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    Wired Obstacle

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Jacob Sawyer | A Sky Soldier navigates a wired obstacle during the Expert Field Medical Badge...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Jacob Sawyer 

    173rd Airborne Brigade

    DEL DIN, Italy - Five paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade earned the Expert Field Medical Badge (EFMB) during a ceremony at Rhine Ordnance Barracks in Kaiserslautern, Germany, September 23, 2020.

    The ceremony capped a rigorous, three-week training and testing event that only rewards the best and most physically fit medics with the coveted badge. Across the Army, about 20% of those who compete earn the badge.

    “This is my second time competing in the EFMB,” said Sgt. Robert Kluba, the clinic noncommissioned officer for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment. “It just beat me last year, so I just wanted to come back and prove that I could do it.”

    A total of 121 candidates from U.S. Army Europe’s medical specialists competed in this years EFMB; 23 from the 173rd Airborne. Out of those 23, five successfully passed all the tests.

    Competitors underwent testing on communications, basic soldier-skill tasks, medical tasks and an 80-question written exam. They also faced tough testing scenarios known as combat testing lanes which incorporate 15 or more different tasks including triage, casualty evacuation and emergency medical treatment in a simulated combat environment. The culminating event was a 12-mile ruck march that had to be completed in less than three hours.

    Two of the five Sky Soldiers took the three top honors for the competition. Kluba earned two, one for earning the fewest no-go’s throughout the competition and another for the highest first-time-go score on the written test.

    The final top honor was awarded to Pvt. 1st Class Matthew Stover, a medic in Anvil Troop, 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment (Airborne) for completing the fastest 12-mile ruck march with a time of coming in at two hours and 10 minutes.

    “I was pretty nervous too, because I heard of how difficult the competition was and the attrition rate,” Stover stated. “I was going to give it everything I had regardless. Once I started passing some lanes; each go I got, I just started getting a little bit more like I can really do it.”

    The competition was established in June 1965 as a Department of the Army special skill award for the recognition of exceptional competence and outstanding performance by field medical personnel.

    “This badge looks to single out the best of the best,” said Sgt. 1st Class Zach Reames, Brigade Medical Operations noncommissioned officer in charge for the 173rd Airborne Brigade. “Those that can put forth that extra effort, set themselves apart from their peers and show that they have the grit to get through the mental and physical tests.”

    The five badge earners for the 173rd Airborne Brigade were: Kluba and Sgt. Juan Zendejas, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, Pvt. 1st Class Joseph McCain and Pvt. 1st Class. Roman Rogozin, 1st Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, and Stover, 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment (Airborne).



    Date Taken: 10.02.2020
    Date Posted: 10.02.2020 08:10
    Story ID: 380067
    Location: VICENZA, IT 

    Web Views: 432
    Downloads: 1