The Perfect Edge

By Gerald HolmanAugust 26, 2022

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Fort Bragg, NC – An 82nd Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade Paratrooper’s perseverance pays off when faced with adversity during the Expert Soldier Badge course held on August 5, 2022 on Fort Bragg.

PFC Natalia Clark, Mortuary Affairs Specialist, 82nd Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade, Special Troops Battalion, Headquarters & Headquarters Company, enlisted into the United States Army, August 25, 2021.

“I moved to the United States from Brazil for a cultural exchange program called Au Pair,” she said. “After only a few years in the childcare industry, I decided I wanted something more challenging, so I joined the U.S. Army.”

PFC Clark decided to take on the challenge of earning her Expert Soldier Badge (ESB) on August 5, 2022.

The Expert Soldier Badge tests a Soldier’s proficiency and lethality in areas such as land navigation, physical fitness and marksmanship, as well as other war-fighting tasks at a high level.

PFC Clark was one of several in the 82nd Airborne Division to receive a first-time “Go” with no failures in all events, also known as the "The Perfect Edge."

Clark speaks on her accomplishment.

“I was very excited to be one of the few soldiers to earn the Expert Soldier Badge,” she said. “It was so rewarding, and I am proud to be representing the 82nd Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade.”

ESB test stations include events particularly geared towards increasing soldier lethality. Weapons, Medical, and Patrol Lanes, along with some additional training, such as how to properly react to an improvised explosive device attack, and establishing individual fighting positions to name a few. These are typically taken from the unit’s essential task list and hand selected by the brigade commander.

PFC Clark expounds on the training she underwent.

“The training and testing was very challenging and far from easy,” she said. “But learning and performing all of those tasks was an awesome experience.”

For inspiring soldiers interested in seeking a challenge outside of their normal daily operations, PFC Clark gives insight on her experience.

“For soldiers interested in earning their ESB or any military school for that matter, I encourage you to put yourself out there, and give it your all,” she said. “Don’t be afraid of failure, take the opportunity to learn and absorb as much as you can.”

This is a huge milestone for woman, Woman Equality is not only important in the military, but also in society, as we have come so far over the past 49 years since August 26, 1973.

At the behest of Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), in 1971 and passed in 1973, the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.” The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York. The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality. Workplaces, libraries, organizations, and public facilities now participate with Women’s Equality Day programs, displays, video showings, or other activities. (“Women's Equality Day.” National Women's History Alliance,

“Congratulations to the group of the females who graduated right beside me,” she said. With Women’s Equality Day shortly approaching, I am honored and feel this accomplishment emphasizes the meaning of this date and the importance of women having the same opportunities to succeed in their workplace, but most importantly, succeeding under the same standards as everyone else,” said Clark.