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RHC-Europe Soldiers compete for Army Best Medic title

Soldiers in the snow, pulling a sled of materials Army Sgt. Michael Metcalf and Army Spc. Walter Galdamez train for the 2021 Command Sgt. Maj. Jack L. Clark Jr. U.S. Army Best Medic Competition by evacuating a simulated injured Soldier. (Photo by Army Sgt. Nicole Price, MEDDAC Bavaria.)

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Since winning the 2020 Regional Health Command Europe (RHCE) Best Medic competition last November, Army Sgt. Michael Metcalf and Army Spc. Walter Galdamez from U.S. Army Medical Department Activity (MEDDAC)-Bavaria have been hard at work training for the Army competition near Sembach, Germany.

The 2021 Command Sgt. Maj. Jack L. Clark Jr. U.S. Army Best Medic Competition will be conducted at Fort Gordon, Georgia from Jan. 25-29. On Jan. 22, the competitors and cadre will enter restricted area access for the competition duration and will have been screened for COVID-19 by the time the competition starts.

“I’m proud to have both Sergeant Metcalf and Specialist Galdamez represent RHCE at the U.S. Army’s Best Medic Competition,” said Army Command Sgt. Maj. Kyle Brunell, the RHCE command sergeant major. “They’re highly trained, super fit, and extremely motivated and I think they have a great chance to win.”

Even in a COVID environment, maintaining readiness is a top Army priority.

“It’s important to keep training to remain ready for combat,” said Brunell. “We can and must do it safely and realistically. We owe it to our Soldiers and to those we serve to be ready and able to save lives in combat.”

The Army’s Best Medic Competition is held every year. The two-Soldier team competition challenges the Army's best medical personnel in a demanding, continuous, and realistic simulated operational environment. The teams compete to be named as the most technically competent, physically and mentally tough medic team in the United States Army.

“The RHCE competition showed me that working as a team is essential to achieving success,” said Galdamez. “Sgt. Metcalf and I relied on working off of each other to perform as best as possible. The RHCE competition also taught me that I did not want to let my teammate down.”

Metcalf also spoke positively about his experience back in November.

“I learned a lot about mental toughness,” said Metcalf. “My eyes were opened to the amount of technical skills needed to perform the tasks at hand. Knowing the Army expects us to be mission capable at any moment, it is my job to foster the skills to perform life-saving capabilities whether medic or non-medic. The RHCE competition made me realize that and how I needed to start the preparation to represent RHCE at the Army-level competition.”

Training over the last several months for Metcalf and Galdamez included sharpening their combat medical skills, weapons familiarization, combat water survival, land navigation courses, and room clearing.

“These guys have put in ridiculous amounts of hard work, time, and dedication to prepare for this competition,” said Army Sgt. Nicole Price, an operations noncommissioned officer for MEDDAC Bavaria. “I had the privilege of training these gentlemen and I know they will represent our command well.”

Updates on this year’s Army Best Medic competition can be found on the Army Best Medic Competition’s Facebook page.

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Did you know during the 5-year surveillance period, the 2,717 service members who were affected by any cold weather injury included 2,307 from the active component and 410 from the reserve component. Overall, Army members comprised the majority (61.6%) of all cold injuries affecting active and reserve component service members. Of all affected reserve component members, 71.7% (n=294) were members of the Army. Cold weather injuries During Basic Training Of all active component service members who were diagnosed with a cold weather injury (n= 2,307), 230 (10.0% of the total) were affected during basic training. Additionally, during the surveillance period, 60 service members who were diagnosed with cold weather injuries during basic training (2.6% of the total) were hospitalized, and most (93.3%) of the hospitalized cases were members of either the Army (n=32) or Marine Corps (n=24). Cold weather injuries during basic training pie chart: The Army (n=122) and Marine Corps (n=99) comprised 96.1% of all basic trainees who were diagnosed with a cold weather injury. Access the full report in the October 2017 MSMR (Vol. 24, No. 10). Go to: www.Health.mil/MSMR  #ColdReadiness Image of service member tracking in the snow is the infographic background graphic.

This infographic provides information on active and reserve component service members who were affected by any cold weather injury during the July 2012 – June 2017 cold seasons.

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