Dauntless MEB medic earns coveted EFMB Print E-mail
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
By Capt. Justin Hell
Special to GUIDON

FORT RILEY, Kan. — The Expert Field Medical Badge is an elite decoration held by a small group of Soldiers in the U.S. Army. Less than 20 percent of those who compete for the badge earn it, according to the Army Medical Command, so the qualifications can prove to be challenging.

But not for one 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Soldier.
Sgt. 1st Class Jason Gross, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade senior medic, shakes Pfc. Jan Kemmann’s hand after he received the Army’s Expert Field Medical Badge Oct. 29. Kemman was one of 14 Soldiers to be awarded the badge after a 10-day competition at Fort Riley, Kan. Photo by Staff Sgt. Heather Denby

Pfc. Jan Kemmann, a medic assigned to the 512th Military Police Company, 92nd Military Police Battalion, 4th MEB out of Fort Leonard Wood and 185 other Soldiers across the 1st Infantry Division began their quest toward earning the EFMB on Oct. 19; however, only 14 were awarded the coveted insignia 10 days later during a ceremony at Barlow Theater.

The EFMB, established in June 1965, is a Department of the Army special skills award to recognize field medical personnel for exceptional competence and outstanding performance.

To earn the coveted badge, Soldiers are tested on Tactical Combat Casualty Care; Medical and Casualty Evacuation; Communications; Warrior Skills; and Day and Night Land Navigation.  

Soldiers must also pass a written test and complete a 12-mile foot march.


To earn the badge the candidates must:

Pass a comprehensive written test, answering at least 45 of 60 questions correctly.

Demonstrate proficiency in both Day and Night Land Navigation, finding at least three of four points each time.

Demonstrate proficiency in Tactical Combat Casualty Care, performing at least 11 of 14 tasks correctly

Demonstrate proficiency in Medical and Casualty Evacuation, performing at least eight of 10 tasks correctly.

Demonstrate proficiency in Communication Tasks, performing at least four of five tasks correctly.

Demonstrate proficiency in Warrior Skills, performing at least 10 of the 13 tasks correctly.

Demonstrate physical and mental toughness by completing a 12-mile foot march within three hours.

Proficiency skills are tested in the combat lanes, and as candidates complete each task the instructors give them a “go” or “no-go.”  

Kemmann began his endeavor for the coveted EFMB on Sept. 3 with a 30-day train-up period hosted by the brigade senior medic Sgt. 1st Class Jason Gross. Kemmann earned the EFMB alongside the 13 other Soldiers and was subsequently awarded the Army Achievement Medal for receiving the most “go’s” during the testing phase of the EFMB as well as being the first to cross the finish line during the 12-mile road march with a time of 2 hours and 38 minutes.  

“Train-up was long, and we learned a lot. It was a great opportunity to learn though, and we all honed our skills,” Kemmann said. “When we got to Fort Riley, we spent seven days getting hands-on training, learning exactly what and how the performance measures were expected to be completed, step by step. Testing was hard and we had an extreme attrition rate.  It was an honor to represent Fort Leonard Wood, the 4th MEB, 92nd MP Bn., and the 512th MP Co.”

Gross said some of the challenges that Kemmann faced during the EFMB were due to its evolution over time to more closely mirror the skills Soldiers are required to use on today’s battlefields.  

The candidates must utilize current methods of casualty care such as applying a Combat Application Tourniquet, homeostatic-clotted agent and emergency trauma dressing to treat simulated casualties.  

They must also evacuate their patients to a M113 Medical Evacuation Vehicle and several non-standard Military Vehicles under simulated indirect fire and Improvised Explosive Devices over, through and around obstacles.

The first week, candidates work with the instructors running through scenarios in the combat testing lanes and are briefed on the warrior tasks they are expected to complete.  

During the second week, candidates take the written test, complete day and night land navigation and are tested in the combat lanes. The event culminates with a 12-mile foot march.

“If the foot march wasn’t enough, these medics go through quite the ordeal to show their tactical and technical proficiency in combat-replicated situations,” Maj. Todd Heintzelman, 4th MEB senior executive officer, said. “We are incredibly proud of Pfc. Kemmann’s performance at Fort Riley, and we look forward to seeing more of our medics go through the EFMB process.”

The next EFMB qualification is scheduled to take place in May.

(Editor’s note: Hell is a 4th MEB medical officer.)

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 November 2013 )