FORT HOOD, Texas- Nearly 40 infantry troops assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division gathered amongst other cavalry Soldiers to conduct Expert Infantry Badge (EIB) training, May 4.

Troops participated in individual skill tasks that tested their basic infantry level expertise. To qualify for EIB training, infantrymen had to meet the prerequisite requirements of shooting at least 36 out of 40 targets with their rifle and pass their physical fitness test with at least 75 percent overall.

As Soldiers eagerly interacted with each other, gaining the most from each station, leadership personnel called out combat scenarios, reminding them that this training represented more than the valued badge.

"Some of the skills that they learn here can one day possibly save their lives or someone else's," said Ashville, N.C. native, Staff Sgt. Nick Crawford. "Some of these Soldier's may get stressed and be forced to make a decision and react. So it helps that they become stressed here and pay attention to detail in preparation for upcoming deployments."

During the various exercises, troops built the foundation for individual level training so they can advance to collective level training.

Throughout the training, troops demonstrated a broad spectrum of skills that they previously learned. They used their first aid skills to assist casualties and also conducted map reading exercises such as using a topographical map to call in for fire support.

"They're being evaluated individually, when it's you against yourself, it helps you assess yourself as to where you stand," said Crawford.

The individually driven training draws motivation from within the Soldiers who want to earn the badge said Los Angeles native, 1st Lt. David Kim.

Over the course of the week-long training, Soldiers have the chance to relearn the perishable skills that they haven't used in a garrison environment said Kim.
"They're learning the skills they may have forgotten, even if they don't earn a badge," said Kim

From the newest private, to the most veteran noncommissioned officer, to the highest ranking officer, the EIB training brought a common ground to the diverse group of Soldiers- motivation.

With no combat patch on his right arm, showing that he has never deployed overseas, Spc. Jordain O'Neill, of Meridian, Idaho, blended in amongst the many other Soldiers participating in the EIB training.

"It's (EIB) a pretty prestigious thing," said O'Neill, "it gives you bragging rights and it motivates you to be better than everyone else."

Finishing up the week with continued training, Soldiers will apply their skills and use their knowledge and motivation in efforts to earn the Expert Infantry Badge during upcoming EIB testing.