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    Two 34th CAB Soldiers earn prestigious Expert Field Medical Badge

    Two 34th CAB Soldiers earn prestigious Expert Field Medical Badge

    Photo By Sgt. Sebastian Nemec | Pfc. Nick Baum, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-147th Assault Helicopter...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Sebastian Nemec 

    34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade

    CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - Deployed Soldiers from all over the Middle East spent nearly two weeks at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, from Jan. 29, 2015, to Feb. 9, 2015, for an opportunity to earn the highest and most challenging skill award a U.S. Army medic can earn, the Expert Field Medical Badge.

    The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team administered the EFMB course to Soldiers, including six from the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade.

    “We had a 118 [Soldiers] that volunteered to come compete for the Expert Field Medical Badge,” said Maj. Tracie Dominguez, the officer in charge of the EFMB course and senior brigade physician assistant for the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division at Camp Buehring.

    On average, approximately 16 percent of Soldiers earn the Expert Field Medical Badge, said Dominguez.

    The requirements before coming to the course were a passing Army physical fitness test, qualification on the Soldier’s assigned weapon, and the ability to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

    Many Soldiers fail the first written exam in the beginning of the course and lose their chance at earning the EFMB, said Pfc. Nick Baum, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-147th Assault Helicopter Battalion medic, who earned the EFMB.

    “It was more nerve-wracking than exciting,” Baum said about the course. The slightest mistake on a combat training lane test could mark the end to earning the EFMB.

    Soldiers had to prove their skills in various categories, such as: tactical combat casualty care, medical evacuations, land navigation and warrior skills.

    The training was exhausting, tough, but very worthwhile, said Spc. Megan Almelia, 90th Aviation Support Battalion medic, who earned the EFMB.

    It involved studying every night, said Baum.

    The 28 Soldiers who passed the written tests and combat training lanes, geared up for a 4 a.m., 12-mile ruck march Feb. 9. To successfully complete the ruck march, Soldiers had to cross the finish line in three hours and pass a gear inspection. They carried an unslung rifle, gas mask, and other essential Soldier gear.

    The Soldiers ruck marched to their training sites every day to prepare for the 12-mile ruck march, said Baum.

    The EFMB is the Army Medical Department standard of excellence, said Dominguez.

    The Soldiers studied for months, said Dominguez. They’re highly motivated, and they paid attention to their instructors. The Soldiers who earn the EFMB are the cream of the crop. Most Soldiers crossed the finish line running, some collapsing, exhausted afterward.

    “[I’m] still in shock I completed [the march] in time,” said Almelia.

    She completed the ruck march with approximately three minutes to spare.

    “It hurts, everything,” said Baum after the march.

    With the last test complete, a total of 24 out of 118 Soldiers earned the prestigious Expert Field Medical Badge.



    Date Taken: 02.09.2015
    Date Posted: 02.11.2015 05:17
    Story ID: 154176
    Location: CAMP BUEHRING, KW 
    Hometown: ALEDO, TX, US
    Hometown: HASTINGS, MN, US

    Web Views: 400
    Downloads: 2