VILSECK, Germany -- U.S. Soldiers and NATO partners participated in an event known as 'E3B' Nov. 6 to 10.
The 2nd Cavalry Regiment hosted and provided the opportunity, training, and evaluations necessary for candidates to receive the Expert Infantry Badge, Expert Soldier Badge, and Expert Field Medical Badge.
“Being in your own head can be one of the biggest challenges,” said U.S. Army Pfc. Simon Jack, an Infantryman assigned to Apache Troop, 1st Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment. “Just remember to relax, you’ve done it before, and just go through the steps like you did in training.”
Prior to the start of testing for E3B, the candidates went through a training phase for two weeks, sharpening their technical and tactical knowledge to be successful in the numerous tasks ahead.
During evaluation week, Soldiers were required to pass the Expert Physical Fitness Assessment, land navigation, three evaluation lanes with 10 tasks each: the patrol lane, weapons lane, medical lane, and then a 12-mile ruck march.
The amount of candidates narrowed down gradually. Each lane had graders evaluating every candidate, testing their ability to complete tasks correctly with various "go" and "no-go" scenarios.
“You’ve got to put in the hours and the work to make sure that you learn all 30 of these tasks and are able to complete them in a proficient manner, because if you’re not, then this is one of those badges that is going to be very difficult for you to get,” said U.S. Army Capt. Ben Do, a field artillery officer assigned to 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment.
“It’s definitely one of those things that you have to be fully dedicated to,” said Do.
Regardless of the outcome, Soldiers gained experience that they can use to teach others and become more reliable and capable leaders for their units.
“At the end of the day, we are getting a whole bunch of training that we can bring back to our troops and increase lethality,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Dylan Mecca, a horizontal construction engineer assigned to the 15th Engineer Battalion.
Out of the 1,700 candidates who participated in the E3B event, there were 548 candidates who earned their respective badges at the graduation ceremony.
Specific titles were given to candidates who earned their respective badges without receiving a single no-go in their particular lane, acknowledging the candidates' efforts to execute every task of each event. These titles include “True Blue” for EIB, “No Blood” for EFMB, and “Perfect Edge” for ESB.
“Once you wear the badge, it doesn’t mean that you can just brain dump it,” said Do. “People are gonna look to you to be the subject matter expert on any of the 30 tasks that you completed.”
With the conclusion of E3B 2023, U.S. Soldiers and NATO partners successfully engaged in the given opportunity to develop lethality, interoperability, and test their skills, which are vital assets for maximizing mission success in real-world environments to deter enemy forces.
To view more photos and videos of this event visit this website