38 candidates of 236 Soldiers, Airmen earn EFMB

| October 31, 2014 | 0 Comments
EFMB candidate Sgt. Philip Schuster (right), a medic of Co. C, 225th BSB, 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, helps move a simulated casualty victim to an evacuation point. In this attempt, only 19 percent of the participating candidates completed all of the challenges to earn the right to wear the badge.

EFMB candidate Sgt. Philip Schuster (right), a medic of Co. C, 225th BSB, 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, helps move a simulated casualty victim to an evacuation point. In this attempt, only 19 percent of the participating candidates completed all of the challenges to earn the right to wear the badge.

Sgt. Brian C. Erickson
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

 

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Nearly 50 years ago, the Army expanded its awards program by implementing the Expert Field Medical Badge for combat medics.

While not actual combat duty, the test itself is so difficult that only 19 percent of those who have tried it, across the Army, have passed it this year.

“The EFMB is one of the most prestigious and coveted awards a medical professional can obtain,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Stoddard, senior enlisted adviser, 325th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Bde. Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.

More than 236 Army and Air Force medical personnel from across the Pacific region converged, here, Oct. 14-24, for the opportunity to earn one of the most sought-after awards in the medical field.

An EFMB candidate drags a simulated casualty to an evacuation point using a Skedco rescue stretcher, Oct. 21.

An EFMB candidate drags a simulated casualty to an evacuation point using a Skedco rescue stretcher, Oct. 21.

To earn the EFMB, candidates must complete 60 multiple-choice questions in general military and medical knowledge, preventive medicine and map reading. A score of 75 percent or above is required.

On top of the written test, all the candidates faced tasks that included day and night land navigation, tactical combat casualty care, medical and casualty evacuation, warrior skills and communications.

“The EFMB is a great thing, but it is extremely challenging,” said 1st Lt. Sebastian Coates, medical operations officer, 2nd Bn., 35th Inf. Regiment, 3rd BCT, 25th ID.

According to Coates, it comes down to the attitude the candidates bring with them that will determine whether or not they walk away with the badge.

During the first four days, the EFMB hopefuls went through a standardization week when candidates were shown how they must accomplish every task. These days were the opportunity to refine their skills and build their knowledge before heading into the test week.

After the first five days of testing, only 20 percent still remained, with just one final task between the 46 remaining candidates and the prestigious badge.

An Airman EFMB candidate secures the straps of a harness on a  simulated casualty victim during the testing  at Area X, Schofield Barracks, Oct. 21. The prestigious badge is even more rare for the Air Force.

An Airman EFMB candidate secures the straps of a harness on a
simulated casualty victim during the testing at Area X, Schofield Barracks, Oct. 21. The prestigious badge is even more rare for the Air Force.

The final task, a 12-mile forced road march, carrying a standard load of fighting gear, had to be completed within three hours.

Among the 38 who completed the road march in the allotted time, Senior Airman Chris Bowlds, medical technician, 15th Medical Group, 15th Wing, earned the honor of being an expert field medic. Not many Airmen earn the Army medic badge.

“For the Air Force, it is more about pride and shows us how we measure up to our counterparts in the other services,” said Bowlds.

Those who made the journey through every task and challenge received the EFMB during a graduation ceremony on Weyand Field, Oct. 24.

Stoddard reminded the graduates that they’ve inherited a responsibility to train and develop the next generation of EFMB awardees.

“I ask that you take this responsibility to heart and share the knowledge that has made you successful today,” said Stoddard.

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Category: News, Training

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