By Spc. Alan Graziano, 101st Airborne Division Public AffairsSeptember 16, 2011
FORT CAMPBELL, KY, Sept. 16, 2011--Nine medics from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Brigade Combat Teams competed in the 101st Airborne Division Best Medic Competition Sept. 8-9 to decide who will proceed to the Armywide Best Medic Competition at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, in November.
Division Command Sgt. Maj. Scott C. Schroeder identified the winners in the order of placement as Sgt. Brian P. Baker from Troop B, 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd BCT; Staff Sgt. Daniel S. Lopez from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st BCT; and Spc. Samuel R. Keefer from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd BCT.
Participants were tested on several Soldier and medical tasks, such as a physical fitness test, the air assault obstacle course, an engagement skills trainer, day and night land navigation ranges, a 14-mile road march, a combat medic skills lane and a written test.
The two-day competition was executed at a fast pace, allowing very little time between events for the medics to recover from the physically demanding tasks. After the night land navigation course on the first day, they had only a few hours to sleep before they had to conduct a 14-mile road march at 4 a.m.
The combat medic skills lane required the medics to provide medical care to a simulated casualty while under fire from oppositional forces, who were firing paintball rounds at them. While the medic was providing treatment to the casualty, a two-man security team provided return fire. After casualty care was completed, the medics were tested on their ability to execute a 9-line medical evacuation request over the radio.
Sergeant 1st Class Jamie Lane, the division medical operations noncommissioned officer and NCO in charge of organizing the competition, expressed a high level of confidence in the medics who competed, especially the ones who will be heading to the Armywide competition.
"The purpose of this tournament was basically to confirm what we already know, that the 101st Airborne Division has the best medics in the Army," Lane said. "It was a really close competition, everybody gave 100 percent. There's no question in my mind that they're going to do extremely well when they go."
The winners of the division's Best Medic Competition shared the same confidence as Lane, while also realizing that they still need to train hard for the next competition in November. Baker and Lopez will be the primary team members and Keefer will be the alternate.
Baker, the first-place winner, said, "I'm proud because I get to represent the 101st, and how many people can say they have done that?"
Lopez, the second-place winner of this competition, won first place in 2009 and his team placed second in the Armywide Best Medic Competition the same year. He said that he is confident that his team will place first at Fort Sam Houston this year and is excited to have another opportunity.
"Based on the fact that I beat most of my peers, I feel very confident, but there are many areas that I can improve on," said Keefer, who came in third.
For additional training, the three medics will attempt to earn their Expert Field Medical Badge, scheduled from Sept. 22 through Oct. 6.