VILSECK, Germany — The 2nd Cavalry Regiment is hosting a first-of-its-kind exercise called E3B for the Expert Soldier, Expert Infantry and Expert Field Medical Badges Nov. 6 to 10, 2023.
After completing two weeks of training, more than 1,700 candidates from various U.S. Army units and NATO partners undergo rigorous testing during evaluation week to obtain these prestigious badges.
“This is a great exercise for soldiers to test their skill levels in accordance with the Skill Level I tasks and also earn their E3B Badge,” said 1st Sgt. Payam Nourbakhsh of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment.
Evaluation week kicked off with an Expert Physical Fitness Assessment beginning and ending with a one-mile plate carrier run, between which the candidates completed several tasks designed to push them physically. These tasks included 30 hand-release pushups, a 50-meter water jug carry, tossing 15 sandbags, a 50-meter low-crawl and three to five-second rushes.
After completing the fitness test, there are three main lanes the candidates must undergo to complete required tasks.
“There is the patrol lane, the weapons lane and the medical lane. Each lane has 10 tasks associated with it,” said 1st Sgt. Casey McDaniel of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. “Soldiers going through this gain the knowledge to be an expert in their field and must complete a multitude of tasks going along with that.”
Candidates must complete all 30 critical tasks and may only receive a maximum of two “no-gos” throughout the entire week.
The patrol lane encompasses tactical movements and reacting to enemy contact. These tasks include operating a tactical handheld radio to send reports, using camouflage and responding to enemy chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear attacks.
The weapons lane requires candidates to perform operation and function checks on many different weapon systems. Soldiers must also construct individual fighting positions and react to enemy improvised explosive devices.
The medical lane tests knowledge and practical application of treating different types of wounds such as head and chest injuries, burns, excessive bleeding and more. Requesting a medical evacuation is also a major learning point of this evaluation lane.
“It helps improve mission readiness because in combat you never know what weapon you may have to fall in on, and we all should know how to treat a casualty,” said McDaniel.
In addition to these three lanes, soldiers must also navigate points during a land navigation evaluation and finish the entire week with a 12-mile foot march.
The event concludes with a closing ceremony on Friday, Nov. 10, in which the remaining candidates are presented with their respective badges.
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