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Achieving The Expert Field Medical Badge
by U.S. Army Sgt. Jasmine Higgins - October 14, 2015

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In the Army, it is usually the lower enlisted Soldiers that are on the receiving end of military and specialty training events, but there is always room for an exception.

During the Expert Field Medical Badge standardization and testing phases on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Sept. 18–29, Army Spc. David Souza, with Madigan Army Medical Center, would be that exception. Having graduated from candidate to cadre in 2013, Souza was the only junior enlisted badge recipient to train and grade the 2015 EFMB candidates.

Spc. David Souza, upper left, cadre for the 2015 Expert Field Medical Badge, Madigan Army Medical Center, assists a group of Soldiers on combat training lane one of the EFMB course, during the 2015 EFMB training phase on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Sept. 23, 2015. The EFMB is known Army-wide as a physical representation of excellence in the medical field, and it is also among the most difficult and prestigious badges to earn. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jasmine Higgins, 28th Public Affairs Detachment)
Spc. David Souza, upper left, cadre for the 2015 Expert Field Medical Badge, Madigan Army Medical Center, assists a group of Soldiers on combat training lane one of the EFMB course, during the 2015 EFMB training phase on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Sept. 23, 2015. The EFMB is known Army-wide as a physical representation of excellence in the medical field, and it is also among the most difficult and prestigious badges to earn. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jasmine Higgins, 28th Public Affairs Detachment)

“It's a lot of hard work,” said Souza. “I had a really good train-up, [but] it takes a lot out of you. You have to put a lot into it, and you get [out] what you put in.”

The EFMB is known Army-wide as a physical representation of excellence in the medical field and it's also among the most difficult and esteemed Army skill badges to earn.

“It's an honor and a privilege to be out here,” said Souza. “It's a really prestigious badge, and to be able to teach people and train them up to obtain the badge themselves – I'm very proud to do that.”

Souza was assigned to combat testing lane one (CTL1), the tactical combat casualty care lane, where he trained candidates to perform individual tasks, such as properly performing a chest seal and a needle chest decompression.

Souza, having already proven that he has what it takes to earn the coveted EFMB, has dedicated his time and effort helping JBLM EFMB candidates achieve their goals, because he knows first-hand what it takes for such a feat.

“For people that want to come out here [and earn the EFMB], it shows that you're a goal-orientated person, a go-getter, [and] that you're willing to put everything into something,” said Souza. “It shows the kind of person you really are.”

“He's functioning easily at the level of team leader or sergeant,” said Army Sgt. 1st Class Kaleb Twilligear, the noncommissioned officer in charge of CTL1 with Madigan. “Everything we ask him to do, he does enthusiastically.”

As a junior enlisted Soldier training candidates of all ranks, both enlisted and officers, Souza faces a challenge most of the other cadre members may not worry about nearly as much.

“He's doing a great job at that [addressing senior-ranking candidates],” said Twilligear. “His confidence shines through above his rank. Confidence makes it very easy for him to address those people who out rank him.”

Just like in years past, many candidates will fail and only about 20 percent ranging from private to commissioned officers, will earn the right to proudly wear the badge – a badge a junior enlisted Soldier helped them earn.

“He's a great asset,” said Twilligear. “It's hard to find that collection qualities with one individual.”

By U.S. Army Sgt. Jasmine Higgins
28th Public Affairs Detachment
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2015

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