‘Guardian’ Soldiers prepare for EFMB with Korean partners
CAMP CASEY, South Korea – Healthcare specialists from the 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, came together with their South Korean Army partners to prepare for participation in the Expert Field Medical Badge competition during a training event on Camp Casey, South Korea March 9.
The training focused on EFMB combat testing lane one, which included weapons disassembly and assembly, low crawling and high crawling while under simulated weapons fire and assessing a casualty to name a few.
“We’re testing them on their ability to complete all of the medical tasks” associated with the EFMB testing lane one, said Staff Sgt. Steven Dean Walker, a squad leader and training coordinator from the 101 BSB. All medics from the battalion that are being sent to the EFMB competition in May are being sent through the testing lane.
Also present during the training were medical specialists from the South Korean Army’s 5th Infantry Division Medical Battalion.
“This is the first of three training events that we plan on conducting,” said Capt. Christopher Rodriguez, the commander of Company C, 101 BSB. It’s important to “understand their capabilities and what (the South Korean medical soldiers) do and bring to the fight so if we do have to fight together we know what our partners in the medical world do.”
One of the unique aspects of the U.S. Army in South Korea is its partnership with its host nation. The U.S. Army regularly integrates South Korean soldiers into training in order to maintain a strong alliance between the two nations.
“They don’t get a chance to do this type of training in the field,” Rodriguez said. “Today is about us teaching them new skills and helping them work on their field craft.”
The purpose of the training is to prepare the Soldiers for the rigors of the EFMB competition. The EFMB competition will push medics to their limits, both physically and mentally.
“It was harder than it looks and it is definitely more than I expected,” said Spc. Javier Conizo, a healthcare specialist with the 101 BSB. “It was really fun though. It’s really good training and I got a lot out of it.”
For healthcare specialists in the Army, the EFMB represents a culmination of hard work and expertise in their field.
“It’s a point of pride for medics in the Army to wear the badge,” Walker said. “It’s such a difficult feat to earn your badge and its indicative of how much a medic can adjust to a scenario, pay attention to critical details and complete a task.”
The EFMB is a U.S. Army special skills badge that is awarded to Soldiers who successfully complete a set of qualification test including both written and performance portions.