Eighth Army Best Medic Competition 2023 winners announced

US Army | 2023-11-22

By Spc. Joseph Enoch

Eighth Army Best Medic Competition 2023 Day Five
U.S. Army 1st. Lt. Emily Mckinney and Staff Sgt. Daniel Tursi, both assigned to 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, are presented awards for earning first place in the 2023 Eighth Army Best Medic Competition at USAG Humphreys, on Nov. 17, 2023. The Eighth Army Best Medic Competition challenges combat medic specialists with various tasks such as casualty care, land navigation, and qualifying with various weapon systems in a five-day simulated operational environment. (Photo Credit: Spc. Diego Figueroa)
Eighth Army Best Medic Competition 2023 Day Five
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Brenden Apolinario and Staff Sgt. Cole Snodgrass, both assigned to Madigan Army Medical Center, receive awards for being the runner-ups in the 2023 Eighth Army Best Medic Competition at USAG Humphreys, on Nov. 17, 2023. The Eighth Army Best Medic Competition challenges combat medic specialists with various tasks such as casualty care, land navigation, and qualifying with various weapon systems in a five-day simulated operational environment. (Photo Credit: Spc. Diego Figueroa)

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.

Eighth Army Best Medic Competition 2023 Day Five
U.S. Army medics participating in the 2023 Eighth Army Best Medic Competition pose for a group photo after the completion of the buddy portion of the 2023 Eighth Army Best Medic Competition at USAG Humphreys, on Nov. 17, 2023. The Eighth Army Best Medic Competition challenges combat medic specialists with various tasks such as casualty care, land navigation, and qualifying with various weapon systems in a five-day simulated operational environment. (Photo Credit: Spc. Diego Figueroa)
Eighth Army Best Medic Competition 2023 Day Five
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Brenden Apolinario and Staff Sgt. Cole Snodgrass, both assigned to Madigan Army Medical Center, carry a litter with a simulated casualty during the buddy run portion of the 2023 Eighth Army Best Medic Competition at USAG Humphreys, on Nov. 17, 2023. The Eighth Army Best Medic Competition challenges combat medic specialists with various tasks such as casualty care, land navigation, and qualifying with various weapon systems in a five-day simulated operational environment. (Photo Credit: Spc. Diego Figueroa)

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.

Eighth Army Best Medic Competition 2023 Day Five
U.S. Army Sgt. Anthony Castro, a Combat Medic Specialist assigned to 121st Field Hospital, and Staff Sgt. Jeoung Ho Park, a Combat Medic Specialist assigned to 75th Medical Company Area Support, carry a litter with a simulated casualty during the buddy run portion of the 2023 Eighth Army Best Medic Competition at USAG Humphreys, on Nov. 17, 2023. The Eighth Army Best Medic Competition challenges combat medic specialists with various tasks such as casualty care, land navigation and qualifying with various weapon systems in a five-day simulated operational environment. (Photo Credit: Spc. Diego Figueroa)

“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.

Eighth Army Best Medic Competition 2023 Day Five
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. David Garnon, a Combat Medic Specialist assigned to Medical Department Activity-Korea, poses for a photo while conducting a water-treading examination during the combat water survival testing portion of the 2023 Eighth Army Best Medic Competition at USAG Humphreys, on Nov. 17, 2023. The Eighth Army Best Medic Competition challenges combat medic specialists with various tasks such as casualty care, land navigation, and qualifying with various weapon systems in a five-day simulated operational environment. (Photo Credit: Spc. Diego Figueroa)
Eighth Army Best Medic Competition 2023 Day Five
U.S. Army medics competing in the 2023 Eighth Army Best Medic Competition jump into a pool during the Combat Water Survival Testing portion of the competition at USAG Humphreys, on Nov. 17, 2023. The Eighth Army Best Medic Competition challenges combat medic specialists with various tasks such as casualty care, land navigation and qualifying with various weapon systems in a five-day simulated operational environment. (Photo Credit: Spc. Diego Figueroa)

“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.

Eighth Army Best Medic Competition 2023 Day Five
U.S. Army medics begin the buddy run portion of the 2023 Eighth Army Best Medic Competition at USAG Humphreys, on Nov. 17, 2023. The Eighth Army Best Medic Competition challenges combat medic specialists with various tasks such as casualty care, land navigation and qualifying with various weapon systems in a five-day simulated operational environment. (Photo Credit: Spc. Diego Figueroa)
Eighth Army Best Medic Competition 2023 Day Five
U.S. Army Capt. Brandon Crawford and Capt. Rocco Consiglio, both assigned to 18th Medical Command, carry a litter with a simulated casualty during the buddy run portion of the 2023 Eighth Army Best Medic Competition at USAG Humphreys, on Nov. 17, 2023. The Eighth Army Best Medic Competition challenges combat medic specialists with various tasks such as casualty care, land navigation, and qualifying with various weapon systems in a five-day simulated operational environment. (Photo Credit: Spc. Diego Figueroa)

“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.

Eighth Army Best Medic Competition 2023 Day Five
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Keith Estes and Staff Sgt. David Garnon, both assigned to Medical Department Activity-Korea, carry a litter with a simulated casualty during the buddy run portion of the 2023 Eighth Army Best Medic Competition at USAG Humphreys, on Nov. 17, 2023. The Eighth Army Best Medic Competition challenges combat medic specialists with various tasks such as casualty care, land navigation and qualifying with various weapon systems in a five-day simulated operational environment. (Photo Credit: Spc. Diego Figueroa)

The winning team will represent 8A at the Army-level competition at Fort Liberty, North Carolina, in March 2024.