Fort Dix Graduates Expert Field Medical Badge Recipients
Forty-five soldiers received their Expert Field Medical Badge (EFMB) at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in N.J. April 2.
Almost 180 candidates from 13 units competed for EFMB at this year's competition, organized by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command in collaboration with Public Health Command, the Northern Regional Medical Command, and the Maryland Army National Guard.
To earn the badge, candidates must complete a series of warrior and medical tasks. They must also successfully finish day and night land navigation tests, as well as a written exam and a final 12-mile road march in less than three hours.
A cadre of 180 medical personnel from various units evaluated them throughout the competition.
"The Expert Field Medical Badge is one of the toughest competitions in the military. If you are standing here it means you have persevered through all the testing, and all the rain, sleet, snow and wind that Fort Dix can throw at you. You have marched those 12 miles to stand here and finally join the EFMB ranks," said Maj. Gen. Joseph Caravalho Jr., USAMRMC and Fort Detrick Commander. "I am proud of all of you."
Capt. Laura Gibbons, assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Belvior, Va., was named the EFMB honor graduate for having the highest overall evaluation score. Capt. Jason Mitchler, assigned to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, was recognized for the fastest time completing the 12-mile road march. Sgt. 1st Class Javier Najera, assigned to the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), was recognized for having the highest test on the written exam.
Another soldier from WRAIR, Spc. Lewis Williford who is a lab technician normally working on malaria vaccine development, also earned the EFMB and said it was an experience he will not soon forget.
"There wasn't much that surprised me, except the road march. I didn't expect it to be that hard," explained Williford, "But, by the time you start, you are already so exhausted and hungryâ€¦I was ready, ready to cross the finish line."