Story and photo by Sgt. Hillary Rustine
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The Best Medic Challenge was held, here, Sept. 26, to select competitors for the upcoming Expert Field Medical Badge Competition.
The 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, “Cacti,” 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, hosted the contest.
Soldiers from the 325th Brigade Support Battalion, 35th Inf. Regt., also competed.
“We created this competition to train Soldiers, evaluate how prepared they are and pick the 10 best to send to the upcoming Expert Field Medical Badge Competition,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Jones, 2-35th Inf. Regt.
Soldiers started the week off with a written exam covering Soldier, medical and warrior skills. Soldiers took a 100-question written exam; they had to pass with 75-percent or higher in two hours.
The next challenge these Soldiers had to face was day and night land navigation. However hard the course might have been, the real challenge was the weather. Rain had caused loose mud, swiftly moving water and uncovered roots — all hazards in untamed parts of the island.
“It’s really good training, more like what I assume real life is like, not perfect,” said Spc. Sarah Chan, 325th BSB.
The final tests were simulation lanes, which tested medical knowledge in simulated stress environments.
“The medical lanes were built to be stressors with casualty scenarios based on the Expert Field Medical Badge tests,” said 1st Lt. Brandy Gainsley, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-35th Inf. Regt. “We just want to challenge the Soldiers’ ability to work under pressure.”
“I’m a little nervous, but I’m ready for it,” said Pfc. Michael Caputo, 2-35th Inf. Regt. “I’ve been training from the time I got into the Army.”
More than 80 percent of the Soldiers finished with a score of 75 percent or above.