Salutes & Awards

August 9, 2012

Soldiers earn Expert Infantry Badge

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Story and photos by Sgt. Anthony J. Lecours

Staff Sgt. Jesus Vega, a trooper with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, practices moving under fire during the 11th ACR Expert Infantry Badge preparation at Fort Irwin, Calif., July 27. The EIB is a highly coveted infantry badge.

The Army’s Expert Infantryman Badge is considered a discriminator for the infantry. Those that have it are looked upon as warriors dedicated to their cause. Those that don’t have it, want it. The decision to conduct the EIB testing is an effort by the 11th Armored Cavalry Regimental leadership at Fort Irwin, Calif., to bring the training focus back to basic infantry skills where the focus is on individual Soldiers and individual training.

If anything, the new EIB testing format makes it harder for Soldiers to earn the silver musket, a coveted badge awarded to those who have proven their mastery of core infantry skills that signifies them as a true professional in their field.

In the past, the EIB cycle meant units would have to devote six weeks for train-up and testing. Now the entire process takes 10 days — five days of training and five days of testing.

“The EIB training we are conducting here is a much tougher standard then basic 10 level tasks,” said Sgt. 1st Class Gary A. Grey, an instructor and trooper with 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. “It’s a series of timed events with zero room for error.”

The EIB was established in 1943 for Army personnel in the infantry or Special Forces fields. The testing consists of over 30 basic infantry tasks, ranging from radio procedures to first aid. The EIB candidate must pass over 80 percent of the stations in order to qualify for the award.




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