Infantrymen excel at second chance for the EIB under new standards

| October 1, 2015 | 1 Comment

Story and photos by
Sgt. Ian Ives
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Fifty infantrymen of the

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii –Sgt. James Stanton, an infantryman with Company B, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, navigates the claymore range Sept. 16, on the third day of the Expert Infantry Badge competition.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii –Sgt. James Stanton, an infantryman with Company B, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, navigates the claymore range Sept. 16, on the third day of the Expert Infantry Badge competition.

A3_2SBCT Excel at EIB_002

, 25th Infantry Division, earned their Expert Infantry Badge, Sept. 14-18.

The brigade recently participated in a pilot program of the EIB, here, that tested new EIB standards.

At the end of that competition, 2nd SBCT’s chain of command noticed many junior ranking Soldiers didn’t receive their EIB due to the unfamiliarity of the new standards, so they decided to retrain the Soldiers and give them another chance to earn their badge.

The retraining was successful, with double the percentage of graduates, including 12 junior Soldiers.

Sgt. Kealii Stephen Chun, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd SBCT, earned his EIB on his second try under the new standards. Though he failed the first EIB testing in August, the opportunity to retrain and compete again allowed him to learn from his first mistakes and earn the badge.

“A lot of Soldiers were really upset after not making the first EIB competition,” said Chun, “but those of us who remained resilient took the opportunity to retrain to the fullest, and it showed during testing.”

Spc. Nicholas Pirolli, Co. A, 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regiment, 2nd SBCT, was one of the many graders for EIB. Having earned his EIB in April 2012, this was his first experience grading.

“Even though Soldiers are given a chance to rest between tasks, I think the difficulty of the tasks still makes it a more challenging standard,” said Pirolli. “The thing with EIB is you have to want it, no matter the standards. You cannot just sham through it, or you will never make it.”

“Earning my EIB is very special to me, because it is something that you have to do on your own,” Chun said. “It shows that I’m an expert at my trade and gives my leadership more confidence in my abilities. I look forward to using my experience with EIB to train my Soldiers and future Soldiers into experts as well.”

Soldiers who earned the EIB can use their experience and pass it on to their peers and subordinates. With new EIB Soldiers and lessons learned from two competitions and train-up, 2nd SBCT is looking forward to even more infantrymen earning the coveted badge.

New EIB Standards

The development of the Expert Infantry Badge was initiated in 1944 by Army Chief of Staff Gen. George C. Marshall to symbolize the importance of the infantry on the battlefield. The badge is a symbol for infantrymen who are experts in their field and have performed beyond the call of duty.

Under the new standards, infantrymen must now complete 33 individually graded tasks, score an 80 percent in each event of the Army Physical Fitness Test, finish a 12-mile forced ruck march and go through a medical transportation lane called “Objective Bull.”

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