News Icon

News: Texas soldier earns Expert Field Medical Badge

Story by Maj. Randall StillingerSmall RSS IconSubscriptions Icon

Texas soldier earns Expert Field Medical Badge Sgt. Mark Scovell

Spc. Wesley Acuna is congratulated by 36th Combat Aviation Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Elizabeth Shockley after he received the Expert Field Medical Badge during a ceremony at Camp Buehring in Kuwait. Spec. Acuna is deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Mark Scovell/Released)

CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait – A Texas Army National Guard soldier was one of a select few individuals here to qualify for the coveted Expert Field Medical Badge (EFMB) on Wednesday.

Spc. Wesley Acuna of Round Rock, Texas, joined an elite group as he completed the final qualifying event, a grueling 12-mile forced march around this remote base in the Kuwaiti desert, just south of the Iraq border. He is currently deployed to the Middle East with the 36th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

When the process started six days ago there were 138 Soldiers with high hopes of earning the distinction of being among the best in the U.S. Army medical field. After several qualifying events that tested them mentally and physically for six days, only a small percentage were left at 4 a.m. to start the road march, which required the soldiers to wear a full combat load and finish in under three hours.

When it was all over, only 21 soldiers were pinned with the coveted Expert Field Medical Badge on their uniforms by Brig. Gen. Kenneth C. Roberts, Assist. Chief of Staff for Army Central Command.

Col. Rick Adams, commander of the 36th CAB, said that with absolute objectivity, the 16 percent graduation rate for the EFMB competition speaks to the excellence, professionalism and determination that defines Spec. Acuna.

During the last few miles of the road march, as pain took a toll on his body and sweat dripped from his face, Acuna was asked how and why he got involved in the EFMB process.

“I didn’t really plan to do this,” Acuna said. “I started training, and then at some point I just committed.”

The physical challenges and lack of sleep was only a portion of the qualification process as it added a difficult layer of complexity of the tasks. Under harsh and stressful conditions, candidates were tested to prove themselves as expert medical professionals.

Required medical tasks to be performed under life-like simulated combat situations included controlling severe bleeding using a tourniquet, hemostatic device, and dressings, inserting a nasopharyngeal airway, performing needle chest decompression, initiating treatment for hypovolemic shock and the prevention of hypothermia among many others.

Casualty Evacuation and other tasks further tested their abilities in a battlefield environment. Those tasks included evacuating a casualty using a litter, using a one or two-person carry or drag, extricating a casualty from a vehicle, and establishing a helicopter landing point.

“My inspiration to complete this came from my section and my unit’s support,” Acuna said. “I feel really accomplished and confident that I’m a better medic and a better Soldier because of this training and competition.”

“He's among the best and brightest the 36th CAB offers into the fight,” Adams said. “It's Soldiers like Spec. Acuna that make the U.S. Military the most lethal and benevolent force on the planet."

Spc. Acuna is the son of Pete and Lisa Acuna of Round Rock.


Connected Media
ImagesTexas soldier earns...
Texas Army National Guard soldier Spc. Wesley Acuna...
ImagesTexas soldier earns...
Texas Army National Guard soldier Spc. Wesley Acuna is...
ImagesTexas soldier earns...
Spc. Wesley Acuna during the ceremony in which he...
ImagesTexas soldier earns...
Spc. Wesley Acuna is congratulated by 36th Combat...


Web Views
325
Downloads
0

Podcast Hits
0



Public Domain Mark
This work, Texas soldier earns Expert Field Medical Badge, by MAJ Randall Stillinger, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:10.16.2013

Date Posted:10.16.2013 09:44

Location:KW

Hometown:ROUND ROCK, TX, US

More Like This

  • With one of the most prestigious Army skill badges on the line, medics from the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division and others stationed here vied to see if they had what it took to secure a place among a select few in the United States Army. 
One hundred and thirty seven soldiers competed for the Expert Field Medical Badge June 17-28, here. The competition was hosted by the 4th BCT, marking the first time in ten years that a brigade combat team has hosted an EFMB competition at Fort Bragg.
  • Waiting with anticipation for their turn to begin the examination, the two young medics run through the tasks they have learned over the past week one last time in their heads before taking off into the woods.

Pfcs. Christopher Moore and Taylor Corum, who serve with the 2nd Aviation Assault Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, are striving to earn their Expert Field Medical Badges. 

These EFMB contenders are testing their warrior skills and medical knowledge through a written exam as well as a series of combat tactical lane casualty care tasks.
  • Five 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade soldiers headed to Fort Riley, Kan., to participate in the Army’s Expert Field Medical Badge competition, May 5-10. A total of 159 participants entered the five-day course and only 24 earned the badge at its conclusion. One of the finalists was 4th MEB soldier, Spc. Benjamin Raymond.
  • This year’s U.S. Army Europe’s Expert Field Medical Badge competition was hosted by the 2nd Cavalry Regiment Sept. 10-21 at Grafenwoehr training area. U.S. Forces candidates, as well as soldiers from five European countries including Slovenia, United Kingdom, Germany, Estonia and Italy trained and demonstrated their expert medical skills under strict observation in order to obtain the right to be called the best.

Options

  • Army
  • Marines
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • National Guard

HOLIDAY GREETINGS

SELECT A HOLIDAY:

VIDEO ON DEMAND

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Flickr