Two paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division distinguished themselves above their peers during a grueling competition on Fort Bragg held July 25-26.
Staff Sgt. Miguel Matias, a medic assigned to Headquarters, Headquarters Troop, 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment and Sgt. Tyler Fisher, a medic assigned to Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, proved their exceptional medical knowledge while demonstrating steadfast endurance during the two-day competition.
“Best Medic is important because it tests out the medics’ competency and their physical and mental toughness,” said Sgt. 1st Class Evelyn Pollard, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team’s senior medic, about the competition.
Participants began the competition in the early morning with a Ranger Physical Fitness Test before moving onto a written evaluation and marksmanship ranges. Designed to determine the division’s top two medics, events continued to stress the paratroopers’ technical knowledge and mental and physical endurance with an obstacle course, night land-navigation, a 12-mile ruck and a rope-rigging evaluation.
With little rest and nutrition, paratroopers’ completed a final evaluation consisting of lanes testing their ability to respond to a wide range of simulated medical emergencies.
Spc. Edgar Cortes, a member of Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, was the youngest medic competing, having earned his Expert Field Medical Badge earlier this year.
“I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Cortes before beginning the competition. “I came here for the experience and realistic training.”
Matias and Tyler will continue to train to compete in the Army-wide Command Sgt. Maj. Jack L. Clark Jr. competition, scheduled to begin Sept. 15 on Camp Bullis, Texas.