European Best Medic Kicksoff

By Sgt. Kenneth RodriguezDecember 5, 2023

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – U.S. Soldiers and NATO partners participate in the European Best Medic Competition (EBMC) here Dec. 4 to 8, 2023.

This scenario-driven event is designed to evaluate the competencies, skills, and readiness of European theater medics; the top medics selected during the EBMC will go on to represent their unit at the Army Best Medic Competition.

The EBMC, featuring 30 teams, each composed of two personnel, will navigate through 12 meticulously crafted events, including a mystery challenge designed to keep participants on their toes. These tests challenge the teams on an array of critical individual and team tasks essential for effective combat operations. Participants will be subjected to events that simulate real-life combat conditions, demanding physical and mental fortitude in austere environments.

“I think the best medic competition for us increases our Soldier readiness by having many well-rounded events,” said Spc. Megan Muzquiz, with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. “It’s really cool to be getting put through all the physicality and mental challenges we don't typically get a lot of hands on.”

The EBMC highlights the adaptability and resilience of Army Medics, showcasing the best of Army medicine. The competition emphasizes testing the participants' ability to provide Tactical Combat Casualty Care under extreme conditions.

Despite the added challenge of cold conditions, participants expressed enthusiasm.

“The cold adds an extra challenge, but it's been super fun,” said Muzquiz. “I am most excited for the water rescue event that we’re going to be conducting. We’re going to be jumping through a lake and saving a casualty, as well as providing CPR.”

EBMC being a multinational event means that competitors from across Europe get together and share their own experiences from the medical field.

“One of the great things about being part of these events is that we get to come together with soldiers from all over that we don't normally get to interact with,” said Staff Sgt. Stephanie Hardin, with public health activity. “Whether that's U.S. Soldiers, soldiers that are here, international soldiers come together and go through these experiences together and then share our own experiences as well, just a lot of really good networking and learning.”

“This event promotes interoperability by allowing us to work alongside NATO partners. It's an interesting opportunity to not only be doing these events and challenges alongside them, but to also compete in something that they’re more specialized in,” added Muzquiz.

The European Best Medic Competition is a pivotal event in the journey of European theater medics. Beyond being a platform for showcasing individual and team excellence, it serves as the crucible for selecting representatives for the Army Best Medic Competition. As medics converge at the Grafenwoehr Training Area, they are vying for the title of Best European Medic and contributing to their collective strength and readiness.

These events are not just about winning but about personal and professional growth.

“What’s really important is just to encourage everyone to go out and do these types of events. Any soldier competition like this is awesome training,” said Hardin. “Ultimately, everybody walks away gaining something because it's training, it’s building connections.”