By Spc. Trisha Pinczes, 138th Public Affairs Detachment, New York Army National GuardAugust 5, 2011
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany, Aug. 5, 2011 -- Air hissed between the teeth of Petty Officer 3rd Class Toby League as he maneuvered under a barbed wire fence obstacle as part of Combat Testing Lane 3 during the 2011 U.S. Army Europe Expert Field Medical Badge Standardization and Testing here, Aug. 3.
Navy Corpsmen are rarely seen training with U.S. Army Soldiers, however, League and Seaman Corey Keating, both from Naval Support Acitivity Naples, Italy, are participating in the Expert Field Medical Badge, or EFMB, testing in order to further improve the overall standard of care for wounded personnel on the battlefield.
“It broadens your scope,” Keating said. “Everyone does their patient assessments and field exams differently so you can pick and choose between different things and build a larger knowledge base.”
Working with Soldiers brought about a new way of thinking for the two Sailors participating in this event.
“I didn’t know what to expect as a corpsman out here in a group of Army,” said Keating. “I got to meet a lot of these guys and you hear stories here and there but meeting them and working with them really changes your mind about it.”
League, who has two combat deployments under during his belt, found he had a lot in common with his fellow Army candidates.
“These guys, a lot of them are combat deployed like myself,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot of different things that we relate to since we’ve been in a lot of the same places.”
As Sailors, League and Keating faced several difficulties adjusting to the Army requirements.
“The one that I’m really worried about is the land navigation,” League said. “We don’t really get to do that much since in the Navy. There’s not much land in the ocean.”
Keating expects to run into some difficulties when he performs his run-through of the EFMB’s Combat Testing Lane 3, which is heavily focused on basic Soldier skills that are not as familiar to medical professionals who work in a naval environment.
“I’m expecting some of the more difficult points to be the extraction from the vehicle,” he said. “The radio as well will be hard, because I haven’t really dealt with that at all.”
While run-throughs and demos of all required tasks are performed several times before testing, the EFMB still remains a serious challenge, regardless of military branch.
“Most of my Marine buddies would probably laugh about this, but [EFMB] is pretty serious,” League said. “They push these guys real hard. Just look at the pass fail rate. Only half of these guys are going to make it.”
“I’m not even sure I will, honestly,” said League.