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The best combat medic in Fort Hood: 3-day competition tests soldiers

Posted at 8:55 PM, Oct 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-19 22:00:18-04

Soldiers that signed up to save lives are fighting to prove that they are the best combat medics stationed here at Fort Hood.

The 1st Cavalry Division is hosting this year’s best medic competition at Fort Hood and it’s all to see who the best is.

The title of best medic is one that all medics are hungry for.

"We medics are, we’re pretty protective of that title. So, to be named the best medic on the post, it’s a pretty prestigious title to have,” said SFC Jordan Leftridge, 1st Cavalry Division.

The three-day competition is designed to test both their skills as a medic and their strength as soldiers.

They will be working in diverse two-man teams to show teamwork and their devotion to their battle buddies.

"He’s a radiology tech and I'm a medic. So, as long as he lets me lead in medic stuff and he leads in radiology stuff things will be great," said SGT Yimian Perez, a combat medic.

Today they are having a friendly competition but as Sergeant Major Michelle Loftus learned firsthand, when she earned a Purple Heart in Iraq, combat medics train to save lives.

"During the invasion in 2003, I was on patrol with my unit, and we took an IED blast. In which, I received shrapnel throughout the front of my face,” said SGM Michelle Loftus, Combat Medic and Purple Heart Recipient.

The injuries that Sergeant Major Loftus sustained earned her the Purple Heart and serve as a constant reminder of how vital the role of a combat medic really is.

"During that time, my brothers and sisters to my left and right had to take care of me. So, it’s important that we train medical skills because even the medic is not immune to injury,” said Loftus.

All the medics competing know they have it in them to win and some feel like they already have.

"They posted a couple of my pictures on Instagram and within three hours, I already had family and friends saying 'Hey Jim is that you? Like what’s going on' and I'm like yeah I'm competing and they're like, that’s awesome. I think I'm a fan favorite on Instagram right now. So, it’s pretty good,” said Perez.

The team that wins here will go on to represent Fort Hood in the national Combat Medic Competition to see who owns the title of the best medic in the Army.