59th MDW Wingman Day; resiliency, challenge and purpose

  • Published
  • By Laurri Garcia
  • 59th Medical Wing

Warrior Medics and Airmen from across Joint Base San Antonio battled it out for bragging rights, and the commander's sword and shield during the 59th Medical Wing’s annual Wingman Day-Warrior Medic Challenge Nov. 1 at the Gillum Fitness Center.

Wingman Day brings together active-duty and civilian Airmen from the Wing’s six groups promoting a day of healthy competition, team building and esprit de corps, in a not so ordinary environment.  Each of the groups chose competitors to participate in a variety of sporting events and challenges hoping to attain the coveted commander’s sword and shield.

 “Wingman Day started as the result of Airmen expressing a desire to meet their fellow warrior medics, all of whom are geographically dispersed throughout the JBSA footprint, in a more social environment so they could get to know one another,” explained Candido Ramirez, 59th MDW director of staff and event coordinator.   “Leadership heard the Airmen’s suggestion and designated a day of fun, family, friendly competition and food which has now evolved into the Wingman Day-Warrior Medic Challenge.” 

The day focuses on resiliency, team and morale building events, where anyone who wants to participate, can.  Even those not competing still participate by wearing their team colors and cheering their coworkers on.

The day-long affair includes flag football, 5K/9K run, basketball, volleyball, five vs. five soccer and other fun events, as well as the crown jewel competition, the Ultimate Warrior Medic Challenge, a grueling series of six-events where teams participated in hard fought competitions with names like Latimus Maximus, Dragula and The Machine, each meant to test the physical capabilities and mental fortitude of the Airmen who take on the challenge. 

Airmen interested in the more mental and social aspects of Wingman Day participated in a variety of events ranging from e-games and corn hole to the battle of the brains. 

Airmen shared in the camaraderie with their families, friends and even their four-legged companions. 

“There is a whole-Airman concept at work here,” said Ramirez. “Part of that is coming together in a social environment, and getting to know each other a little bit more which enables us to be stronger and more fit mentally, physically, spiritually and socially as warrior medics here at the 59th Medical Wing.”

At the end of the day, the 59th Medical Operations Group came up victorious for the third year in a row taking the top spot and earning bragging rights keeping the sword and shield in their possession for another year.