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FORT BENNING, GA – A Martin Army Community Hospital dentist is competing in the U.S. Army Medical Command 2021 Best Leader Competition in Hawaii July 25-30. DENTAC Capt. Ryan Rose is one of 16 Soldiers testing their mettle in the tropics of Oahu, home to the Army’s legendary 25th Infantry Division. The BLC recognizes Soldiers who best live the Army values and embody the warrior ethos.

“The Best Leader Competition is about utilizing esprit de corps to build combat readiness and preparedness,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Diamond Hough, MEDCOM’s senior enlisted advisor. “The competition hones in on our Soldier’s technical, tactical and critical thinking skills as they compete as a team. The concept underscores confidence and trust.”

Each team is made up of an officer, a senior non-commissioned officer, a junior NCO and a junior enlisted Soldier. The 32-year-old from Tampa, Florida is part of Regional Health Command – Atlantic’s team made up of Rose, 1st Sgt. Yakima Sanderlin, Staff Sgt. Andrew Pitts and Spc. Bricen Bolsen.

The 7th Special Forces Group (SFG) officer comes from a long line of military service. Both his grandfather and father served before him. And his two brothers serve alongside him now, albeit one in the Air Force. In fact, the Army brat spent half his childhood growing up in Germany.

“I joined the Army because it’s a great way to serve my country, see new places and gain valuable experience,” said Rose. “I want to be a Special Forces Group Dental Surgeon. Ultimately I plan to take command.”

His love of working out, the great outdoors and high adventure activities no doubt helped prepare him for the physically and mentally demanding competition. Over the course of the week, Rose tested his warrior skills by enduring a grueling obstacle course, water survival, night land navigation, weapons fire under stress and of course providing medical care on the battlefield under simulated combat conditions.

“My patients at 7th SFG, especially 1st Battalion, went above and beyond for me to provide hands-on training for ranges, TCCC (Tactical Combat Casualty Care), CQB (close quarters battle), CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high yield explosives) and weapons,” said Rose. “They’ve treated me as if I was on their team.”

An early injury didn’t deter Rose from training hard for his two favorite events: the ACFT (Army Combat Fitness Test) and ruck march.

“I tore a quad muscle and I had to make up for lost athletic ability and training time with increased effort level,” shared Rose. “I want to set an example for my Soldiers who may be reluctant to get out of their routine and do something outside of the clinic.”