Fort Carson soldiers test for highly coveted badge over 120 hours

Fort Carson soldiers test for the Expert Field Medical Badge / Christina Dawidowicz FOX21
Fort Carson soldiers test for the Expert Field Medical Badge / Christina Dawidowicz FOX21

FORT CARSON, Colo. — From the explosions to the gunfire and the cries for help, it’s everything these soldiers could hear in the middle of a mission.

“You’re just out there by yourself. There’s no one else out there to help you out,” said Sgt. Yexson Amaya, who is testing for the Expert Field Medical Badge.

Just under 200 candidates began the test to earn the EFMB. Army officials said there’s only a 17 percent pass rate for this prestigious award.

“You’ll hear the sounds of gunfire and explosions, and they’re stress. So, we want to make sure that soldiers are able to do any job that’s required when they’re cold, when they’re tired, when they’re hungry, when they’re afraid,” Lt. Col. Eric McCoy said.

The EFMB tests both physical and mental stamina through three different testing lanes, back to back.

“You’re talking 120 hours of rigorous testing, to include a written test, three combat testing lanes, land navigation and a foot march,” said Master Sgt. Gabriel Camacho.

Through the EFMB testing, soldiers learn lifesaving skills in battlefield conditions.

Miss a detail and you’ll strike out.

“I want to make it, I want to get this badge. It’s my third time here, I’m excited. I think every medical personnel should get it,” Amaya said.

While not mandatory, it’s open to all soldiers in the medical field, regardless of rank.

Soldiers said the EFMB represents discipline and gives them a sense of pride.

They add those who wear the badge are looked at as leaders.

After Thursday’s testing, there were 151 candidates left. 191 soldiers started out.

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