BAMC Personnel Train for Expert Medic Badge
Story by John Franklin Taylor Burk Clinic, Camp Bullis
Published January 31, 2012
Photo 1 -Sgt. Brandon Tucker observes Staff Sgt. Nicolay Kirillov as he works on a land navigation problem during preparation for the Expert Field Medical Badge competition at Camp Bullis, Jan 6.
Photo 2 - Capt. Nasser Fiqia provides medical aid to a simulated casualty during Expert Field Medical Badge competition training at Camp Bullis. Spec. Brian Aguridakis plays the role of the casualty.
Photos by John Franklin
Brooke Army Medical Center has prepared more than 20 candidates for the upcoming Expert Field Medical Badge Competition scheduled Feb 28 – March 8 at Camp Bullis.
The training has been conducted since November 2011 at Fort Sam Houston and recently a Field Training exercise Jan 6-7 at Camp Bullis. The exercise consists of officers and enlisted medical personnel.
The Expert Field Medical Badge (EFMB) is one of the most difficult badges to earn, often with less than twenty percent of the people successfully completing the competition and earning the prestigious badge according to Capt. Rend Yudhistira, BAMC Bravo Company commander, who oversaw the group’s preparation for the competition.
"BAMC's EFMB selection and training program is a rigorous 5-week program that was designed to assess and select the most suitable Soldiers and Airmen to fill the limited slots available during EFMB testing," said Yudhistira.
The training included events such as road marches, written examinations, medical evacuation training, and warrior task training.
The program culminates with the capstone event, a field training exercise (FTX) at Camp Bullis. The event intensely evaluates the candidates on EFMB tasks while simultaneously employing the physical prowess they have developed thus far. A significant emphasis is placed on attention to detail in every aspect of training from being in the correct uniform to completing hands-on tasks.
"Attention to minute details equals' success in the candidates earning their EFMB, that is what we instill in them every day from the moment they report for training," said Staff Sgt. Howard Sleath, the program's NCOIC.
To earn the Expert Field Medical Badge applicants must score high on a written exam covering a wide variety of medical treatment questions and common Soldier tasks, demonstrate weapons proficiency, and physical fitness.
The candidates are also required to be proficient in both day and night land navigation which requires they move a particular route over undeveloped land using a compass. The night land navigation aspect is a particularly difficult task. The competition requires the candidates to demonstrate their knowledge of combat medical care by successfully treating multiple casualties in a simulated combat environment and their knowledge of medical evacuation procedures once they have treated their patients.
The preparations are academically and physically demanding, said Yudhistira of the competitors. "They are all volunteers."
The EFMB candidates are assisted by more than 30 cadre and support personnel from BAMC during the FTX.
Sleath pointed out that many of the candidates receive their training, before or after duty hours or on weekends, and return to their units to perform their regular duties.
"You do what it takes to accomplish the mission and train your Soldiers," said Sleath.
"Preparing for the Expert Field Medical Badge results in excellent training for those competing, even if the applicant does not successfully earn the EFMB they return to their units with greater skills," said Sleath. "Some candidates compete for the EFMB multiple times before successfully earning the coveted badge of excellence."