Army Capt. Sarah Cudd was hoping to earn her Expert Field Medical Badge. She knew it would be hard work, but she was determined to make it happen. She had been training and working up to it, and she felt confident that she could complete 12-mile trek through the wilderness while carrying 70 pounds within the three-hour requirement.
She didn’t realize exactly how tough it was until she was doing it.
Cudd had made it through most of the hike with just a short way to go when her legs started to give out on her. Her mind wanted to push on, but her body was weak and just couldn’t do it. She was so close to her goal, but yet it looked like she wouldn’t pass the test.
At one point, she fell.
The 70 pounds on her back was about half her body weight and it was starting to take its toll, along with pure exhaustion. She fell, and while this would have been the end for most people, Cudd took a moment to gather herself and then stood back up and pressed on. You can tell that each step was grueling and difficult, but she continued to move forward. At this point, she only had a few minutes to complete the trek.
The good news is, Cudd didn’t have to do it alone.
There were other soldiers completing the trek that day, too. Like most soldiers, they gathered around to support her. When they noticed her struggling on the last mile, they cheered her on to help motivate her.
The weather had been warm and the terrain was muddy, making it an extra rough day to be hiking. Every muddy hole was hidden, and Cudd fell in many of them. Each time, though, she got right back up and continued on her way. Other soldiers did the same.
Someone captured the trek on camera.
The camera was placed at the finish line to watch as the soldiers completed this difficult trek. The camera caught Cudd struggling and also her fellow soldiers urging her to get up and continue. It also caught the amazing ending where she staggered across the finish line full of pride.
She was no doubt exhausted after this ordeal. It shows just how tough she and many of the other men and women who serve our country have to be to do what they do. Cudd may be small, but she has a lot of heart and determination.
The most heartwarming part of this video is how the other soldiers came together to help Cudd complete the challenges.
According to the U.S. Army:
“With only a 17-percent pass rate, the Expert Field Medical Badge remains one of the most prestigious and coveted awards a medical professional can obtain in the Army. It is a symbol of excellence, an outward sign of technical and tactical proficiency. Even though by regulation the Combat Medical Badge, awarded to medical personnel who have accompanied infantrymen into combat, is the higher award and must be worn if earned, Soldiers awarded the EFMB show they have distinguished themselves far above their peers.”
The course isn’t an easy one to complete, as Cudd and the other soldiers found out. Still, they all made it through and will get their badges. Cudd has proven herself.
The Army explained:
“The badge is awarded to medical personnel, including enlisted Soldiers with an Army Medical Department primary MOS and Special Forces medical sergeants, who demonstrate exceptional competence and outstanding performance during a grueling 120-hour testing event. During testing, hosted throughout the year by units across the country and abroad, candidates are required to exhibit superior physical fitness and mental clarity when faced with life-or-death situations. They must rise above the rest in their abilities to perform medical, evacuation, communication and warrior skills.”
Now that Cudd is among the elite few who have this badge, she will get to help other soldiers complete their courses and, of course, help those wounded in the battlefield. She is one tough woman.
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