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KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Staff Sgt. Bjoern Pietrzyk and Sgt. Charles Smith were named "Best Medics in the Army" after competing in a contest that tested their medical know-how, soldier skills and their mettle.

The two reservists assigned to Medical Department Activity Heidelberg were tested on an obstacle course, on firing rifles and pistols, land navigation, a 16-mile road march, explosives procedures, camouflage and a 10-question written test on their medical knowledge. The competition was held last week at Camp Bullis, Texas.

Competitors came from around the globe, including the Army’s commands in the Pacific and elsewhere. In all, 13 teams vied for the title.

Both soldiers tapped some of their civilian training to win the competition. Pietrzyk, 30, of Denver, is a firefighter in Littleton, Colo., and Smith, 27, works in radiology at Good Samaritan Medical Center’s emergency room in Denver. They are both assigned to the 5502nd Army Hospital in Aurora, Colo.

"The whole event itself encompassed so much of everything from solider skills to medical skills," said Smith. "I concentrated on my medic skills (to prepare) because in radiology, I don’t use those every day."

Pietrzyk said the competition in the States was much more difficult than the U.S. Army Europe competition in which they defeated four other teams to advance to Camp Bullis.


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