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NEWS | June 3, 2022

Writing competition increases value of MEDCoE Captains Career Course

By Maj. Michael Ash MEDCoE Medical Capability and Integration Directorate

“Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That’s why it’s so hard,” said David McCullough, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner.

It’s through writing that we exercise our ability to think; they’re not mutually exclusive tasks.

As part of the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence Medical Captains Career Course the MEDCoE Leader Development Branch, and Medical Capability Development Integration Directorate, or MED CDID, established an essay writing competition on Multi-Domain Operations related topics to increase awareness and understanding of this critical task of our joint and coalition warfighters.

The MEDCoE CCC students conduct classroom and hands-on training about the Military Decision Making Process, Army Health Systems Support and Force Health Protection doctrine, unit training management, leadership skills and staff officer functions.

This is the second iteration of this vital partnership and task. The class cycle 22-221 completed the first assignment, and the leadership quickly recognized the quality, value, and importance of continuing this critical learning opportunity.

“The Army Medical Department Captains Career Course students submit a Multi-Domain Operation essay on AMEDD capability gaps within the next conflict," said Maj. Robert Chu, Captain's Career Course instructor. "The student identifies the gap, and then they must generate solutions.

“The cooperation between AMEDD CCC and MED CDID has leveraged the talents of our junior officers within the AMEDD to sustain it as a learning organization in solving the future problems of the Army and Army medicine,” Chu said.

On April 25, 2022, CCC Class 22-222 submitted their MDO essays for review. CCC small group leaders selected the best papers within their 11 groups. MED CDID leadership narrowed the submissions down to the five best.

For Class 22-222, the top five authors and papers are:

  1. Capt. Tara Walsh, “Combat and Operational Stress Control (COSC): Providing early intervention to decrease Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)."
  2. 1st Lt. Adam Milano, “Addressing Behavioral Health (BH) gap in MDO and LSCO."
  3. Maj. Todd Wical, "Medical capability gap in MDO...triage, treatment, and evacuation."
  4. Capt. William Kowallis, "Passive disease surveillance across roles and echelons."
  5. Capt. Stephen Davidson, “Force Health Protection (FHP) enabler UAS."

“Students must research and submit a persuasive essay on the tenets of Multi-Domain Operations and a current or future capability gap related to the Army's ability to deter and overcome threats," said Maj. Adam E. Charles, Chief, Captain Career Course, in explaining the partnership. "MED CDID reviews the papers, and the most innovative piece is recognized at the CCC graduation ceremony. In turn, MED CDID receives brilliant ideas from the field that can one day become a capability, concepts, or experiment that increases the survivability rate of service members on the battlefield.

“Our partnership with MED CDID has significantly improved our CCC students' learning outcomes and delivery of Multi-Domain Operations," Charles added. "We leverage Medical CDID expertise to help the students understand the complexity of operating within a Joint force and the cooperative efforts to gain the advantage in air, land, maritime, space and cyberspace.”

Col. Joselito Lim, Army Capability Manager director, MED CDID, presented Walsh the Army Achievement Medal at the class graduation for authoring the number one MDO paper for Class 22-222.

"Introducing these talented junior leaders to the concept of MDO and Large Scale Combat Operations is critical and must be part of every leaders development curriculum. These talented Officers serve as our future Company Commanders and are in crucial roles throughout the Army Health System," said Col. James Jones, MED CDID director, in describing this new initiative and partnership between the AMEDD CCC program and MED CDID. "Introducing MDO will help them transition from how we have fought for the last 20 years and allow them to consider how the AHS will conserve the fighting strength during MDO and LSCO.”