FORT BENNING, GA – Martin Army Community Hospital Soldiers were weighed, measured and found to be THE team that best embodies the Warrior Ethos and Army Values during the Regional Health Command-Atlantic Best Leader Competition on Fort Benning, April 25-29.
The grueling competition is designed to promote esprit de corps throughout the Army while recognizing Soldiers who best demonstrate commitment to the Army Values and embody the Warrior Ethos. BMACH hosted the physically and mentally demanding event that featured water survival, combatives, night land navigation and dynamic stress weapons qualification, as well as a ruck march, oral board and written tests.
“We are home of the Maneuver Center of Excellence, home of the infantry, armor and ranger school,” said BMACH Command Sgt. Maj. Alexander Poutou. “A lot of the lanes we are using is what the rangers use to train. They are going to be challenged.”
Winder Physical Therapy Clinic acting officer in charge (OIC) Capt. Ivan Mora led BMACH’s six-member squad. Poutou handpicked Mora, Staff Sgt. Kendrick Garcia, Sgt. Ricardo Tevalan-Gomez along with Spc. Caleb Aranos, Spc. Braelyn Burk and Spc. Noe Contreras to compete against 12 other squads from Army military treatment facilities east of the Mississippi River.
“I selected the team from the Non-Commissioned Officer/Soldier of the Year Competition,” said Poutou. “They have been training for the past two months. They have been working very, very hard.”
For four days, 75 of the Army’s medical Soldiers divided into 13 teams, tried to best each other in the numerous feats of strength, endurance and mental toughness to determine who would reign supreme as the RHC-A’s best medical leaders. The intense RHC-A Best Leader Competition pushes its participants to be adaptable, resilient and agile … and emphasizes a squad’s cohesiveness under extreme stress.
“Tough, realistic, squad-level training not only propels our Warriors to overcome obstacles and their fears,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Diamond Hough, the Army’s senior enlisted Combat Medic and MEDCOM’s senior enlisted advisor. “It teaches them that they don’t have to do it alone … on the battlefield or anywhere else.”
“The way they operate, if they excel in a competition, they will excel in combat,” added Poutou. “Working as a team, taking care of each other and giving their best. In combat, we don’t get to pick when and where we are going to fight the enemy. We have to be able to fight in any environment.”
BMACH’s team, aptly named Team #1, placed first overall! Congrats to all of this week’s competitors.
Ready-A’s team, composed of individual winners from the RHC-A Best Leader Competition: Pvt. 1st Class Ahmad Cole, Spc. Andre Scott (Fort Gordon), Spc. Callen Workman (Fort Lee), Sgt. Bricen Bolsen (Fort Lee), our own Staff Sgt. Kendrick Garcia (Fort Benning) and Capt. Gayle Benton (Fort Gordon), now go on to compete in the 2022 U.S. Army Medical Command BLC right back here at Fort Benning, in June.