• FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Col. Antonio Aguto Jr., the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment commander, pins the Expert Infantryman Badge on Pvt. Brandyn Doerle, F Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th ACR, during an EIB pinning ceremony at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 24. Doerle, 22, of St. Louis, Mo., was the only "true blue" EIB candidate which meant he scored perfect on all testing lanes. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Col. Antonio Aguto Jr., the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment commander, pins the Expert Infantryman Badge on Pvt. Brandyn Doerle, F Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th ACR, during an EIB pinning ceremony at the National Training Center on Fort...

  • FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Soldiers from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, run the last few feet of a 12-mile ruck march during the final phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 24. The ruck march must be completed in less than three hours. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Soldiers from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, run the last few feet of a 12-mile ruck march during the final phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 24. The ruck...

  • FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Vista, Calif., native Spc. David Sanchez, F Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, writes down notes prior to calling in an airstrike during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 23. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Vista, Calif., native Spc. David Sanchez, F Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, writes down notes prior to calling in an airstrike during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National...

  • FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Vista, Calif., native Spc. David Sanchez, F Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, attaches the trigger mechanism to an M2 .50 caliber machine gun during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 23. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Vista, Calif., native Spc. David Sanchez, F Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, attaches the trigger mechanism to an M2 .50 caliber machine gun during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the...

  • FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Vista, Calif., native Spc. David Sanchez, F Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, reassembles an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 23. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Vista, Calif., native Spc. David Sanchez, F Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, reassembles an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training...

  • FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Sgt. Jedidiah Schuyten, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, applies a wound dressing to a simulated casualty during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 23. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Sgt. Jedidiah Schuyten, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, applies a wound dressing to a simulated casualty during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 23...

  • FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Sgt. Jedidiah Schuyten, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, fires an M240B machine gun at a simulated enemy target during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 23. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Sgt. Jedidiah Schuyten, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, fires an M240B machine gun at a simulated enemy target during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif...

  • FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Sgt. Jedidiah Schuyten, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, throws a smoke grenade during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 23. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Sgt. Jedidiah Schuyten, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, throws a smoke grenade during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 23. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo...

  • FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Sgt. Jedidiah Schuyten, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, throws a smoke grenade during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 23. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Sgt. Jedidiah Schuyten, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, throws a smoke grenade during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 23. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo...

  • FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Visalia, Calif., native 1st Lt. Jose Valencia, F Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, reassembles an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 23. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Visalia, Calif., native 1st Lt. Jose Valencia, F Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, reassembles an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training...

  • FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Visalia, Calif., native 1st Lt. Jose Valencia, F Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, looks at a simulated enemy target prior to calling in an airstrike during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 23. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Visalia, Calif., native 1st Lt. Jose Valencia, F Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, looks at a simulated enemy target prior to calling in an airstrike during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test...

  • FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Soldiers from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, receive last minute instructions from Command Sgt. Maj. Martin Wilcox, the 11th ACR regimental command sergeant major, during the final phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test, a 12-mile ruck march at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 24. The ruck march must be completed in less than three hours. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Soldiers from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, receive last minute instructions from Command Sgt. Maj. Martin Wilcox, the 11th ACR regimental command sergeant major, during the final phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test, a...

  • FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Pfc. Roger Howell, of K Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and a native of Albany, Ga., fires at a target during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 23. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Pfc. Roger Howell, of K Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and a native of Albany, Ga., fires at a target during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin...

  • Fort Irwin, Calif.-Soldiers from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment conduct an Army Physical Fitness Test as part of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 20. The weeklong event started with more than 200 Soldiers that then dwindled down to 33 by week's end. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    Fort Irwin, Calif.-Soldiers from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment conduct an Army Physical Fitness Test as part of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 20. The weeklong event started with more...

  • FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Grapevine, Texas, native Sgt. Jerry King, F Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, pins the Expert Infantryman Badge on Spc. David Sanchez during an EIB pinning ceremony at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 24. Sanchez, also from F Troop and a native of Vista, Calif., was one of 33 Soldiers who earned their EIB during the ceremony. The five-day testing event started with more than 200 Soldiers vying for the coveted badge. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Grapevine, Texas, native Sgt. Jerry King, F Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, pins the Expert Infantryman Badge on Spc. David Sanchez during an EIB pinning ceremony at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin...

  • FORT IRWIN, Calif.-2nd Lt. Matthew Cowsert, A Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, fills out a report during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge testing event at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 23. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    FORT IRWIN, Calif.-2nd Lt. Matthew Cowsert, A Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, fills out a report during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge testing event at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept...

  • FORT IRWIN, Calif.-2nd Lt. Matthew Cowsert, A Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, treats a simulated wounded Soldier during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge testing event at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 23. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    FORT IRWIN, Calif.-2nd Lt. Matthew Cowsert, A Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, treats a simulated wounded Soldier during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge testing event at the National Training Center on Fort...

  • FORT IRWIN, Calif.-2nd Lt. Matthew Cowsert, A Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, searches a simulated detainee during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge testing event at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 23. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    FORT IRWIN, Calif.-2nd Lt. Matthew Cowsert, A Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, searches a simulated detainee during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge testing event at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin...

  • FORT IRWIN, Calif.-2nd Lt. Matthew Cowsert, A Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, loads a MK 19 grenade launcher during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge testing event at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 23. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    FORT IRWIN, Calif.-2nd Lt. Matthew Cowsert, A Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, loads a MK 19 grenade launcher during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge testing event at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin...

  • FORT IRWIN, Calif.-2nd Lt. Matthew Cowsert, A Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, and a fellow Soldier take cover as a flash grenade ignites inside a makeshift dwelling during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge testing event at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 23. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    FORT IRWIN, Calif.-2nd Lt. Matthew Cowsert, A Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, and a fellow Soldier take cover as a flash grenade ignites inside a makeshift dwelling during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge testing...

  • Fort Irwin, Calif.-Soldiers from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment conduct an Army Physical Fitness Test as part of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 20. The weeklong event started with more than 200 Soldiers that then dwindled down to 33 by week's end. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    Fort Irwin, Calif.-Soldiers from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment conduct an Army Physical Fitness Test as part of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 20. The weeklong event started with more...

  • Fort Irwin, Calif.-Soldiers from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment begin the two-mile run portion of the Army Physical Fitness Test as part of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 20. The weeklong event started with more than 200 Soldiers that then dwindled down to 33 by week's end. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    Fort Irwin, Calif.-Soldiers from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment begin the two-mile run portion of the Army Physical Fitness Test as part of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 20. The...

  • Fort Irwin, Calif.-A Soldier from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment crosses the finish line of the two-mile run of the Army Physical Fitness Test as part of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 20. The weeklong event started with more than 200 Soldiers that then dwindled down to 33 by week's end. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    Fort Irwin, Calif.-A Soldier from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment crosses the finish line of the two-mile run of the Army Physical Fitness Test as part of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept...

  • Fort Irwin, Calif.-Soldiers from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment run the two-mile run portion of the Army Physical Fitness Test as part of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 20. The weeklong event started with more than 200 Soldiers that then dwindled down to 33 by week's end. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    Fort Irwin, Calif.-Soldiers from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment run the two-mile run portion of the Army Physical Fitness Test as part of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 20. The weeklong...

  • FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Visalia, Calif., native 1st Lt. Jose Valencia, F Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, fires an M240B machine gun at a simulated enemy target during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Sept. 23. (Photo by Sgt. Giancarlo Casem, 11th ACR Public Affairs)

    Blackhorse infantrymen vie for coveted EIB

    FORT IRWIN, Calif.-Visalia, Calif., native 1st Lt. Jose Valencia, F Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, fires an M240B machine gun at a simulated enemy target during the evaluation phase of the Expert Infantryman Badge test at the...

FORT IRWIN, Calif.-After five days of grueling challenges, 33 infantrymen stood before their peers, proudly wearing shiny blue badges on their chest. They stood proudly wearing the highly-coveted Expert Infantryman Badge.

More than 200 infantrymen from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment participated in the EIB testing, at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif. Sept. 20-24. The Soldiers were tested on their knowledge of the infantry skill set to earn the right to wear the EIB.

"(I am) very proud of all the Blackhorse Troopers who participated this week and especially proud of the 33 who earned the coveted EIB," said Brig. Gen. Robert "Abe" Abrams, Fort Irwin/NTC commanding general.

The testing event kicked off Monday morning with an Army Physical Fitness Test. In order to pass the EIB standards, Soldiers must score at least 75 percent in each event. Following the APFT, the Soldiers then conducted both a day and night land navigation course. To pass this event, the Soldiers had to find three of four points in both the day and night phases.

The next three days were then spent testing the infantrymen's tactical and technical proficiency. The Soldiers were pitted against three testing lanes, a Military Operations in Urban Terrain lane, a patrol lane and a tactical control point lane. Each lane consisted of ten tasks that infantrymen must accomplish correctly.

On their own, the tasks that the Soldiers face seem simple enough for an infantryman. However, the presence of time limits and the critical evaluation from graders added pressure for the Soldiers. The 30 tasks included bore-sighting, first aid, calling for fire support and weapons proficiency. The EIB candidates were allowed only two no-goes per each lane.

On the final day of testing, the candidates embarked on a road march through the NTC, the most physically daunting task of the week. The Soldiers had to finish the 12-mile march in under three hours.

"The 12-mile rod march had to be completed in under three hours, with a 35-lb ruck, weapon, LCE (load carrying equipment) and helmet," said Command Sgt. Maj. Martin Wilcox, the 11th ACR regimental command sergeant major. "At the end of the march, they had a full layout, if they were missing anything from the packing list, they were disqualified."

As the sun crept above Tiefort Mountain, the candidates pushed on to the finish line, flanked and cheered on by other Soldiers.

"That road march was the hardest part," said Pvt. Brandyn Doerle, F Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th ACR. "I was good on the testing and the lanes, I had really good training."

Doerle, a native of St. Louis, Mo., was the sole "true blue" EIB recipient out of 33 Soldiers. To be a true blue EIB holder, a Soldier must complete all tests without a single no-go. For the 22 year-old's efforts, he was awarded an Army Commendation Medal by Abrams. Additionally, he also received the regimental command sergeant major's personal EIB badge.

"I feel very honored to wear it and I appreciate it," Doerle said. "It feels great."

The EIB was originally issued during in 1943 during World War II. Only infantrymen and Special Forces Soldiers are allowed to wear the badge. For many infantrymen it is a rite of passage. While similar to the Combat Infantry Badge, the EIB holds a different meaning, Wilcox said.

Wilcox explained that while the CIB is awarded to a Soldier whose team was involved in combat, the EIB is more about his personal accomplishments.

"For an EIB, each candidate has to accomplish individual tasks to standard," Wilcox said. "It's not a group effort, it is an individual effort."

Wilcox said that each Soldier who passes or fails does so based on their individual strengths and weaknesses.

On the fifth day of the event, just a few hours after finishing the road march, the 33 infantrymen were standing in formation in front of their fellow Blackhorse Troopers and Family. Each Soldier stood proud and tall as the weeks and months of training finally paid off. They stood with their heads up as their leaders and mentors pinned on the badges to their uniforms.

Page last updated Mon September 27th, 2010 at 13:12