Army Medicine Best Leader Competition 2021 announced

Army Medicine Best Leader Competition 2021 announced

Office of the Surgeon General/U.S. Army Medical Command, Directorate of Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – The Army’s Regional Health Command – Pacific (RHC-P) is hosting the U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) 2021 Best Leader Competition at locations around Schofield Barracks on the island of Oahu from July 25-30.

The physically and mentally demanding competition, which is being held in and around the jungles of the home of the Army’s legendary 25th Infantry Division, will produce the MEDCOM’s 2021 Soldier and non-commissioned-officer (NCO) of the Year. They will represent the Army’s Medical Command in the U.S. Army’s Best Leader Competition in the fall with hopes of becoming the Army’s Soldier or NCO of the Year.

The U.S. Army Medical Command is not only responsible for ensuring that the Army’s Soldiers are medically ready to defend the Nation when called upon; but it must also ensure that its uniformed medical personnel are not just proficient in their medical specialties, but that they are also prepared to provide medical care on the battlefield under highly stressful conditions.

“The Best Leader Competition is about utilizing esprit de corps to build combat readiness and preparedness,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Diamond D. Hough, the Army’s senior enlisted Combat Medic and the MEDCOM’s senior enlisted advisor. The competition hones in on our Soldier’s technical, tactical, and critical thinking skills as they compete as a team. The concept underscores confidence and trust. A crucial benefit for the NCO is focus on how to plan, prepare and execute training,” said Hough.

The Soldiers will face off in warrior skills such as water survival, a grueling obstacle course, day and night land navigation, and a “stress shoot.” The competition also includes a “mystery event” that is designed to mentally and physically challenge the competitors’ ability to shoot, move, communicate, and provide combat casualty medical care under pressure.

The competitors represent the Army’s four regional health commands: RHC-Pacific, RHC-Atlantic, RHC-Central, and RHC-Europe.

The MEDCOM Soldier and NCO of the Year will be announced in an award ceremony at Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii on July 30, 2021. Keep up with the competition on Facebook and @ArmyMedicine on Twitter.

All images and video from the competition can be found here.

The 2021 Competitors

Regional Health Command – Europe

  1. 1st Sgt. Andrew Devito, Combat Medic, Medical Department Activity, Bavaria
  2. 1st Lt. Paige Runco, Medical Surgical Nurse/Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany
  3. Staff Sgt. James Gabisum, Combat Medic, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany
  4. Spc. Brenden Lopez, Behavioral Health Specialist, Ansbach Army Health Clinic, Germany

Regional Health Command – Central

  1. 1st Sgt. James Buchanan, Combat Medic, U.S. Army Medical Department Activity, Fort Polk, La.
  2. Capt. Megan Balcom, Physical Therapist, Irwin Army Community Hospital, Fort Riley, Kan.
  3. Staff Sgt. Edward Nelan, Combat Medic, Soldier Readiness Unit, Brooke Army Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas
  4. Spc. Totaram Dhanpat, Preventative Medicine Specialist, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, Fort Hood, Texas

Regional Health Command – Pacific

  1. 1st Sgt. Amy Davis, Combat Medic, Medical Department Activity, Korea
  2.  Cpt. Jason Christman, Optometrist, Desmond Doss Health Clinic, Hawaii
  3.  Staff Sgt. Israel Rivera, Combat Medic, Desmond Doss Health Clinic, Hawaii
  4.  Spc. Jarrett Rodriguez, Combat Medic, Desmond Doss Health Clinic, Hawaii

Regional Health Command – Atlantic

  1.  Cpt. Rose Ryan, Dentist, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  2.  1st Sgt. Scott Schumacher, Practical Nurse, Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, Ga.
  3.  Staff. Sgt. Andrew Pitts, Veterinary Food Inspection, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Branch, Fort Bragg, N.C.
  4.  Spc. Bricen Bolsen, Radiology Specialist, Kenner Army Health Clinic, Fort Lee, Va.

For additional assistance regarding the 2021 Army Best Leader Competition, please contact: Stephanie Abdullah at or 571-205-2491.


U.S. Army Medical Command is the Nation’s premier, expeditionary, and globally integrated medical force ready to meet the ever-changing challenges of today and tomorrow. Army Medicine provides sustained health services and research in support of the Total Force to enable readiness and conserve the fighting strength while caring for our Soldiers for Life and Families.

Army Medicine is Army Strong!

Visit us on social media at:

Army Medicine web page





Army Surgeon General: @LTGDingle

MEDCOM Command Sergeant Major: @CSMMEDCOM

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