JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-CAMP BULLIS, Texas —
Staff Sgts. Scott Dandrea and Joshua Merriss from the 232nd Medical Battalion were the winners of the U.S. Army Medical Department Center & School Best Medic Competition, which took place at Joint Base San Antonio-Camp Bullis Sept. 25-28.
Dandrea and Merris will represent the command at the Army Best Medic Competition, scheduled for Oct. 27 through Nov. 2 at JBSA-Camp Bullis.
The AMEDDC&S Best Medic Competition was a physical and logistical challenge as San Antonio experienced heavy rains during the week. From the first moment, the competitors battled the weather, yet their determination persevered during the grueling 36-hour event that mixed tactical, technical and critical thinking.
Events included the Army physical fitness test, immediately followed by the U.S. Army Force Command’s soldier readiness test, land navigation, warrior tasks and battle drills, a warrior run, tactical combat casualty care, a mystery event designed to challenge advanced medical skills, advanced rifle skills and stress shoot, an obstacle course, a written test and ended with a 12-mile road march.
Master Sgt. Jata Jordan, brigade operations noncommissioned office in charge for the Medical Professional Training Brigade, described the logistical challenges of conducting the competition.
“The competitors really put their heart in soul into it,” Jordan said. “Not just them, but also the cadre support. It rained the entire time we were out there. Cadre NCOs saw the determination and grit of their fellow NCOs competing, and they motivated each other. The cadre was flexible, adjusting things to the right as we worked around the conditions. This competition would not have been a success without them and Soldiers of the Training Support Activity.”
“Conceptually, the competition was what I expected, but the actual execution was way more rigorous than I could have thought or prepared for,” Dandrea said. “It was a great opportunity to test my technical and tactical skills, and gave me a lot of ideas on how to train Soldiers.”
After the award ceremony, Merriss had a chance to reflect.
“It was all worth it,” Merriss said. “The pain, the wet, everything. I have blisters on every toe and on both heels. But it’s worth it. It’s always nice to see your hard work pay off. I’m happy it’s over and now I’m happy to start training for the next level. So let’s go.”