More than 15 soldiers in Europe recently competed to win Landstuhl Regional Medical Center’s Top Warrior title and secure a spot in the US Military Medical Center’s Top Squad, at the LRMC’s Top Warrior/Squad Competition, April 25-27.
The competition tested soldiers on army warrior tasks and combat drills, lifesaving skills, military proficiency and physical fitness.
“Winners of this competition will move on to the Regional Health Command Europe competition against the other top teams in the region,” says the Army Master Sgt. Luis Arambulaguzman. non-commissioned officer in charge of the competition. “The significance of this is just the concept of the soldier’s overall skills and testing resilience.”
Over the course of two days, soldiers participated in an Army combat physical fitness test, ruck marches, battlefield scenarios and a medical trauma response simulation. According to Arambulaguzman, the competition not only tested soldiers against each other, but also aimed to build cohesion and teamwork, an outcome echoed by competition participants.
“It was fun to see my peers cheering on each other,” the Army sergeant said. Jason Barajas, an optometric technician at the Baumholder Army Health Clinic.
Additionally, Barajas points out that the competition helps prepare soldiers for missions that are not common in a fixed medical environment.
“I was just challenging myself to see how I could get better as a soldier,” said Barajas, a native of San Bernardino, Calif. “I did this to prepare myself as to see where to push my physical and mental limits.”
As a result of the competition, six Soldiers were recognized as the top LRMC team: 1st Lt. Zachary Rojas, Sgt. Christian Manjarrez, Sgt. Dean Santos, SPC. Caleb Nawman, SPC. Jhoshua Alfaro and SPC. Emily Grant. The best LRMC team will participate in the RHCE competition at the end of May.
“It was nice to see battle buddies, not just from LRMC but from other places, facing the same challenges,” said Grant, a native of Lemon Grove, Calif., and nutritional care specialist at LRMC. a hospital, so we work like a hospital, sometimes the regular army (warrior skills) get a bit lost in this, but we try our best.
“We are looking for the best,” Arambulaguzman said. “Not just those who can run the fastest, but those who can actually think under pressure and make the right decisions that can support the team.”
“It’s about having the heart of a soldier and carrying on whatever physical task comes your way,” Grant said.