U.S. Army Europe Expert Field Medical Badge testing: A challenge to find the best

September 27, 2012

BySgt. Michael Reinsch, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs Office

Pvt. Richard Ampong from the British Army's 1st Medical Regiment carries a simulated victim during testing at U.S. Army Europe's Expert Field Medical Badge event in Grafenwoehr, Germany, Sept. 16. The USAREUR EFMB provides U.S. and coalition servicemembers an opportunity to earn an elite skill badge while also expanding common standards for treating the sick and wounded and improving communication among front-line medical professionals fighting together today. (Photo by Sgt. Michael Reinsch)

HEIDELBERG, Germany -- The pop of a smoke grenade, thrown into a wooded area, breaks the silence and concentration of a Soldier pushing a simulated victim into the back of a military ambulance.

“Incoming!” he yells as he hits the ground. The bang from the ‘arti-sim’ rattles the ground beneath him and somewhere in the wood line someone calls for a medic.

U.S. Army Europe’s Expert Field Medical Badge standardization and testing event in Grafenwoehr, Germany September 11-24 provided U.S and partner nation medical personnel the opportunity to improve their medical proficiency and readiness and increase understanding of different nations’ medical tactics, techniques and procedures.

“EFMB tests the medic’s ability to be precise in the skills you have to accomplish while under pressure,” said Spc. Eric Daugherty, a medic with 172nd Infantry Brigade from Vero Beach, Fla. “It’s good to learn the skills and incorporate them into the updated standards in the medical field.”

This year’s EFMB was hosted by USAREUR’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment with more than 300 candidates taking part in the challenge, including 18 participants from Slovenia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Estonia and Italy.

“For the Army, it’s the best of the best of the medical field,” said Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Moak from the Landstuhl (Germany) Regional Medical Center.

Although the EFMB is a U.S. Army badge, USAREUR invites coalition partners and medics from the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps to participate.

“These are the guys we are on the battlefield with, so we should train with them and prepare the same way,” said Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, USAREUR commander.

During EFMB testing, all participants had to:
• demonstrate their proficiency at tactical combat casualty care, standard and non-standard evacuation operations,
• take a written test,
• execute U.S. Army Warrior, communications and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosives tasks,
• perform day and night land navigation
• complete a 12-mile road march

“There is a wide range of skills and knowledge levels among the Soldiers trying out for the EFMB,” said Moak, a native of San Antonio, Texas. “It’s amazing to see how Soldiers adapt to different environments. From the time they get here until the time they leave, whether they get the badge or not, they’ve learned something about the Army, the medical department and the EFMB that they didn’t know when they got here.”

USAREUR plans to continue expanding multinational participation in the EFMB and other training opportunities. Conducting joint and multinational training events helps provide a more ready and agile force for contingency operations around the world. These training and partnership opportunities allow USAREUR build enduring partnerships for regional and global security.

“I didn’t know what the EFMB was until I arrived here,” said Yeebel (Master Sgt.) Dhitri Petrov from the Estonian defense forces. “There are some things that we do differently between the Estonian [military] and the U.S. Army, but I enjoyed it.”

For more information visit the USAREUR EFMB website. To see more images from the event, take a look at the EFMB gallery in the USAREUR photostream on Flickr.

About us: U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned to advance American strategic interests across Eurasia and has unparalleled capability to prevent conflict, shape the environment and, if necessary, win decisively. The relationships we build during more than 1000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships, and enhance global security.