Fort Campbell Soldiers Aim for "Expert" with Expert Infantryman Badge
May 30, 2013
Two hundred and fifty seven Soldiers started out testing for the Expert Infantryman Badge hosted by 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), May 20, which is almost a quarter of the number Soldiers who would normally test for this badge.
The unusualness of this testing by 1st BCT is that just less than half the brigade is deployed to Afghanistan at the time, and it is very rare to have this type of testing at all while the unit is gone. Besides Bastogne Soldiers testing they were also joined by a few Soldiers from several other units throughout the Division.
"Typically you don't see a rear detachment execute an EIB because we are usually too undermanned," said Master Sgt. Jeffery Johnson, brigade operations sergeant major for 1BCT rear detachment.
Johnson said Soldiers from across the division also participated in the event. The units included the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, division headquarters element and Fort Campbell's Non-Commissioned Officer Academy.
EIB tests Soldiers based on individual skills through rigorous training exercises and events that give them the opportunity to improve their proficiencies in leadership and mission accomplishment.
Before the Soldiers actually start the testing they participated in a practice session known as Round Robin the previous week where they went through various stations that they would be tested on.
Once EIB starts, the elimination process begins and if you do not pass an event you do not go on to the next. Each event has particular time qualifications to be met as well as higher standards than what would normally be expectable if not qualifying for this badge.
The EIB test started with the Army Physical Fitness Test that consisted of your regular events of push-ups, sit-ups and the two-mile run but each Soldier was required to get at least 75 percent in each event per rather than the normal 60 percent required to pass and APFT.
Following the APFT Soldiers attempted the day and night land navigation courses where they were given two hours each, to plot three of four points for both segments.
The next tasks at hand were the lanes that tested the Soldiers on hand grenades, first aid, requesting medical evacuation, M249 and movement under direct fire.
The Soldiers that make it through these tasks have to complete the 12-mile foot march, rewarded with the Hero breakfast of steak and eggs, followed the ceremony and presentation of the Expert Infantryman Badge.