1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The Secretary of the Army Dr. Mark T. Esper visited 650 Paratroopers on Fort Bragg N.C. as they prepared to test their basic Infantryman skills here Mar. 2019.
The exercise consisted of a fitness a test with candidates performing a minimum of 49 pus... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Maj. Gen. James J. Mingus, commander of 82nd Airborne Division, observed as Spc. Richard, McCombs, an infantrymen from Delta Company, 2-504th performs the functions test on a shot gun during the Expert Infantry Badge exercise preparation on Fort Brag... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

"The EIB exercise is designed to be mentally and physical challenging," said Sgt. Maj. Shawn Rost, Non-Commissioned Officer-in-charge of operations for 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg N.C.

Sgt. Maj. Rost said the Paratroopers began their hands-on training with the EIB cadres two weeks earlier, where they received step-by-step classes on all 30 testing lanes.

"This exercise proves that a Paratrooper can learn a set of tasks quickly over a short amount of time and perform under extreme conditions," said First Lt. Bart Jeffrey, the Executive Officer for Alpha Company, 2-504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team.

Jeffrey said earning an EIB is extremely important to him because it proves that he can be an expert in various weapon systems, patrolling lanes and providing immediate medical care on the battlefield.

Sgt. Maj. Rost said the exercise offered Paratroopers the opportunity to enhance their fundamental Warrior Skills necessary to be successful in their profession, and it is a satisfying experience seeing how all of the hard work from all members of the 1BCT team culminated in a world-class training event which got the attention of distinguished guests, such as the Secretary of the Army, Dr. Mark T. Esper. Out of the 650 Paratroopers who started, 159 successfully completed the grueling week-long event.

"This exercise is significantly important to all Paratroopers, but imperative moreso to non-commissioned officers," said Cpt. George Fletcher, Alpha Company Commander of 1-504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team. "What EIB really means is for a Paratrooper to master the basics and fundamentals, at the lowest level, in order to be able accomplish the Army's mission."