• Spc. Pamela Sandoval (center) and Spc. Keala Mamala (right), both combat medics assigned to the 115th Brigade Support Battalion "Muleskinner," 1st Brigade Combat Team "Ironhorse," 1st Cavalry Division, use a Kendrick Extraction Device to demonstrate how to move a casualty, played by Pfc. Cord Shotton, an infantryman assigned to the 2nd Battalion "Stallion," 8th Cavalry Regiment of the Ironhorse Brigade, during training for the Expert Field Medical Badge May 14 at Fort Hood, Texas. More than 200 Soldiers across the post participated as cadre, candidates and support during EFMB training and testing. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Paige Behringer, 1BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.)

    Pass or fail, EFMB candidates endure tough training

    Spc. Pamela Sandoval (center) and Spc. Keala Mamala (right), both combat medics assigned to the 115th Brigade Support Battalion "Muleskinner," 1st Brigade Combat Team "Ironhorse," 1st Cavalry Division, use a Kendrick Extraction Device to demonstrate...

  • Spc. Joseph Giardina, a Phoenix native and combat medic assigned to Troop A, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment "Garryowen," 1st Brigade Combat Team "Ironhorse," 1st Cavalry Division, prepares to throw a simulated grapnel hook during training for the Expert Field Medical Badge May 14 at Fort Hood, Texas. Along with tasks specific to medical military occupational specialties, EFMB candidates must prove proficiency in a range of basic Soldier skills to earn the badge. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Paige Behringer, 1BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.)

    Pass or fail, EFMB candidates endure tough training

    Spc. Joseph Giardina, a Phoenix native and combat medic assigned to Troop A, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment "Garryowen," 1st Brigade Combat Team "Ironhorse," 1st Cavalry Division, prepares to throw a simulated grapnel hook during training for the...

  • Spc. Joseph Giardina, a Phoenix native and combat medic assigned to Troop A, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment "Garryowen," 1st Brigade Combat Team "Ironhorse," 1st Cavalry Division, applies a Kendrick Extraction Device to a simulated casualty, Spc. Reymar Duza, a Las Vegas native and cannon crewmember assigned to the 1st Battalion "Dragon," 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, Ironhorse Brigade, during training for the Expert Field Medical Badge May 14 at Fort Hood, Texas. The 10-day exercise prepares candidates for the testing phase with a training portion in which Soldiers are shown EFMB tasks and given time to study and practice. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Paige Behringer, 1BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.)

    Pass or fail, EFMB candidates endure tough training

    Spc. Joseph Giardina, a Phoenix native and combat medic assigned to Troop A, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment "Garryowen," 1st Brigade Combat Team "Ironhorse," 1st Cavalry Division, applies a Kendrick Extraction Device to a simulated casualty, Spc...

  • Spc. Joseph Giardina, a Phoenix native and combat medic assigned to Troop A, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment "Garryowen," 1st Brigade Combat Team "Ironhorse," 1st Cavalry Division, demonstrates strapping a casualty into a Skedco stretcher during training for the Expert Field Medical Badge May 14 at Fort Hood, Texas. Giardina demonstrated each task in Combat Testing Lane Three while cadre provided advice and assistance, ensuring all candidates know the proper way to execute each task. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Paige Behringer, 1BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.)

    Pass or fail, EFMB candidates endure tough training

    Spc. Joseph Giardina, a Phoenix native and combat medic assigned to Troop A, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment "Garryowen," 1st Brigade Combat Team "Ironhorse," 1st Cavalry Division, demonstrates strapping a casualty into a Skedco stretcher during...

  • Spc. Joseph Giardina, a Phoenix native and combat medic assigned to Troop A, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment "Garryowen," 1st Brigade Combat Team "Ironhorse," 1st Cavalry Division, pulls a simulated casualty using a Skedco stretcher during training for the Expert Field Medical Badge May 14 at Fort Hood, Texas. The EFMB is a non-combat badge awarded to medical Soldiers who complete a series of written and performance tests. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Paige Behringer, 1BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.)

    Pass or fail, EFMB candidates endure tough training

    Spc. Joseph Giardina, a Phoenix native and combat medic assigned to Troop A, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment "Garryowen," 1st Brigade Combat Team "Ironhorse," 1st Cavalry Division, pulls a simulated casualty using a Skedco stretcher during training...

  • Sgt. Paulus Smallwood, a Lexington Park, Maryland, native and radiology specialist assigned to the 115th Brigade Support Battalion "Muleskinner," 1st Brigade Combat Team "Ironhorse," 1st Cavalry Division, gestures to a barbed-wire obstacle while describing tasks in a Combat Trauma Lane during training for the Expert Field Medical Badge May 14 at Fort Hood, Texas. As a grader, Smallwood not only evaluates each candidate's performance during testing, but he also teaches candidates how to properly execute each task, ensuring they are given the knowledge necessary to succeed. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Paige Behringer, 1BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.)

    Pass or fail, EFMB candidates endure tough training

    Sgt. Paulus Smallwood, a Lexington Park, Maryland, native and radiology specialist assigned to the 115th Brigade Support Battalion "Muleskinner," 1st Brigade Combat Team "Ironhorse," 1st Cavalry Division, gestures to a barbed-wire obstacle while...

  • Sgt. Cindy Rojas, a Salinas, California, native and combat medic assigned to the 91st Brigade Engineer Battalion "Saber," 1st Brigade Combat Team "Ironhorse," 1st Cavalry Division, demonstrates a high-crawl during training for the Expert Field Medical Badge May 14 at Fort Hood, Texas. EFMB tasks are a combination of field medical proficiency and basic Soldier skills. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Paige Behringer, 1BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.)

    Pass or fail, EFMB candidates endure tough training

    Sgt. Cindy Rojas, a Salinas, California, native and combat medic assigned to the 91st Brigade Engineer Battalion "Saber," 1st Brigade Combat Team "Ironhorse," 1st Cavalry Division, demonstrates a high-crawl during training for the Expert Field Medical...

  • Sgt. Cindy Rojas, a Salinas, California, native and combat medic assigned to the 91st Brigade Engineer Battalion "Saber," 1st Brigade Combat Team "Ironhorse," 1st Cavalry Division, demonstrate reacting to fire after low-crawling during training for the Expert Field Medical Badge May 14 at Fort Hood, Texas. In Combat Testing Lane One, candidates had to perform movement, weapon and medical tasks in a simulated combat environment. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Paige Behringer, 1BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.)

    Pass or fail, EFMB candidates endure tough training

    Sgt. Cindy Rojas, a Salinas, California, native and combat medic assigned to the 91st Brigade Engineer Battalion "Saber," 1st Brigade Combat Team "Ironhorse," 1st Cavalry Division, demonstrate reacting to fire after low-crawling during training for the...

FORT HOOD, Texas -- More than 200 Fort Hood Soldiers, around two-dozen from the 1st Brigade Combat Team "Ironhorse," 1st Cavalry Division spent 10 days working through their own limitations to find out what it takes to become an expert in their field.
From May 10 through 20, Soldiers in medical professions endured pouring rain, mud, a challenging land navigation course, three Combat Testing Lanes, a written test and a 12-mile ruck march during training and testing for the Expert Field Medical Badge.
Regardless of the outcome, these candidates experienced the training and witnessed what it takes to earn the EFMB, a badge signifying physical fitness, mental toughness and proficiency in medical and Soldier skills.
For many participants, including Sgt. Cindy Rojas, a combat medic, and Spc. Lawrence Echon, a dental specialist, both assigned to the 91st Brigade Engineer Battalion "Saber" of the Ironhorse Brigade, this isn't their first trip through the EFMB lanes.
Rojas, a Salinas, California, native, excelled during her two previous attempts, scoring high in each lane, but tragedy struck during the 12-mile ruck march on her first EFMB.
"(On) mile eight, I started running," Rojas said. "I was still on time, (but I) tripped and fell on my tibia. (I) broke my tibia and tore a calf muscle."
It took Rojas a year to get back into shape after her injury, but she went after the EFMB once again. After making it through the lanes her second time, she missed the ruck march cutoff time by only a few seconds.
Although disappointed, Rojas trained even harder for the ruck march this time, determined not to let the near miss stop her from earning the badge she strived for since she trained to be a medic at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
Aside from not making it in the past, Rojas said she believes the training is still valuable. She said there are things she would not have had the opportunity to learn without participating in EFMB.
Echon, who is shooting for the badge for his fourth time, agreed.
"It's good training, great training," said Echon, a native of Yigo, Guam. "You learn a lot of new stuff, (and) you get to know a lot of people."
Echon said he feels an advantage this time around having been through the training before. He had a hard time with day and night land navigation and the written test in previous attempts.
"You have to be physically fit, because everything here is a smoker," Echon said. "You have to know what to do when you're tired."
Basic Soldier skills like land navigation, weapons knowledge, movement and communication account for a large portion of the EFMB qualification, so Echon's unit used Sergeant's Time Training to prepare months in advance.
"I think if you study hard and listen to whatever they teach you, then you will pass," Echon said.
With high hopes, Echon said it's always possible for everybody to succeed. He said he has wanted to wear the badge ever since he saw a drill sergeant wearing it in initial entry training.
Rojas said her favorite part of the EFMB is completing the lanes, because she knows she tried her best.
"It's great training, and it's always good to get out and see people from different groups. Different ranks all come together, try and teach each other to get something," Rojas said.

Page last updated Tue May 20th, 2014 at 00:00