(Featured photo of medics during the culminating event at Fort Eisenhower on Nov. 8. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News)
It’s a grueling test of tactical and technical skills.
On Nov. 4, teams of medics from Medical Readiness Command East and Medical Readiness Development Command arrived at Fort Eisenhower to take part in the MRC East Best Medic competition, which began Nov. 5.
“We call it the ‘Road to War.’ On the first day, they get their briefing and are given a scenario,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Kalani Kalili, of Eisenhower Army Medical Center.
Over the next few days as that scenario plays out, they are subjected to rigorous activities such as a water survival course, a two-mile portion obstacle course, day and night-time land navigation, a 17-mile foot march, tactical combat casualty care and four hours of prolonged casualty care as though they were part of a large-scale combat operation.
The competition culminated Wednesday with a three-mile obstacle course, part of which included soldiers slogging through a pond and reacting to simulated artillery fire before finding their way to safety. Eventually, the pairs of tired soldiers made it to the finish line at the Marine Obstacle Course.
Events like this one are held for several reasons.
“It’s really important. It’s a way for us to ensure the medical forces are tactically and technically sound. These are the best of the best competing for the elite prize,” she said.
To even get to the regional competition at Fort Eisenhower, team members went through a series of smaller contests.
The winners will head to the next competition in January 2024 at Fort Liberty, N.C.
The Best Medic competition sites are rotated. In 2021, Fort Eisenhower was the site of the Army Best Medic.
Kalili said it took about 240 people from Fort Eisenhower to support the operation, the planning of which began about six months ago.
Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News and Inspiring: Women of Augusta, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up for the newsletter here.
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