News: 56th MMB soldiers compete to earn spot for EFMB
Story by Staff Sgt. Christopher Klutts
Story by U.S. Army Sgt. Zachary A. Gardner
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – In February, 120 candidates from the 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 62nd Medical Brigade competed in a training exercise to earn a spot in an upcoming Expert Field Medical Badge Qualification.
The drill familiarized and tested the nominees on the skills and medical knowledge they will need to earn the badge. The average EFMB pass rate is less than 20 percent so only the top contenders from the exercise will have a chance to qualify in April.
“We are training under tough and rigorous conditions, and exercising tactical field medical care,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Wrighton, assigned to 56th MMB.
Much like the qualification, soldiers completed combat-related tasks at each lane including how to assess a casualty, treat a patient while under fire, and move a casualty off the battlefield.
“This is the first chance in my career that I’ve been able to do it,” said Capt. Mark Sander, commander of 551st Medical Logistics Company, 56th MMB. “I’m pretty excited about it and very motivated to get it because I’m already a captain. It’s not like I have a lot of time on my hands as a commander. It’s even harder to put that time aside.”
For some soldiers, beginning the process to earn their EFMB is more about achieving a personal goal than standing out among their peers.
“It’s going to mean a lot to me if I get it,” said Sgt. Phillip Martin, assigned to 551st MLC. “I’ll be very proud because my father got it when he was in the military.”