Airborne Engineers from the 82nd Airborne Division tested their mental agility and physical endurance Aug. 28, 2018 on Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Paratroopers from the 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team participated in an “Amazing Race” style contest, testing their ability to solve problems while under physical stress.
The battalion divided into teams by birth month and set off to visit as many stations as possible throughout the brigade’s area on Fort Bragg. Stations required the paratroopers to solve a mentally and physically-demanding task to earn points.
At one location, paratroopers closed their eyes, randomly grasped the hands of two separate teammates and untangled themselves into a circle. Another event required a blindfolded paratrooper to navigate through a course while receiving verbal instructions from his partner.
Two paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division distinguished themselves above their peers during a grueling competition on Fort Bragg held July 25-26.
Staff Sgt. Miguel Matias, a Medic assigned to Headquarters, Headquarters Troop, 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment and Sgt. Tyler Fisher, a Medic assigned to Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment proved their exceptional medical knowledge while demonstrating steadfast endurance during the two day competition.
“Best Medic is important because it tests out the Medics’ competency and their physical and mental toughness,” said Sgt. 1st Class Evelyn Pollard, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team’s senior medic, about the competition.
Participants began the competition in the early morning with a Ranger Physical Fitness Test before moving onto a written evaluation and marksmanship ranges. Designed to determine the division’s top two medics, events continued to stress the paratroopers’ technical knowledge and mental and physical endurance with an obstacle course, night land-navigation, a 12-mile ruck and a rope-rigging evaluation.
With little rest and nutrition, paratroopers’ completed a final evaluation consisting of lanes testing their ability to respond to a wide range of simulated medical emergencies.
Spc. Edgar Cortes, a member of Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, was the youngest medic competing, having earned his Expert Field Medical Badge earlier this year.
“I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Cortes before beginning the competition. “I came here for the experience and realistic training.”
Matias and Tyler will continue to train to compete in the Army-wide Command Sgt. Maj. Jack L. Clark Jr. competition, scheduled to begin September 15 on Camp Bullis, Texas.