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101st Airborne Division Screaming Eagles put skills to test for Expert Field Medical Badge at Fort Campbell

 

Fort Campbell KY - 101st Airborne DivisionFort Campbell, KY – More than 100 Screaming Eagles began preparation November 18th to test their skills in the medical field and earn an Expert Field Medical Badge.

“It is by standard one of the hardest badges to earn across the Army,” said Maj. Sarah Burlee, medical operations officer for 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and officer in charge of EFMB testing. “Not everyone can be an expert.”

Experts are considered to be at the top of their fields. For Soldiers who earn the EFMB this is no different.

“It was built statistically so that your top percentages earn the EFMB,” Burlee said. “It’s not your medium block, not your top-half block, it’s the top block.”

Sgt. Michael Hinkle, medic for 426th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), applies a chest seal to the training mannequin, Nov. 18, during a demonstration for Expert Field Medical Badge candidates at Fort Campbell. (Spc. Jeremy Lewis, 40th Public Affairs Detachment)

Sgt. Michael Hinkle, medic for 426th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), applies a chest seal to the training mannequin, Nov. 18, during a demonstration for Expert Field Medical Badge candidates at Fort Campbell. (Spc. Jeremy Lewis, 40th Public Affairs Detachment)

Designed to put the total Soldier profile to the test, the combat training lanes assess the candidates’ medical and Soldier expertise.

Each lane examines the Soldier’s medical prowess as he or she completes various Soldier tasks throughout testing.

Candidates run through everything from eight-page patient evaluations and triage to establishing secure communication for a nine-line medical evacuation and decontamination from a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attack.

Spc. Matt Waskiewicz, combat medic for 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), secures a casualty for transport in a Skedco litter, Nov. 18, during Expert Field Medic Badge training week. (Spc. Jeremy Lewis, 40th Public Affairs Detachment)

Spc. Matt Waskiewicz, combat medic for 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), secures a casualty for transport in a Skedco litter, Nov. 18, during Expert Field Medic Badge training week. (Spc. Jeremy Lewis, 40th Public Affairs Detachment)

In addition to the CTLs, Soldiers must score 80 points or better in each event of the Army Physical Fitness Test, complete night and day land navigation courses and finish with a 12-mile ruck march. With only 144 hours from the first pushup to the end of the ruck march, once testing starts it is complete each task successfully or go home.

“It’ll be busy, they’ll be tired,” Burlee said. “But that’s the goal right, to get them out of their comfort zone.”

For some the rigors of testing can be overwhelming, but for a select few the crucible provides an opportunity for them to rise to the top.

“We had a 9% passing rate during fiscal year 19, those guys earned it,” Burlee said.

The EFMB is open to anyone in the medical field regardless of job title, and when a Soldier dons the badge units can rest assured they have someone who is capable of making a difference.

“They’ve got a Soldier who just spent two weeks testing the rigors by line,” Burlee said. “So they’ve got a good Soldier and they have someone who is medically capable of helping them.”

Second Lieutenant Shawn Ogden, a health services officer for 1st Battalion, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), flushes an IV, Nov. 18, during a practice run for the Expert Field Medic Badge testing at Fort Campbell. The EFMB features rigorous tasks such as a 128-step patient evaluation. (Spc. Jeremy Lewis, 40th Public Affairs Detachment)

Second Lieutenant Shawn Ogden, a health services officer for 1st Battalion, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), flushes an IV, Nov. 18, during a practice run for the Expert Field Medic Badge testing at Fort Campbell. The EFMB features rigorous tasks such as a 128-step patient evaluation. (Spc. Jeremy Lewis, 40th Public Affairs Detachment)

An example of this would be 1st Lt. Haley Guzman, health services administration officer and executive officer for C Company, 626th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

Guzman earned her EFMB in May.

Sgt. Jordan Andry, cavalry scout from 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), demonstrates a combat training lane for Expert Field Medic Badge candidates, Nov. 19, during EFMB training at Fort Campbell. One of the requirements to earn the EFMB is going through combat training lanes that include everything from patient evaluation to setting up a landing zone for a medical evacuation. (Spc. Jeremy Lewis, 40th Public Affairs Detachment)

Sgt. Jordan Andry, cavalry scout from 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), demonstrates a combat training lane for Expert Field Medic Badge candidates, Nov. 19, during EFMB training at Fort Campbell. One of the requirements to earn the EFMB is going through combat training lanes that include everything from patient evaluation to setting up a landing zone for a medical evacuation. (Spc. Jeremy Lewis, 40th Public Affairs Detachment)

“It was really rewarding to get through on the first try,” she said. “It’s a lot harder than people think, one of the worst tasks required 128 steps in sequence.”

After earning her badge, Guzman took her expertise to new candidates.

“Now that I’ve gone through and succeeded I can help my Soldiers get their badges too,” she said. “That’s what I’m most excited about.”

As the executive officer for her company Guzman planned and resourced coaching for Soldiers in her battalion.

“We ended up training about 80 Soldiers in preparation for this round of EFMB testing,” she said.

As the OIC for CTL 2, Guzman provides insight not only for the Soldiers going through testing but also the other instructors.

“It’s been exciting to incorporate comments from the after-action report last time and hopefully help more candidates get their badges this time,” she said.

The EFMB is where occupational expertise and Soldier proficiency meet.

Spc. Morgan Shaffer, combat medic for Headquarters Support Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), throws a grappling hook to simulate checking for landmines, Nov. 20, during Expert Field Medic Badge combat training lane familiarization at Fort Campbell. (Spc. Jeremy Lewis, 40th Public Affairs Detachment)

Spc. Morgan Shaffer, combat medic for Headquarters Support Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), throws a grappling hook to simulate checking for landmines, Nov. 20, during Expert Field Medic Badge combat training lane familiarization at Fort Campbell. (Spc. Jeremy Lewis, 40th Public Affairs Detachment)

For those seeking to earn the EFMB, training must start with an understanding of why the testing is so rigorous.

“As part of the medical community you are going to be imbedded in units where you’re expected to perform Soldier skills,” Guzman said. “You have to be able to be a basic Soldier and then after that when you’re exhausted be able to save people’s lives.”


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