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Patriotic Article
Military

By Army Spc. Justin A. Naylor

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Medic Soldiers Train for Rigorous Challenge
(July 22, 2010)

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Spc. Juan Ramirez, a West Palm Beach, Fla., native and medic with 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, checks the eyes of Pfc. Robert Sellers, from Palm Bay, Fla., during training for the Expert Field Medical Badge, June 23, 2010.
Spc. Juan Ramirez, a West Palm Beach, Fla., native and medic with 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, checks the eyes of Pfc. Robert Sellers, from Palm Bay, Fla., during training for the Expert Field Medical Badge, June 23, 2010.
 FORT HOOD, Texas (July 16, 2010) — For as long as there have been Soldiers on the field of battle, there have been medics alongside them, putting themselves in harm's way to care for the wounded.

In the spirit of this dedication, medical Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, on Fort Hood, Texas, are continuing intense training started earlier this year in preparation for one of their field's greatest challenges—the Expert Field Medic Badge.

“The EFMB is a big deal in the medical community,” explained Sgt. 1st Class Donna Hunter, a Piscataway, N.J. native and the medical non-commissioned officer-in-charge for 2nd BCT.

The EFMB tests a Soldier's knowledge of their job and ensures they are performing to the best of their ability and meeting the standard, she explained.

In order to earn an EFMB, Soldiers must be in the medical field, but do not have to specifically be medics. They are required to complete a 12-mile rucksack march in an allotted time, perform various medical tasks while under simulated fire, and use basic Soldier survival skills. The testing is slated for August and will take place over approximately five days and, upon completion, Soldiers are authorized to wear the EFMB on their dress and regular uniforms.

Because of the high standard Soldiers are expected to meet to earn their badge, prior training is essential.

According to Spc. Juan Ramirez, from West Palm Beach, Fla., a medic with 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd BCT, this training is how leadership prepares and pre-screens Soldiers to ensure they are physically and mentally ready for the rigors of the EFMB test.


“We want to make sure their medical skills are up to standard,” said Hunter.

The training for the EFMB has been taking place over the course of the last several months and emphasizes skills that will be tested by the EFMB including, trauma care, lifesaving skills, needle chest decompression, rucksack marching, providing cover and a written test.

This is an opportunity for all medics to go over their basic skills, relearn anything they might have forgotten since school and ask questions, explained Ramirez.

“This really helps build confidence,” he said. “We get a lot of knowledge out of this whether we pass the EFMB or not,” he said.

The testing in August will be the first time that Soldiers in this brigade have had a chance to earn the EFMB since before their last deployment in the beginning of 2009.

“It shows that their [medical] skills are where they need to be,” said Hunter. “It says ‘We're the best of the best.' It's an accomplishment of their medical skills, basic Soldier skills and physical ability.”

With less than a month left before the EFMB, “Black Jack's” medical Soldiers will continue to train hard to ensure they have what it takes to earn their badge.
Article and photo by Army Spc. Justin A. Naylor
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs
Copyright 2010

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