Competition tests soldiers’ medical expertise – Fort Carson Mountaineer

FORT CARSON Colorado – CPS. Brandon Gracia, with 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, climbs a rope Oct. 5, 2021, during the Best Medic competition. (Photo by Staff Sgt Matthew Rabahy)

“My field now has two back-to-back top medics titles in the division, so now the rest of them will be pumped to compete next year.”

– Staff Sgt. Ishmael Marquez

By the sergeant. Kelsey simmons

4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
FORT CARSON Colorado - Staff Sgt.  Ismael Marquez, left, and Spc.  Brandon Gracia, right, with 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, win the competition

FORT CARSON Colorado – Staff Sgt. Ismael Marquez, left, and Spc. Brandon Gracia, right, with 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, win the “Ivy” Best Medic competition October 7, 2021. Both combat medics will compete in the best army doctor in January. (Photo by Spc. Ruby Torres)

FORT CARSON Colorado – The 4th Infantry Division hosted the “Ivy” contest for top medic from October 4-6, 2021 at Fort Carson. Five Soldiers from across the facility took part in the three-day competition to identify the top two medics.

“The Ivy Best Medic competition is a great opportunity for doctors to show their skills, to represent their businesses, to represent the 4th Inf. Div. and represent the military, ”said Staff Sgt. Brandon Plunkett, NCO in charge of the Ivy Best Medic competition, 4th Inf. Div.

The competition is designed to challenge participants physically and mentally as well as to test their tactical medical skills.

“It’s a super exhausting event filled with obstacle courses, ruck walks and (more),” said Spc. Brandon Gracia, a combat medic with 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div. “A lot of medical skills are involved. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of rest time… It’s a great and friendly environment.

The first day of the competition consisted of three events: a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear aptitude test; 12 mile ruck walk; and a medical skills challenge.

“So far the event has been quite fun,” said Master Sgt. Ismael Marquez, a combat medic with the 3rd Sqdn., 61st Cav. Reg., 2nd SBCT. “The 12 miles got me a bit exhausted, but other than that my soldier and I finished in the top two. I’m pretty excited about it.

The second day consisted of four events: Army Combat Fitness Test, a swim challenge, an obstacle course and a medevac challenge.

FORT CARSON Colorado - Staff Sgt.  Ismael Marquez, with 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, performs CPR on a mannequin Oct. 5, 2021, during the Best Physician Competition at Ivy Fitness Center.  (Photo by Sergeant Kelsey Simmons)

FORT CARSON Colorado – Staff Sgt. Ismael Marquez, with 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, performs CPR on a mannequin Oct. 5, 2021, during the Best Physician Competition at Ivy Fitness Center. (Photo by Sergeant Kelsey Simmons)

“You think you’re good at swimming until you do it with a uniform and all of a sudden you’re almost drowning,” Gracia said. “It’s definitely one of the things I have to work on. “

The third and final day consisted of a single event: the urban orienteering race, in which competitors were awarded five different points to be found in Fort Carson. They had four hours to locate each point and return to the starting line.

After all points were totaled for each of the events, Gracia and Marquez were announced as the competition winners in a ceremony at the 4th Inf. Div. Headquarter.

“My field now has two back-to-back top medics titles in the division, so now the rest of them will be pumped to compete next year,” Marquez said.

There will be a Command Sgt. Major Jack L. Clark Jr. Army Best Medic Competition (ABMC) January 24-28 in Fort Hood, Texas. The ABMC is a 72-84 hour two-soldier team competition that challenges the military’s top medical teams in a demanding, continuous and realistic simulated operational environment. The winning team will claim the title of the Army’s best combat medical team for 2022.

“We’re going to need this time to work on our communication skills, get in shape and medically prepare for whatever things are going to happen,” said Gracia. “So far this competition has been incredible. I can’t wait to see the rest. “

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