The blue cord and Combat Infantry Badge are two items that will separate an infantryman from any other Soldier in the Army today, and they wouldn't want it any other way.
For some Soldiers, the opportunity to be a mechanic or a computer technician could have been the easier choice to make. But the opportunity to live the life as an infantryman was all they were looking for.
"I scored high enough on my test [Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery] to be anything in the Army. But I knew infantry was more my type of job," said Pvt. Aaron Shaw, C Co., 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment. "You get to go out and shoot, run, ruck march; all the fun stuff and you get paid to do it."
Many people would ask what it is about being infantry that makes them different from any other Soldier?
"The infantry is a brotherhood. Because you find yourself all going through difficult situations together and you are all having the same trials and issues," said Sgt. James Roberts, of Idaho Falls, Idaho. "But you know that the person sitting next to you in that tent you can always rely on or talk to. After a year downrange you spend a lot of time with a person."
Despite the hard training and deployment schedules, most of these Soldiers would never give up what they have.
"The only thing that would get me out of this MOS [Military Occupational Specialty] would be if I got hurt too badly to do my job," said Roberts. "I wanted to be part of a unit that all had the same goal and I don't see that in many of the other MOS's. Most other specialties don't mesh together because their lives don't depend on each other."
For those looking into the world of the infantry Soldier from the outside, many wouldn't understand the world they live in or the special bond they share with their brothers-in-arms.
"I would want people to know that an Infantry Soldier is trained and disciplined to do their job and do it well, regardless of what the job is," said Sgt. 1st Class, Valentin Vildosola, C Co. platoon sergeant. "An Infantry Soldier risks his life every time he goes out to do his job and he will do the job to the very best of his ability every time."