Eighth Army Best Medic Competition 2023 winners announced
US Army | 2023-11-22
By Spc. Joseph Enoch
CAMP HUMPHREYS, SOUTH KOREA: The winners of this year’s Eighth Army’s Best Medic Competition, 1st Lt. Emily McKinney and Staff Sgt. Daniel Tursi, assigned to the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, were announced at the 2nd Inf. Div./ROK U.S. Combined Division Warrior Theater here, on Nov 17, 2023.
The final day began with a Combat Water Survival Test, which assessed the competitor’s ability to function in a water environment. The teams conducted a 25-meter swim executing the breaststroke, a 25-meter sidestroke with an M4 training aid, a 25-meter underwater swim, a three-meter-tall diving jump with a weapon and lastly, they had to tread water for ten minutes while wearing their Army Combat Uniform.
“It really tests mental fortitude and endurance, because in a combat situation you’re going to be tired,” Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Price, the senior enlisted advisor of the 65th Medical Brigade said. “It gives the opportunity to test mental proficiency with medical skills even after going through physical hardship.”
The CWST events are scored and there are no restarts allowed. The competitors pass when the Soldier completes all three events without signs of panic or inability to complete the event distance.
“I’m definitely going to swim more,” McKinney said. “Combat swimming is a little different than regular swimming.”
After completing the CWST, competitors conducted a three-mile run. The last half mile of the run required the teams to retrieve and transfer a simulated casualty to a litter and carry them to the endpoint.
“I definitely plan on doing a lot more rucking and running in my kit,” Tursi said.
The Army's Best Medic Competition is not only a test of individual talent and endurance, but it also demonstrates the value of the medic's job in the Army.
“I relied a lot on my partner for guidance during the medical lanes at this competition, so I'm going to work to become more proficient with executing the interventions by myself for the Army-level competition. If the Army-level Best Medic Competition is anything like the regional one, a lot of it is physical fitness endurance events, so I'm much more in my element there,” McKinney said.
The winning team will represent 8A at the Army-level competition at Fort Liberty, North Carolina, in March 2024.