• FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Soldiers with the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade train for an upcoming Expert Field Medical Badge competition on April 30, 2014, at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Medics, vet techs and a 4th MEB physician assistant are spending their days with physical and mental tasks, such as a "litter run" where the Soldiers run as a team and take turns carrying the 180-pound mannequin on a litter, making sure the mannequin doesn't hit the ground during the run. The troops are preparing for next month's 1st Infantry Division EFMB competition at Fort Riley, Kan.

    4th MEB readies for EFMB competition

    FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Soldiers with the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade train for an upcoming Expert Field Medical Badge competition on April 30, 2014, at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Medics, vet techs and a 4th MEB physician assistant are spending...

  • FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- A group of 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Soldiers load a mock casualty into a Field Line Ambulance, or FLA, on May 2, 2014, at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. The Soldiers have been training for an upcoming EFMB competition at Fort Riley, Kan.

    4th MEB readies for EFMB competition

    FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- A group of 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Soldiers load a mock casualty into a Field Line Ambulance, or FLA, on May 2, 2014, at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. The Soldiers have been training for an upcoming EFMB competition at Fort...

  • FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Soldiers train for an upcoming Expert Field Medical Badge competition on May 2, 2014, at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. The Soldiers hope their training pays off when they compete for a chance to earn the coveted EFMB at 1st Infantry Division's June competition at Fort Riley, Kan.

    4th MEB readies for EFMB competition

    FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Soldiers train for an upcoming Expert Field Medical Badge competition on May 2, 2014, at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. The Soldiers hope their training pays off when they compete for a chance to earn...

  • FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- A group of Soldiers with the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, have spent the last weeks training for an upcoming Expert Field Medical Badge competition, which is slated to be held at Fort Riley, Kan.

    4th MEB readies for EFMB competition

    FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- A group of Soldiers with the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, have spent the last weeks training for an upcoming Expert Field Medical Badge competition, which is slated to be held at Fort Riley, Kan.

  • FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Soldiers with the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade train for an upcoming Expert Field Medical Badge competition, April 30, 2014, at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Medics, vet techs and a 4th MEB physician assistant are spending their days with physical and mental tasks preparing for next month's 1st Infantry Division EFMB competition at Fort Riley, Kan.

    4th MEB readies for EFMB competition

    FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Soldiers with the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade train for an upcoming Expert Field Medical Badge competition, April 30, 2014, at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Medics, vet techs and a 4th MEB physician assistant are spending their...

  • FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. --Pfc. Chelsea Hanneman, Fifth Engineer Battalion, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, conducts medical training on April 30, 2014, in preparation for an upcoming Expert Field Medical Badge competition next month at Fort Riley, Kan. Hanneman is a native of Ottawa, Ohio.

    4th MEB readies for EFMB competition

    FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. --Pfc. Chelsea Hanneman, Fifth Engineer Battalion, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, conducts medical training on April 30, 2014, in preparation for an upcoming Expert Field Medical Badge competition next...

  • FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. --Sgt. Randal Blake, 14th Military Police Brigade, gets treated as he portrays a mock casualty during Expert Field Medical Badge training on April 30, 2014, at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

    4th MEB readies for EFMB competition

    FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. --Sgt. Randal Blake, 14th Military Police Brigade, gets treated as he portrays a mock casualty during Expert Field Medical Badge training on April 30, 2014, at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

  • FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Soldiers with the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, train for an upcoming Expert Field Medical Badge competition on April 30, 2014 at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Medics, vet techs and a 4th MEB physician assistant are spending their days with physical and mental tasks, such as a "litter run" where the Soldiers run and take turns carrying a 180-pound mannequin on a litter, making sure the mannequin doesn't hit the ground. The troops are preparing for next month's 1st Infantry Division EFMB competition at Fort Riley, Kan.

    4th MEB readies for EFMB competition

    FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Soldiers with the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, train for an upcoming Expert Field Medical Badge competition on April 30, 2014 at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Medics, vet techs and a 4th MEB physician...

  • FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Soldiers with the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, practice their medical skills for an upcoming Expert Field Medical Badge competition by unloading a mock casualty from a Field Line Ambulance at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. on May 2, 2014. The 4th MEB is scheduled to take a group of 12 Soldiers to the upcoming 1st Infantry Division EFMB competition at Fort Riley, Kan.

    4th MEB readies for EFMB competition

    FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Soldiers with the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, practice their medical skills for an upcoming Expert Field Medical Badge competition by unloading a mock casualty from a Field Line Ambulance at Fort...

  • FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Spc. Jake Kotwica, 92nd Military Police Battalion,  - at Fort Riley, Kan. Kotwica is a native of Holland Patent, N.Y.

    4th MEB readies for EFMB competition

    FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Spc. Jake Kotwica, 92nd Military Police Battalion, - at Fort Riley, Kan. Kotwica is a native of Holland Patent, N.Y.

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Medics, veterinary technicians and a physician assistant from the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade have spent the last few weeks training on various physical and mental tasks as they ready themselves for next month's 1st Infantry Division Expert Field Medical Badge competition.

For 12 aspiring Soldiers from 4th MEB, 1st Infantry Division, the upcoming competition at Fort Riley, Kan. gives them a chance to earn one the Army's most sought after recognitions.

According to Sgt. 1st Class Jason Gross, the 4th MEB's senior medic, the competition has a 13 percent pass rate Army-wide.

"They don't call it the coveted EFMB for no reason at all," said Gross, who is supervising the Brigade's train-up and will also serve as a cadre member at the 1st Inf. Div. competition.

Some of the 4th MEB Soldiers know all too well how difficult the competition can be after not making the cut last year, but are back at it again to try once more and flex their resiliency muscles.

Spc. Jacob Kotwica, 92nd Military Police Battalion, 4th MEB, competed last year, but was eliminated during the night land navigation portion.

"I feel more confident going out a second time," Kotwica said, thinking about the ultimate prize and what he hopes will be the pay-off for all his hard work. "It's going to feel good, people see that badge and they think a little different of you."

One of those Soldiers, Sgt. Ben Raymond, 94th Engineer Battalion, 4th MEB, already has what the Soldiers training want, the EFMB. This year, Raymond is instructing the aspiring badge earners and plans to serve as cadre at the 1st Inf. Div. competition.

"We've got good feelings about it this year," Raymond said while observing a group of troops run through training lanes where they had to treat multiple mock casualties. "They are overwhelmed, but if they do what the manual says, they'll be alright."

It's not just medical skills that challenge the competitors. The hopeful qualifiers are put to the test in events such as weapon breakdown, movement techniques, chemical lanes, navigation skills, a written test and a 12-mile footmarch to top it all off.

"It reinforces the reality that medics are Soldiers first," said Maj. Chris Seeber, a PA with the 5th Engineer Battalion, 4th MEB, aiming to earn the EFMB next month.

After completing a long morning "litter run" where the Soldiers practiced teamwork, upper body strength and stamina by carrying a 180-pound mannequin without letting it drop to the ground, a tired Sgt. Dillon Sostrom, 94th Eng. Bn., 4th MEB, said it was just one event throughout their train-up that has helped build camaraderie.

Despite the long training days and hours, Sostrom said the voluntary competition is something he's determined to conquer.

"It's that badge that sets you up above the rest," Sostrom said.

The upcoming competition will also be the first time the 4th MEB has sent vet techs to the competition, according to Gross.

Sgt. Megan Bates, a vet tech with the 5th Eng. Bn., said it's been great to have Soldiers that have been through the competition before training them to help emphasize what the testers will be focusing on.

"It's not about what you think you know, it's about what they want you to know," said Bates,
Who didn't hesitate to voice her opinion on what she wasn't looking forward to about the competition.

"That written test scares me to death," said Bates. "That's the part that fails out half the class."

The competitors will travel to Fort Riley this month for a training week and standardization, where cadre familiarizes the competitors with the different challenges.

The testing and competition is slated for June 4-9.

Page last updated Fri May 9th, 2014 at 00:00