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U.S. Army Europe medical professionals test:  To Spc. Matthew Holtz, it was always a team effort, he was just the one that received the honors.

Holtz, a medic with 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, was recognized as the honor graduate for U.S. Army Europe’s Spring Expert Field Medical Badge testing which culminated with a ceremony for 21 candidates who earned the badge, March 21, at Tower Barracks Physical Fitness Center.

The event that began with 191 candidates, ran March 10-21 in the training area outside main post in Grafenwoehr, though support personnel arrived late February to establish logistical support and to set up and validate the course. Of those, 191, 179 candidates were from units across the U.S. Army Europe footprint. Twelve candidates were from international partners including Norway, Denmark, United Kingdom and Kosovo.

“The Soldiers I came with is what helped me the most,” Holtz said. “We all studied together. They pushed me. Without them, I wouldn’t have been motivated to do this.”

The Expert Field Medical Badge is a U.S. Army decoration, first created June 18, 1965. The badge is awarded to medical personnel and is the non-combat equivalent of the Combat Medical Badge. The testing helps improve the Army’s, and by extension, U.S. Army Europe’s No. 1 priority — readiness. The testing serves as timely training for medical personnel as Army Europe heads into its summer exercises.

“It gives the candidates a chance to test their professional skills in austere environments,” said Col. Timothy Bosetti, 30th Medical Brigade commander, who’s unit hosted the testing. “The lanes are tough. Physically and mentally challenging. This builds resiliency and the confidence that if you can do this here, you can do it anywhere.” Read more

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U.S. Army Europe medical professionals test:  To Spc. Matthew Holtz, it was always a team effort, he was just the one that received the honors.