News: Medical experts preparing test for prestigious badge
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Rodney Jackson
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – A team of Army medics are getting ready for an intense five-day evaluation that will test the knowledge of medical soldiers from throughout the Pacific Theater as they strive to earn the Expert Field Medical Badge, one of the Army’s most coveted badges to earn, during U.S. Army Pacific’s EFMB testing, here, Nov. 3-8.
After months of preparation and coordination, with 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support) taking the lead, three combat tactical testing lanes are setup, evaluators are trained with one standard of testing and a U.S. Army Medical Department team, or AMEDD, has validated the lanes for clearance to start receiving candidates for validation week, Oct. 28.
In preparation for validation by AMEDD, the team of 15 evaluators and a five-member test board panel walked the 12-mile road march course during pre-rehearsals, and evaluated the grading of Staff Sgt. Jason Bullock, optician, Tripler Army Medical Center, and evaluator, as he tackled combat tactical lane one.
“This was an opportunity to see how the lane is going to go, how the sequence of events will happen,” said Lt. Col. Jacob Dlugosz, chief G3, 18th MEDCOM (DS) and test board chairperson. “Our focus is seeing how the graders evaluated the tasks to make sure there was consistency between both evaluators, and to make sure they gave the appropriate go's and no go's on the task that the test candidate did or failed to do.”
Bullock commented that a couple of differences in the testing, since he earned the badge, is the addition of Tactical Combat Care, known as TC3, and units providing great unit support to train their troops up prior to sending them out to validation week.
“TC3 has 147 critical tasks and the train-up before sending the troops out has contributed to a higher passing rate, which with promotion points and the prestige of having the badge makes the two weeks well worth it to the soldiers,” said Bullock.
“When it comes to standardization, when we get validated, we have to all pass [the soldiers] with the same standard, we have to teach the same standard, so we can grade to the same standard,” said Bullock. “We don’t want one cadre looking for something and another one isn’t.”