PHCE Soldier prepares for U.S. Army-wide Best Medic Competition

By Michelle ThumJanuary 24, 2022

SSG Preciado
Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, U.S. Army Surgeon General and Commanding General of U.S. Army Medical Command, and U.S. Army Medical Command Sgt. Maj. Diamond Hough, presented Staff Sgt. Alejandro Preciado, Surgery NCOIC at Veterinary Medical Center Europe, the MEDCOM coin of excellence. His efforts have enabled the highest quality care for local military working dog and MEDEVAC cases, specialty surgery, and emergency surgery, June 10, 2021. (Photo Credit: Courtesy picture) VIEW ORIGINAL

LANDSTUHL, Germany – A Soldier from Public Health Command Europe will compete in the 2022 Command Sgt. Maj. Jack L. Clark, Jr. U.S. Army Best Medic Competition at Fort Hood, Texas, Jan. 24-28.

Staff Sgt. Alejandro Preciado, a native of California, is working hard to win the Army-wide competition after winning the Regional Health Command Europe Best Medic Competition last fall.

“I studied everything I could related to Army Tactical Combat Casualty Care guidelines and I changed my eating and exercise habits as well,” said Preciado.

The grueling 4-day competition, challenges the Army’s best medics in a demanding, continuous and realistic simulated operational environment. The winning two-person team will claim the title as the Army’s top combat medic team for 2022.

Based on past performance, Preciado has proven that he does not give up and is determined to reach his goals.

Staff Sgt. Timothy Rebich, left, a respiratory therapist assigned to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, and Staff Sgt. Alejandro Preciado, an animal care specialist at Veterinary Medical Center Europe, transport a simulated injured military working dog during the Fiscal Year 2022 30th Medical Brigade and Regional Health Command Europe Best Medic Competition conducted Oct. 30 at Sembach Kaserne, Germany. Rebich and Preciado will represent Regional Health Command Europe in the 2022 Command Sgt. Maj. Jack L. Clark Jr. U.S. Army Best Medic Competition at Ford Hood, Texas in January. (Photo Credit: Russell Toof) VIEW ORIGINAL

“It took me four attempts to earn the Expert Field Medical Badge and each time I had to continue managing my daily work duties,” said Preciado. “Not of a lot of people I know can continue to manage their section and earn the EFMB at the same time.”

Preciado indicated that being able to compete for the best medic title means a great deal to him as he is looking forward to the challenge.

“To me, it’s an opportunity to see how far other people are willing to go in order to win,” said Preciado. “I believe that the only way people grow is when there is friction in their lives. What better way to get friction in your life than by competing against the Army’s best medics as an animal care specialist.”

Preciado enlisted in the Army as an animal care specialist in 2013 and is currently serving as the Veterinary Medical Center Europe outpatient services non-commissioned officer in charge.

“Being an animal care specialist requires stamina and you must work two or three times harder than every other MOS in order to achieve the same performance rating or opportunities for development,” Preciado added.

There are currently only about 500 animal care specialists, or 68T’s, in the Army inventory.

“You spend your career working with limited resources and personnel,” said Preciado. “As a result, you must learn how to network in order to gain support and expand your partnerships, and you must be able to maintain your critical skills no matter what other priorities you have. In addition, you must find a way to simultaneously manage your personal and professional growth while accomplishing a very demanding mission.”

Preciado is passionate about being an animal care specialist and his love for animals.

“I enjoy the support we provide to the war fighter,” added Preciado. “Not only do we help maintain the readiness of all DoD military working dogs, we also train their assigned handlers in life saving efforts while deployed.”

Veterinary Medical Center Europe is professionally staffed by Army Veterinary Corps personnel with the primary mission of providing complete veterinary care for all government-owned animals. Additionally, as a secondary mission, VMCE offers many types of routine care services for pets of military families in the Kaiserslautern Military Community.

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