JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (April 25, 2013) -- The saying "small town boy makes good" has never been more true than with the recent accomplishment of Army Spc. Mitchell Peterson.

Peterson is from Pleasantville, Iowa, a city that boasts a population of just over 1,600, and he recently was awarded the very prestigious Expert Field Medical Badge (EFMB).

Peterson is a medic assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 5th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

The EFMB is awarded to medical personnel of the U.S. military who successfully complete a set of qualification tests including written and performance evaluations in casualty care and evacuation tasks, weapons qualification and a physical fitness test.

JBLM hosted the EFMB testing and had 246 candidates attempt to earn it. After all testing was complete, 33 Soldiers stood apart from their peers as recipients of the badge.

"It's a really significant accomplishment, and I had the opportunity to observe some of the great training these Soldiers did in preparation," said Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, I Corps deputy commanding general. "About 13 percent of the candidates made it through to the end, which is above the Army average of around 11 or 12 percent."

Peterson was the only 5-5th ADA Soldier who competed the test.

"A lot of people were pushing me to go out for the badge, and at first I was reluctant due to the high attrition rate. After a few days I figured 'why not' and took a shot," he said.

He added he always wanted to be a medic, and this recent qualification was a huge milestone in his career.

"My day to day of working in the clinics has helped me become a better-rounded person, and the badge testing was the more 'hooah' stuff you see on television," said Peterson.