FORT HOOD, TEXAS – The 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, holds an awards ceremony to recognize Soldiers across the Installation and the Florida National Guard for earning their Expert Soldier Badge (ESB) or Expert Infantry Badge (EIB), Dec. 11, here.
The EIB and ESB recognizes Soldiers who meet the highest standard of performance in physical fitness, warfighting tasks and readiness. While the EIB is limited to infantryman, the ESB highlights Soldiers outside of Infantry and Special Forces. It also recognizes those outside of the medical communities who have the opportunity to earn the Expert Field Medical Badge. Both badges are a symbol of technical and tactical proficiency and are only awarded to those that best demonstrate excellence in their fields.
Over 600 Soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Security Force Assistance Brigade and 50th Regional Support Group of the Florida National Guard began training to earn the coveted EIB or ESB last month.
At the start of test week, Dec. 7, 433 were still in the race and today, 88 Soldiers have met all requirements and stand proud having earned the title of “expert” Soldier or Infantryman.
Command Sgt. Maj. Phil Barretto, United States Army North (Fifth Army), spoke at the ceremony.
“Today, each of you are the example for future leaders to follow and have set the conditions for a culture that lends to taking care of Soldiers, improving skill sets and enhancing your squads,” said Barretto. “As I stand here and look at each of you, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride. I want you to know, it is an honor to have you in my squad because each of you displayed the competencies needed to make our squad stronger and I have no doubt you’ll continue to do so.”
Soldiers that did not qualify for the ESB or EIB during this iteration of testing, will have 24 months to train and attempt again.