Approved on 18 June 1965, the Expert Field Medical Badge was established to recognize Officers, Warrant Officers, and Enlisted Soldiers in the Medical CMF who successfully pass a rigorous test of their knowledge and skills, particularly as they relate to the delivery of medical care under combat situations.

Several of the test components focus on Soldiering skills in general. Candidates must display land-navigation capabilities, qualify with a service rifle (M16 or M4), pass the standard Army Physical Fitness Test, possess a current certification in CPR, and score at minimum of 75 percent on a written examination. Combat-care and tactical battlefield skills are evaluated by successfully executing four a series of tasks that fall into four classifications: Tactical Combat Casualty Care, Medical and Casualty Evacuation, Warrior Skills, and Communications.

The greatest emphasis is on Tactical Combat Casualty Care, which is comprised of a dozen tasks that a Medical Officer or Specialist can reasonably be expected to perform during tactical operations. Examples include the triage of casualties, treating open wounds (chest, abdominal, head), and the use of tourniquets to staunch heavy bleeding. The set of tasks in the Warrior Skills category focuses heavily on response to Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) attacks and injuries, as well as a test of the candidate's ability to assemble, disassemble, and test both the M9 pistol or a service rifle.

The test for the Expert Field Medical Badge underwent significant revisions in 2008, and is now considered one of the most difficult Badges to earn. In August, 2013, fewer than one in five (17 percent) Soldiers attempting qualification earned the Badge.

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