SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- “If you are hesitant on doing this badge or achieving this
badge then I think you should definitely go for it,” said Spc. Victoria A. Howard, 65th Brigade
Engineer Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.
It doesn’t only make me a role model, it makes me a force multiplier, I can take these
skills and share the knowledge going back to my unit, says Sgt. Tommy Santana, 1st Battalion,
21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd BCT, 25th
Soldiers trained for two weeks to master the skills needed to pass multiple tests during
the final test week, for the Expert Infantryman Badge, Expert Soldier Badge and Expert Field
Medical Badge on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, April 25-29, 2022.
On the first day there were more than 1300 Soldiers competing for the different badges,
with 702 going for EIB, 540 trying for their ESB, and 138 Army Medics competing for the
EFMB. The first event started with the Expert Physical Fitness Assessment, which included
push-ups, sit-ups, a timed four-mile run for EIB and a two-mile timed run for the ESB and
Immediately after the physical assessment there were, 422 where left competing for EIB,
and 462 Soldiers testing for the ESB and 108 Army Medic trying to earn the EFMB, The next
tested event was a day and night land navigation with multiple coordinates, held at the East
Range Training Complex, Schofield Barracks.
Once the land navigation tasks were complete and graded, the remaining Soldiers had to
navigate three lanes each with 10 different stations that tested their knowledge of tactical combat
casualty care, functions checks and basic knowledge of different weapon systems, patrolling and
tasks associated specifically to the badge they were testing for.
“I took a lot of stations that I thought that I was confident on, I took it for granted and
that ultimately led to my demise last year,” said Santana. “I realized I had to take every station,
every opportunity for training [not for] granted and focus on everything that I need to do as a
Each task is graded and timed to a rigorous standard that Soldiers are trained on and have
opportunity to prepare for during the practice weeks leading up to the testing week. If a Soldier
receives two No-Go’s on a task they are ineligible to earn their badge and must retry next
opportunity. Soldiers who complete all the tasks perfectly are recognized as earning their “True
Blue” for EIB, “Perfect Edge” for ESB and “No Blood” for those who earned their EFMBs with
On the last day, the remaining Soldiers awoke during the early morning to assemble and
be ready for the final event, which was a 12-mile road march with a 35lb ruck and an M4-A1
Carbine rifle, all within a three-hour time limit, then they had to proceed to the final station
which was disassemble and reassemble their weapon within five minutes.
“This badge definitely does make you a role model, it also makes you a leader,” said Pfc.
Janluis Almonte, 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd BCT, 25th
Soldiers that stayed strong and demonstrated their courage earned the EIB, ESB, or
EFMB, they can wear their badge proudly, in addition, they set an example for other soldiers to
better themselves and their knowledge.
Immediately following the final event, the remaining Soldiers formed up to be honored
and recognized by their commands and peers by being pinned their respective badges. Out of the
starting 1380 Soldiers competing to earn their badges, only 272 were pinned during the final
ceremony with, 132 earning their EIB and out of those only 37 being honored True Blue, 106
Soldiers earned their ESB and 31 being honored as Perfect Edge, and 34 Field Medics earned
their EFMB and only 3 being honored No Blood.