JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. – Four Soldiers assigned to Regional Health Command-Pacific units are competing this week in the U.S. Army Medical Command’s Best Leader Competition.
The BLC takes place July 25-30 at Bellows Air Force Station, Hawaii, and other locations on Oahu.
The competition is designed to promote “esprit de corps” while recognizing Soldiers who demonstrate a commitment to the Army values and embody the warrior ethos, according to organizers.
The Best Leader Competition recognizes those Soldiers who have superb military bearing and communication skills, a thorough knowledge of various military subjects, and the ability to perform a wide variety of Soldier skills.
Each team consists of an officer, a senior non-commissioned officer, a junior NCO, and an enlisted Soldier.
To earn the right to compete in the MEDCOM competition, the RHC-P team first competed and won at the regional level last month at JBLM by scoring the most points during the events.
The RHC-P team is made up of three Soldiers from Desmond T. Doss Army Health Clinic, Hawaii, and one from U.S. Army Medical Department Activity-Korea.
Capt. Jason Christman, an optometrist at DDHC and a member of the RHC-P team, said he looks forward to the challenge.
“Competitions like this give me the motivation to stay prepared,” he said.
After last month’s regional BLC win, Christman said he was grateful to be part of an “awesome team,” especially after days with little sleep.
“I think that was the hardest part,” he said. “You’re hot, you’re sweaty, you’re in MOPP gear, you can’t see what’s going on, just trying to pull that together, and then they start firing on you.”
Even with all the stress, Christman said, the Best Leader Competition isn’t without its good points.
“I tell you, digging foxholes and sleeping in them, that was fun, too,” he said after his team came away as winners last month. “Makes me feel like a little kid again.”
Winners of the MEDCOM Best Leader Competition go on to represent the command at the Army’s Best Warrior Competition in November.
Regional Health Command-Pacific, headquartered at JBLM and in Honolulu, is the most geographically-dispersed command in Army Medicine, stretching more than 5,000 miles and five time zones across the Pacific.
The command oversees Army medical treatment facilities and units in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, Hawaii, Japan and South Korea.