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BACH's Soldiers, Maj. J. Tyler Garrett (rear) and Sgt. 1st Class Justin Cauthen (front), practice combat trauma assessment on a training dummy, July 26, in preparation for 2018 Fort Campbell Best Medic Competition. U.S. Army photo by Laura Boyd.

Fort Campbell to host 101st and RHC-A Best Medic Competition

From Blanchfield Army Community Hospital Public Affairs

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — About 30 competitors from the 101st Airborne Division (Air
Assault) and Regional Health Command-Atlantic will compete in the Fort Campbell Best Medic
Competition July 30 to Aug. 2, here.

The winners will go on to represent the 101st and RHC-A in the Army-wide Command Sergeant
Major Jack L. Clark, Jr. Army Best Medic Competition at Fort Sam Houston, Texas and Camp
Bullis, Texas later this year.

“Both the regional and Army-wide Best Medic Competition tests Soldiers physically and
mentally in a demanding, continuous, realistic simulated operational environment. The teams
will compete to be named the most technically competent, physically and mentally tough medic
team in the United States Army,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Earle, U.S. Army
Medical Department Activity Fort Campbell and Blanchfield Army Community Hospital,
command sergeant major. “We are very excited to help support this event for our region and with
the 101st Airborne Division.”

Two-person teams from eight military treatment facilities within the region, including BACH,
and up to 13 Combat Medics from the 101st will compete in the Fort Campbell Best Medic
Competition. Soldiers will arrive July 30 and complete in-processing before beginning more than
48-hours of competition through many of the areas on the installation during the three-day event.

Competition events are not revealed to the competitors beforehand but can include some of the
following events used in the Army-wide competition such as an obstacle course, day and night
land navigation, tactical marksmanship, warrior skills, combat water survival training, combat
medic lanes, and other events that’s Soldiers could encounter down range.

“Some of the events are general knowledge but we will also have some mystery events too,” said
Fort Campbell competition coordinator, Capt. John “Fez” Alderete, division aeromedical
evacuation officer, assigned to 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Division Surgeon office.
He said coordinating the competition has been a team effort on Fort Campbell.

“There are a lot of events that have involved planning with many organizations on post, from
coordinating with MWR to secure use of the pool, to coordinating with Range Control and
Rascon School of Combat Medicine to make sure that the areas we need are available. All
brigades are providing Soldiers to help us bring this competition together. It’s been a lot of work
but we are ready to start this competition next week and see it all come together,” said Alderete.

Competitors must meet certain eligibility requirements and be selected by their command team
to participate. They may be officer or enlisted but must have earned an Expert Field Medical
Badge or a Combat Medic Badge to be eligible to compete. Officers must be assigned or detailed
to an Army Medical Department Corps and enlisted Soldiers must have an AMEDD primary
military occupational specialty. All competitors must be physically fit and prepared to cope with
the extremely rigorous demands of the Best Medic Competition.

Modeled after the Army’s Best Ranger Competition, the Army’s Best Medic Competition began
in 1994.

“I’ve seen a lot of videos about these competitions and the Soldiers who compete and I’m am
just excited to be here. I want to represent my unit well,” said BACH Best Medic candidate, Sgt.
1st Class Justin Cauthen. Cauthen and Maj. J. Tyler Garrett, BACH Clinical Services Division
chief, will represent Blanchfield in the Fort Campbell competition.

BACH’s team has been training for the competition with help from a Soldier with first-hand
knowledge of the competition, Staff Sgt. Eric Sullivan, assigned to BACH’s emergency center
and one of the hospital’s 2017 Best Medic competitors.

“A lot of the events in Best Medic mirror actual events you may encounter in combat,” said
Sullivan, an experienced medic with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. “A medic has to problem
solve while conducting missions, use the resources they have and improvise and adapt. That’s
pretty much what the Best Medic is about, along with the ability to execute key warrior skills
tasks and show proficient medical training and ability.”

Medics serve a vital role in the Army, said Sullivan. “We get to be the first responders when
something goes bad and we do our absolute best to make sure that Soldiers return safely. We
train very hard to make sure we’re very good at that. That’s what this competition is about.”
Event coverage will be featured on the Blanchfield Army Community Hospital Facebook page at
https://www.facebook.com/BACH.Fort.Campbell/.

Headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Regional Health Command-Atlantic provides medical,
dental and public health support to Soldiers, retirees and their family members at Army medical
centers, hospitals, including BACH, and clinics from Fort Drum, New York, to Fort Buchanan,
Puerto Rico.

About Joseph A. Palmer

Joseph A. Palmer is a senior Communications major and serves as the News Editor and Multimedia Editor of The All State.

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