4th Brigade Soldiers compete in medic challenge

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 10:08pm

Twenty Soldiers assigned to 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, took part in a medic challenge Friday on East Fort Bliss that led them around the brigade footprint.

The event was designed to build morale, develop a culture of pride in the medic’s ability to treat under stress, and test physical fitness, preparing the medics to support the infantry on the battlefield, said 1st Lt. Julio Rodriguez, medical operations officer for 4th Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 4th BCT. 

“Being in 4-6, we see a lot of events tailored toward the infantry guys,” said Rodriguez. “We see a lot of stress shoots and … a lot of (the) best infantryman, (so) we decided (to) have a stress treat and a medical challenge.”

The event covered two miles and featured five challenge areas. The medics competed in teams of five, with one team comprised of commissioned and noncommissioned officers, and three teams consisting of junior-enlisted Soldiers.

The competition started with the teams having to evaluate a simulated casualty and prepare the casualty to be transported. Soldiers moved their patient by litter through four tested areas, with teams donning chemical masks, low crawling across Highlander Field, and completing group pushups and sit-ups, while continuing to provide treatment.

“It was brutal, but it was worth it,” said Spc. Kenville Spencer, a medic from Miami, Florida, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4-6 Inf. Regt. “I’m glad it’s over with and I hope to do it again.”

Pfc. Nathan Pullen, also a medic assigned to HHC and a native of Sandy, Oregon, was a member of the winning team.

“This competition was probably the most strenuous and fun exercise I have done since I have been here,” said Pullen. “Even though it smoked us, I would have to say it was good training, good teamwork and a good teambuilding exercise.”

Most of the Soldiers agreed the event that saw them running up and down hills and carrying a patient while wearing a chemical mask was the event’s most difficult challenge.

“I have never had to do that before and it really gave us a run for our money,” said Pullen.

Although only three teams from 4-6 and one team from 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, took part in the challenge this time, Rodriguez said he would like to expand the participation in future competitions to the entire Highlander Brigade.

“We want this to be an ongoing event,” said Rodriguez. “We look forward to collaborating with the entire brigade for future events.”



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