Broncos pursue coveted Expert Infantryman Badge

| May 20, 2016 | 0 Comments
 Photo by Spc. Patrick Kirby, 3rd Brigade Combat Team,  25th Infantry Division   Command Sgt. Maj. Scott A. Brzak, senior enlisted adviser, 25th ID, addresses the 113 Bronco awardees of the EIB during a during a driving rain.

Photo by Spc. Patrick Kirby, 3rd Brigade Combat Team,
25th Infantry Division
Command Sgt. Maj. Scott A. Brzak, senior enlisted adviser, 25th ID, addresses the 113 Bronco awardees of the EIB during a during a driving rain.

 

3rd Brigade Combat Team
25th Infantry Division

 

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Broncos Soldiers of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, just completed a demanding week of expert infantry skills testing, April 25-28, culminating in the awarding of the Expert Infantryman’s Badge (EIB).

A total of 596 infantrymen from across the division tested for the EIB. The testing challenged the warriors’ skills on their basic tasks, to include; medical, land navigation, weapons knowledge, call for fire, reacting to contact, communication skills, and physical fitness.
The week began with the Army Physical Fitness Test, where infantrymen had to score 80 percent in each event, and then passing day and night land navigation with three out of four points correctly identified.
Infantrymen then proceeded through multiple stations testing their essential infantry skills. Incorrectly performing three tasks would render a participant ineligible for the EIB.

For those infantrymen left after the APFT, land navigation and the skills testing, a 12-mile ruck march followed. The ruck march had to be completed within three hours, followed by a final medical skills test.

“My advice is, ‘be prepared, always take advantage of time and equipment when it becomes available.’ It’s ok to pull your M240, M4, M9, etc., out of the arms room and rehearse EIB tasks – do not wait to be told to train” said Sgt. Maj. Jeffery Johnson, 3rd BCT. “We old Soldiers called it hip pocket training, and it was the duty of squad and team leaders to ensure they had tasks prepared everyday” said Johnson.

Following the intense competition, 113 infantrymen stood on Weyand Field for the pinning ceremony.

“Earning your EIB is important, because it’s the only way to show you know how to do your level one task.” said Spc. Hugo Parra, EIB grader, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd BCT. “When I went through, it was lanes, not stations. The hardest part was the stress of the events being timed.”

The EIB was created in 1944 by Army Chief of Staff Gen. George C. Marshall, and was instituted to build and maintain esprit de corps within infantry units. It’s a special skills badge awarded for completion of a course of testing designed to demonstrate proficiency in infantry skills. Historically, it was more desirable for a Soldier to enter a branch that is safer and less physically demanding, or one that provided more career opportunities after military service. The intent of the EIB was to provide a drawing card for a tough and thankless job on the battlefield, to add prestige to an otherwise undesirable, yet necessary, task.

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