JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas – The U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence (MEDCoE) hosted the first semiannual Expert Badge, or E3B, conference with assembly of the expert badge test management offices, test control offices, and the proponent leadership to discuss areas of variability between three Army badges to explore aligned standards. The two day conference focused on topics for further expert badge alignment of the Expert Field Medical Badge (EFMB), the Expert Soldier Badge (ESB), and the Expert Infantryman Badge (EIB), hosted by MEDCoE on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Feb. 23-24.
Command Sgt. Maj. Clark Charpentier, MEDCoE Command Sergeant Major, who provided conference opening remarks, hosted the conference in conjunction with Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Hendrex, Command Sgt. Maj. U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. Other key attendees included Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Beeson, Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training, and Command Sgt. Maj. Roberto Colon, Command Sergeant Major, Leader Training Brigade, along with a dozen other representatives from other Army commands.
Officer in Charge of the MEDCoE Expert Field Medical Badge Test Control Office, Cpt. Alyssa Schlegel said aligning standards for the three badges is expected to achieve benefits and efficiencies by consolidating resource and personnel requirements for combined events and tasks, resulting in cost reduction for hosting units and reduced personnel requirements.
“It will also allow for increased testing opportunities,” Schlegel explained. Units that regularly execute EIB and ESB, can more easily add EFMB into the concept.”
This initiative will also provide opportunities for Soldiers to train alongside other military occupational specialties, which will hopefully lead to increased understanding of each MOSs role in accomplishing the Army’s mission.
Schlegel said, “We planned the E3B conference with the goal of getting all three proponents in the same room to not only discuss topics where alignment would benefit all three badges, but to enable our leadership to make informed decisions regarding those topics by providing them the time, place, and information to do so.”
During the conference a team from Combined Arms Center-Training, provided a brief on the Digital Job Book, and discussed plans to incorporate expert badge tabs in the months to come. The Digital Job Book enables Soldiers using PCs or hand held devices to review their training and qualification information recorded in Digital Training Management System such as Army physicals; Army Combat Fitness Test scores; height and weight; weapons qualifications; and completed training tasks or viewing tasks assigned to them by their squad or team leader. Briefers explained that all Soldiers are able to view their Digital Job Book from any device without the need for a system account or training by checking this information in their Individual Training Record in the Digital Job Book, Soldiers can ensure their records are up to date, research tasks they need to train on, and provide feedback to their leaders.
Throughout the conference, working groups discussed 45 topics and agreed on badge alignment in over 20 separate areas. Proponent leadership emphasized how important and valuable the conference was and how imperative it is for the expert badge proponents to keep developing strong working relationships, and committed to executing an E3B conference twice a year.
“One of the most important things that has come out of the last day and half is the cross talk,” said Charpentier. “As we move forward knowing the impact we’ll have on our nation and our Army is what’s really important are the relationships that are being built today between those of you who will continue to move this forward.”