News: 5th Armored Brigade Soldier distinguishes himself at EFMB course
Story by Spc. kris maxfield
By Spc. Kristopher Maxfield
FORT BLISS, Texas-The Expert Field Medical Badge is one of the most sought after badges in the U.S. Army today. The qualification to earn the badge is not taken lightly by the trainers or the candidates, and most that try fail.
The EFMB qualification course here was conducted Feb. 21 – March 4, and is made up of three lanes, day and night land navigation courses, a written exam consisting of 150 questions on material that was not taught during the course and a 12-mile ruck march which had to be completed in less than 3 hours. There is no pre-course for this event so all participant knowledge comes from their Advanced Individual Training and on-the-job experience.
Staff Sgt. Jason Bierschbach, 3rd Battalion, 361st Regiment, “Mountain Warrior”, 5th Armored Brigade, is one of the few who went through the course and received his badge the first time around.
Bierschbach had no train-up or prior knowledge of the material that would be covered. He finished the two-week course as the Distinguished Honor Graduate and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and the Cpl. Thomas J. Kelly Award, March 4.
Bierschbach completed the EFMB course with only one no-go and a time of 2 hours, 48 minutes on the ruck march and readily spoke of the challenge he encountered in the course.
“It was really tough; working 16 hour days, 12 days in a row is very demanding and the ruck march is no joke,” said Bierschbach.
There are two EFMB courses each year that are open to anyone holding a military occupational specialty in the medical field. Some candidates go through the course five times and without receiving the badge, so participating in this event must be taken seriously and participants should prepare for it as such.
Drawing lessons from his experience at this event, Bierschbach plans on sharing what he learned.
“I will use the training I received here to help me do my job better and also help future candidates to prepare to receive their badges,” he said.
The next EFMB course will be held in October of 2011.