in Eighth Army
By Spc. Alaura LucasJuly 17, 2020
RODRIGUEZ LIFE FIRE RANGE, Republic of Korea – Eighth Army completed its 2020 Best Medic Competition today. The event took place at Camp Humphreys, Camp Casey and Rodriguez Live Fire Complex July 13-17 in order to identify the most outstanding medical personnel within Eighth Army.Ten medics competed for 72 hours straight to see who is the most technically proficient and mentally and physically tough best medic.The Soldiers competed in 11 events in the course of those three days.On day one the events tested the Soldiers’ physical fitness through the Army Combat Fitness Test, an obstacle course and the Combat Water Survival Assessment.“I did this to challenge myself and view my medical readiness and aptitude” said Maj. Andrew Oh from the Medical Department Activity Command Korea, 135th Forward Surgical Team, Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea, after finishing day one of the competition.The BMC is an annual competition that challenges the Army's best medical personnel in a realistic, simulated operational environment.It is physically and intellectually challenging and tests the tactical medical proficiency and leadership of each team.“This is a great opportunity for them participating in the event,” said Master Sgt. Steven Vaughn, Eighth Army Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, Surgeon Cell, and BMC noncommissioned officer in charge. “It allows them to test their skills.”On day two the Soldiers were tested on both day and night land navigation on Camp Casey.Competitors had three hours to complete the day course and three hours to complete the night course for maximum points.The course requires medics to be responsive and adaptive, demonstrate mature judgment and initiative as they travel through terrain and get to a secondary location.On day three the Soldiers had to carry at a minimum a 35-pound rucksack, M4 carbine and water to complete a 12-mile foot march.As the competitors persevered each day their resiliency grew stronger. They become more motivated to “finish strong” said Sgt. David Espersen, as he and another competitor passed the road march finish line on day three.The teamwork that was shown from the competitors, those in charge and those who volunteered to help, was empowering to watch. They cheered each Soldier every day and through every event. No Soldier during this 2020 BMC accepted defeat, they stayed motivated and resilient all the way through.Maj. Miguel Benzor, Eight Army officer in charge of the Best Medic Competition, briefed the Soldiers before the events started on the hardships they will endure and how proud he was of them for competing.Benzor followed them and helped keep the Soldiers motivated as the competition continued.During the BMC stress shoot the Soldiers arrived at a hostile site where friendly forces have taken casualties. The teams were required to carry two water cans from one end of the range to the other. They then had to fireman carry a casualty and engage all enemy targets until the teams reached the casualty collection point.Starting the marksmanship challenge with a physical challenge put strain on the soldiers, simulating the stressful environment they would face as they engage an enemy down range.One competitor, 1st Lt. Mingu Jeong with the 65th Medical Brigade, 75th Medical Company, said it gave him the chance to get out and practice his craft.After 72 hours in the demanding, continuous and realisticly simulated operational environment, every Soldier managed to complete the competition.Together these Soldiers were tested not only on their physical endurance but on their skills in the field. They were put to the test and judged under pressure while working as a team. Together they overcame the obstacles and successfully completed the mission. They gained the respect of the senior and their peers and today, on July 17, they have officially completed the 2020 Best Medic Competition.Winners will be announced soon.