FORT RILEY, Kan. - The training fields around Fort Riley will soon be swarming with Soldiers as more than 200 Army medical professionals begin a two-week quest to gain one of the Army’s most coveted badges – the Expert Field Medical Badge.
“The EFMB says that a Soldier is not only an expert in their medical specialty, but (he or she) is also an expert in everything that it takes to be a Soldier,” said Sgt. 1st Class David Meditz, noncommissioned officer in charge, 2012 EFMB testing. “The EFMB tests require that the candidates know all there is to know about everything, from communication and evacuation to medicine.”
The EFMB testing process begins April 30, with a week long standardization and training period, during which time the candidates will be able to walk through the different task lanes and receive training on the different tasks associated with the lane. Testing officially begins May 5, with a 60-question written test in which each candidate must score at least a 75 percent on. The testing will continue through May 10, with day and night land navigation, combat and medical skill lanes and a 12-mile road march in full gear.
The Soldiers will remain in the field throughout the two weeks of training and testing.
“This is a very intense event,” said Capt. Trinity Storey, EFMB testing officer-in-charge.
Historically, the “very intense” EFMB events have eliminated more than 70 percent of the candidates at some point during the testing week, according to Meditz. During the 2011 testing season, 2,359 Soldiers attempted to earn the EFMB. Only 394 were actually awarded the badge.
“The EFMB is something that you have to want as an individual, have to want with your heart,” Meditz said. “At some point during the week, you are going to be pushed to your last step, and you are going to have to decide if you are going to keep moving forward or if you are going to quit. Those who have the heart will keep moving forward to graduation.”
EFMB graduation is scheduled for May 11.