83 Tropic Lightning Soldiers earn Expert Infantry Badge

| December 18, 2012 | 0 Comments
Spc. Edmond Lapointe (left), Co. A, 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt., 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, secures an opposing force local national during the urban operations lane at the EIB qualification, held at Schofield Barracks’ East Range, Dec. 3-7.

Spc. Edmond Lapointe (left), Co. A, 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt., 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, secures an opposing force local national during the urban operations lane at the EIB qualification, held at Schofield Barracks’ East Range, Dec. 3-7.

Story and photo by
Staff Sgt. Sean Everette
2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division’s 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team and its 3rd Brigade Combat Team pinned on their Expert Infantryman badges in a ceremony, here, Friday.

Out of more than a thousand who started, in the end, only 83 of the Soldiers who spent two weeks training proved they had the skills and stamina necessary to be called expert infantrymen.

Of those 83, three Soldiers were “True Blue,” meaning they received first-time “GOs” during all of the qualification events.

“It’s a prestige award that is worn proudly by any infantryman who has earned it,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Seymour, EIB president and senior enlisted leader, 1st Battalion, 14th Inf. Regiment, 2nd SBCT.

Earning the EIB is not an easy thing to do. Of 1,114 Soldiers who began the training and qualification Nov. 26, only 7.5 percent finished.

The men had to qualify expert on their assigned weapon, score a 75 percent or better on their physical fitness test, pass day and night land navigation, finish 40 individual tasks while going through lanes, and complete a 12-mile road march in less than three hours while carrying a combat load.

Each Soldier could receive only two “NO GOs” during their individual tasks. Any more and they were eliminated.

“One of the reasons I felt I did so well is because I’m a staff sergeant with six years in,” said Staff Sgt. Joel Williams, Company B, 1st Bn., 14 Inf. Regt., 2nd SBCT. “A lot of the new guys had never seen some of the tasks before. I was fortunate I had that experience.”

Williams was one of three True Blue Soldiers. This was his third attempt at earning the EIB, and he cites his experience as being a main factor in his success.

Despite its difficulty, Williams believed the challenge was a fun experience.

“It’s more of a reinforcement of what I know I’m capable of doing. It’s a confidence booster,” Williams said. “I can go back to my Soldiers, and they can see me as a standard-bearer, more now than ever before.”

This fact is not only true of Williams, but of all of the expert infantrymen who earned their badges, regardless of rank.

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