EFMB testing challenges Pacific Soldiers

| November 13, 2015 | 0 Comments

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Staff Sgt. Tramel Garrett
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs


SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, HAWAII – Medic! Countless wounded Soldiers have yelled out this word over the years and it takes a highly skilled warrior to provide first aid and trauma care on the battlefield.

The 25th Infantry Division assessed those battlefield skills with Expert Field Medical Badge testing 25-30 October. This is one of the most challenging and stressful training evaluations in the U.S. Army, with a 19 percent pass rate.

“Last year was my first attempt,” Sgt. Joshua Knox said. “I just graduated out of advanced individual training, and I didn’t know what it was. It’s a very prestigious badge, and for some it takes four or five tries. The lanes were pretty challenging and everyone in the medical field should try at least once,” Knox added.

More than 250 Soldiers from throughout U.S. Army Pacific accepted the challenge to acquire the badge, but only 44 were able to succeed. A no-go in any section of the testing results in a disqualification and numerous service members leaving empty-handed.

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This training is open to all medical specialties to include physician assistants, combat medics and radiologists.

“This was my second run at the EFMB. It’s not just about saving lives; you are upholding a higher standard, “Sgt. Matthew Gelperin said.

The service members are tasked to complete numerous requirements to include land navigation, communications, evacuation and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, to name a few. This ensures only well-rounded medical service members who can perform common tasks and basic medical care.

Soldiers are reminded to take their time to ensure everything is done correctly and to standard.

“You’re a little sleep deprived, but you have to remember your training. Attention to detail is vital during testing,” Gelperin said. “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. You hear that all the time but it really holds true.”

The culminating event was a 12-mile ruck march. Soldiers have three hours complete this with their standard fighting load.

“I feel outstanding since I completed the ruck march,” 1st Lt. Emmanuel Asamoa said. “I’ve learned so much and I’m glad I went through it. The more you do it the better you get.”

“This training highlighted what we do in the medical field,” Asamoa said. “Every medical Soldiers should go for it. Try every year if you have to. Even if you do get it you learn so much.”

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