Story by SGT Daniel Johnson on 06/09/2017
More than 200 medical Soldiers from across the Pacific gathered at Schofield Barracks at the end of June to compete for the Expert Field Medical Badge.
The badge, held by only about 10% of the Army medical community, requires intense training to prepare for and even more fortitude to earn.
"The Expert Field Medical Badge designed as a special skill award for recognition of exceptional competence and outstanding performance by field medical personnel," said 1st Lt. Nolan D'Angelo, the event's Officer in Charge, from 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. "Only around 10% of the medical community has the EFMB. Wearing the EFMB places you in a very small and prestigious group."
"For junior enlisted soldiers and junior non-commissioned officers, it provides them promotion points, bragging rights and sense of accomplishment," said Maj. Antione Barnett, an optometrist from Medical Department Activity Ft. Wainwright, Alaska. "For senior enlisted and officers, it allows them to set the example for achieving the badge."
"Soldiers who earn the coveted EFMB display to their subordinates, peers, and leaders that they possess high levels of physical fitness, mental toughness, and the ability to perform to standards of excellence in a broad spectrum of critical medical and Soldier skills," said D'Angelo.
The EFMB is a grueling test of every aspect of being a medical professional and a Soldier in the U.S. Army.
"The EFMB Test consists of a 60 question written test and has three Combat Testing Lanes consisting of Tactical Combat Casualty Care, communications, warrior skills, and medical evacuation tasks, day and night land navigation, and concludes with a 12-Mile Ruck March which the Soldiers must complete in 3 hours," said D'Angelo.
"The two most difficult task are night land navigation and Combat Training Lane #1," said Barnett. "CTL #1 involves emergency medical treatment, Tactical Combat Casualty Care tasks, disassemble, assemble, and perform functions check of an M9 pistol and an M16/M4 rifle, as well as move under direct fire."
Soldiers travelled from across the Pacific to participate in the EFMB with the 25th Infantry Division. Many who did not make it will have to return again next year to take another shot.
"More than 200 Soldiers came from all around the Pacific to include 1SBCT in Alaska, Medical Department Activity - Alaska, MEDDAC - Japan, Public Health Command- San Diego, 18th Medical Command, Tripler Army Medical Center, 8th Sustainment Command, 2nd IBCT, 3rd IBCT, 25th Infantry Division Artillery, 25th ID Headquarters, and the U.S. Army Pacific Command," said D'Angelo.
"The EFMB is challenging but attainable," D'Angelo said. "The 25ID EFMB Team encourages all of the Soldiers that went for the EFMB this year and did not get it to continue to pursue it."