U.S. Army service members now have a new training aid to help them earn the coveted Expert Infantryman Badge, a mobile app.
1st Lt. Egor Krasnonosenkikh, an infantry officer assigned to 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division on Joint Base Lewis-McChord used self-taught programming skills to design an app, "EIB Pro," to help train his Soldiers.
Just as the Combat Infantryman Badge was intended to be an award for U.S. service members whose primary mission was to close with and destroy the enemy, the Expert Infantryman Badge was instituted to build and maintain esprit de corps within U.S. infantry units. In order for any infantryman to earn the coveted badge, they must demonstrate expertise in their profession's tasks and drills.
Since its creation, it has been downloaded over 11,000 times and in 65 different countries.
Videos, written instruction, a step-by-step guide, tasks, conditions and standards for EIB tasks are all provided within the app. There’s even a progress tracker that measures your task confidence, repetitions per lane and a “station deep dive” that tracks progress per event.
“So, I think the catalyst was definitely COVID. I was at home and on my computer anyway, so I figured I’d do something that's useful to the army. I got my EIB the year before I made my app, and I really disliked that little book that we got, which always got destroyed easily,” he said.
At the time, he was a platoon leader and really wanted to see Soldiers in his unit get their EIB, he said. Some Soldiers even had to practice while at home, an environment that he felt would be hard to train in just using a small book.
Soldiers found the app to be a useful training tool, he said.
His battalion ended up having the highest success rate that year, 28.5%, almost double the Brigade average.
“There were Soldiers that told me without my app, they don't think they would have gotten it. I've even heard that from captains and majors," said Krasnonosenkikh.
He learned how to program on his own using YouTube videos and online resources. Growing up, he had a big interest in video games and what it took to make them, he said.
He spent his early years in Russia, before his uncle invited his mother and himself to move to the United States where he pursued an education and eventually a commission in the U.S. Army.
Soon, he’ll be developing apps, officially, for the military as a member of U.S. Army Futures Command.
He’s also currently working on an education app geared towards squad leaders and team leaders to make Army doctrine more accessible.
The app is free to download, available on the Android and iPhone store and receives updates by 1st Lt. Krasnonosenkikh himself.