The Army increases standards, rigor for the Expert Field Medical Badge

U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence
Story by Tish Williamson

Date: 12.11.2018
Posted: 12.11.2018 15:51
News ID: 303058
Expert Field Medical Badge

Joint Base San Antonio –The Army added heightened eligibility requirements for the Expert Field Medical Badge Competition to increase unit readiness and elevate medical capability within the operational force.

The EFMB Test Control Office (TCO) recently unveiled several enhancements to the EFMB testing standards in the latest U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School, Health Readiness Center of Excellence (AMEDDCS HRCoE) PAM 350-10. While the badge is intended for qualified Army medical personnel who demonstrate a high degree of professional skills, stamina, and proficiency in Soldier and Army Medicine tasks, other services medical personnel, including foreign services, can and have, competed to earn the EFMB.

The Office of the Surgeon General (OTSG) and the United States Army Medical Command (USAMEDCOM) remain the proponents for the EFMB testing standards despite the recent alignment of AMEDDC&S HRCoE under the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

Units who host the EFMB test support the professional development and career enhancement of those medical personnel who attain the coveted EFMB. The EFMB is a visible measurement of technical and tactical proficiency for medical professionals, much like the EIB is for Infantry personnel. An increase in EFMB holders not only benefits those individuals, but it also increases unit readiness and elevates the medical capability within the entire organization.

To better align EFMB testing criteria with the Expert Infantry Badge (EIB) and the Expert Soldier Badge (ESB), OTSG and the AMEDDC&S HRCoE Commanding General authorized the addition of several strenuous benchmarks candidates will need to satisfy to be eligible for testing. This alignment is in direct support of the Army’s intent to increase the readiness and lethality of the operational force.

Updates to the AMEDDC&S PAM 350-10, signed by MG Patrick D. Sargent, Commander AMEDDC&S HRCoE and in effect starting March 2019, have a prerequisite for units to better screen Soldiers for proficiency in warrior tasks prior to being sent for EFMB testing. Under the new guidelines, candidates must now qualify expert with their individual weapon to be eligible to compete. The APFT is no longer a prerequisite but a day one tested event at an 80% standard. Other significant changes to the EFMB testing qualification include updated land navigation testing requirements and more precision in the tactical combat casual care tasks and subsequent written test.

The EFMB TCO generally requires units to announce their intent to host an EFMB test by September first, the year prior to their requested test date. However, with host unit enrollment down the last two Fiscal Years (FY), the TCO will review and accept as many test dates as their calendar can support. The TCO’s role as managers of the EFMB Program is to be present for validation, standardization, and testing of all EFMB sites to ensure that they comply with and enforce the standards in the publication.

Captain Emily Burkhardt, Officer in Charge of the TCO, indicated that their goal is to have 16 to 20 sites host a testing event each year. So far, there are 12 units signed-up to host an EFMB in FY19. Burkhardt said, “With approximately only nine percent of the Army medical population being badge holders, we would like to see more units host these events to increase opportunities for Soldiers to test.” Though hosting a testing event doesn’t guarantee a drastic increase in EFMB holders since the average test pass rate is between 10 to 18 percent.

While Soldiers will review training tasks during EFMB test competitions, the primary responsibility for training and proficiency remains at the unit level. The EFMB test affords units the opportunity to test Soldiers in a simulated combat environment lane and validate the skills necessary to thrive on a multi-domain battlefield. Those who arrive to the test site already prepared will excel.

AMEDDC&S HRCoE Command Sergeant Major William “Buck” O’Neal said units who host an EFMB are taking care of Soldiers. “Training at the unit level to prepare for this heightened standard will enhance unit readiness and proficiency, and therefore Army readiness and lethality,” said O’Neal. “There are few things more important than ensuring battlefield survivability through validation of medical training and warrior tasks in this manner,” he continued.

Commands interested in hosting an EFMB test should contact the TCO to schedule validation. Units are encouraged to review the updated EFMB standards in advance of the March 1, 2019 effective date. For more information, visit the EFMB webpage at