30th Medical Brigade hosts inaugural Best Squad Competition

ANSBACH, Germany – Six squads from the 30th Medical Brigade competed in the brigade’s Best Squad Competition, held Feb. 26 to March 1, 2024. The competition tested the squads’ proficiency in basic soldier tasks, such as reacting to direct and indirect fire, marksmanship, and emergency medical and evacuation procedures.

The Delta Squad belonging to the 421st Medical Battalion (Multifunctional), comprised of four Soldiers, won the enlisted competition. They will move on to compete in a joint competition at the 21st Theater Sustainment Command competition later this year.

“It feels great to win and represent our battalion,” said Sgt. Cooper Meiner, the Delta Squad leader. “Being able to do this with my squad has made me feel more confident in myself as a leader and I could not ask for a better group.”

The squads, consisting of volunteers from various military occupational specialties, worked over four long days with their testing starting from as early as 2 a.m. and going till 11 p.m., demonstrating their technical and tactical proficiency and ability to work as a disciplined and cohesive team.

According to Command Sgt. Maj. Jorge Oquendo, senior enlisted advisor, of the 30th Medical Brigade, best squad competitions like these enhance the 21st TSC’s ability to support rapid power projection. ”The presence of tactically proficient squads is absolutely critical for a fully functional Army that can effectively win battles,” said Oquendo.

“It is important for these Soldiers to leave with the ability to achieve squad unity and strong leadership at the squad level,” said Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Keum, the non-commissioned officer in charge of the competition. “They must work as a team and enhance their skills to become better leaders.”

Sgt. Tanner Tate, a combat medic from the Delta Squad, was recognized as the overall best non-commissioned officer during the event. He participated in the competition as a way to improve himself for his Soldiers and peers, while becoming an expert in his field.

“As Soldiers, we don’t always get to do things that are not specific to our roles,” said Tate. “This competition gives me a chance to better myself and become a skilled leader in the Army and my field as a combat medic.”

The Army’s Best Squad competition focuses on leadership at the most influential level—the squad—a group of five to 10 soldiers forming the basis of all Army units.

By Staff Sgt. Daniel Yeadon