421st Medical Battalion
VILSECK, Germany, March 24, 2015 – Army 1st Lts. Ashley and Grant Restuccio are a long way from where their relationship started at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and the newlyweds are now competing side-by-side to earn the coveted Expert Field Medical Badge.
The Restuccios first met at the Basic Officer Leadership Course on Fort Sam Houston, the Army’s premier medical training hub and their first duty station. They got married and soon received orders to Germany.
They both serve in the Kaiserslautern Military Community. Grant, a California native, works for Landstuhl Regional Medical Center as an intensive care unit nurse, while Ashley, a New York native, works for the 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s 30th Medical Brigade as a medical surgical nurse.
During their EFMB qualification trials, they’re assigned to the same platoon, working together to earn the prestigious badge.
Less than two months ago, both Restuccios attended an EFMB preparation course at Camp Aachen in Grafenwoehr, Germany. Now, they find themselves among 187 other candidates also competing for the badge. Only the Restuccios are doing so as a husband-and-wife team.
“We both want to be expert field medics and join the other elite badge holders in the Army medical department. That is why we are here,” Ashley said. “It’s just an added bonus to be competing together.”
Armywide in 2012, the EFMB course boasted only a 17 percent pass rate. This year’s candidate roster consists mainly of soldiers serving across Europe, but a handful of allied medics from the United Kingdom and Germany are also competing in the mix.
The competition may be intense, with rewards commensurate with the effort. But the Restuccios view their partnership as an advantage.
“With both of us here, it’s easier to strive for excellence because neither of us wants to let the other one down,” Grant said. “We both expect the other to do the best we can, meanwhile holding each other accountable.”