News Icon

News: Spartan Paratroopers earn most coveted award

Story by Sgt. Eric-James EstradaSmall RSS IconSubscriptions Icon

Spartan paratroopers earn most coveted award Sgt. Eric-James Estrada

U.S. Army Col. Matthew McFarlane, the commander of the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, salutes Pvt. Zachary Robison with Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry, 4-25 ABCT, and awards him the Expert Infantry Badge for successfully completing the competition as a “true blue” April 26, 2013. True blue Soldiers are those who earn the EIB without any "no-gos" during the grueling qualification. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Eric-James Estrada/Released)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska- Paratroopers assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division demonstrated mastery of their trade during the Expert Infantry Badge (EIB) qualification here, April 22.

The EIB was first created in 1943 when the Army Chief of Staff, Gen. George C. Marshall, initiated the development of an award to honor U.S. Army Infantryman, while simultaneously building and maintaining esprit de corps within U.S. Infantry units. It is awarded only to U.S. Army personnel who hold Infantry or Special Forces military occupational specialties.

Similar in appearance to the Combat Infantry Badge (CIB), the EIB is a complete and separate award. The CIB is awarded for participation in ground combat while the EIB is presented for completion of a course of testing designed to demonstrate proficiency in Infantry skills.

The Spartan Brigade had 672 paratroopers from the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 501st Infantry Regiment; 3rd Battalion (Airborne), 509th Infantry Regiment; and 1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment, who fought for the honor by taking on a thorough and meticulous series of events testing both their physical and mental endurance.

By the April 26th award ceremony, only 136 paratroopers remained to claim their prize, with eight finishing true blue. True Blue means they completed qualification without a single no-go.

The week-long event began with an Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), where each Paratrooper had to score a minimum of 75 points in each of the three events within their age group. After the APFT, the paratroopers moved into day land navigation testing followed by night land navigation testing. The Paratroopers had to correctly find three out of four points within two hours for both the day and the night land navigation.

The next three days were filled with testing lanes that were designed to push and challenge even the most disciplined and skilled paratroopers.

“The urban lane was definitely the most challenging,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Aaron Demro, assigned to Apache Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry, hailing from Plymouth, Minn. “You train and you practice, but when you get to the actual lane, all the pressure is on you and you’re not even thinking. It turns into muscle memory.”

The final test had paratroopers conducting a 12-mile foot march carrying a rucksack that had to weigh a minimum of 35 pounds. The march had to be completed within three hours.

“The 12-mile was the most challenging. I had to just take it one mile at a time,” said U.S. Army Pfc. Dustin Schrock with Able Company, 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry, a native of Middletown, Ohio.

Schrock also thanked his leadership for their guidance in seeing him through this competition. He said he looks at this as another step toward reaching his goals.

“It’s a great accomplishment and I’m glad to have it done.”


Connected Media
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
U.S. Army Cpl. Brian Lewis with Headquarters Company,...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
U.S. Army Cpl. Brian Lewis with Headquarters Company,...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Lambeth with A Troop, 1st...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
U.S. Army Cpl. Brian Lewis with Headquarters Company,...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
U.S. Army Spc. Aaron Bowers with Headquarters Company,...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
U.S. Army Pfc. Shane McCampbell with Headquarters...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
U.S. Army Spc. Matthew Sanders with Charlie Company, 3rd...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
U.S. Army Spc. Matthew Sanders with Charlie Company, 3rd...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
U.S. Army Spc. Matthew Sanders with Charlie Company, 3rd...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Williams with Comanche...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
U.S. Army Spc. Matthew Sanders with Charlie Company, 3rd...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
U.S. Army Sgt. Nathan Burke with Charlie Company, 3rd...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
U.S. Army Sgt. Nathan Burke with Charlie Company, 3rd...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
U.S. Army Sgt. Nathan Burke with Charlie Company, 3rd...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
U.S. Army Sgt. Nathan Burke with Charlie Company, 3rd...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
U.S. Army Sgt. Nathan Burke with Charlie Company, 3rd...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
U.S. Soldiers with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
U.S. Soldiers with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
Paratroopers with the 4th Brigade Combat Team...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
U.S. Army Spc. Kristopher Overstreet with Charlie...
ImagesSpartan Paratroopers...
A U.S. Soldier with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th...
ImagesSpartan Paratroopers...
Paratroopers with the 4th Brigade Combat Team...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
A paratroopers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
U.S. Army Col. Matthew McFarlane, the commander of the...
ImagesSpartan paratroopers...
U.S. Army Col. Matthew McFarlane, the commander of the...


Web Views
315
Downloads
0

Podcast Hits
0



Public Domain Mark
This work, Spartan Paratroopers earn most coveted award, by SGT Eric-James Estrada, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:04.26.2013

Date Posted:04.29.2013 17:33

Location:JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, AK, USGlobe

Hometown:BUCHANAN, GA, US

Hometown:BURLINGTON, IA, US

Hometown:MIDDLETOWN, OH, US

Hometown:ORLANDO, FL, US

Hometown:PLYMOUTH, MN, US

Hometown:SAN DIEGO, CA, US

Hometown:VANCOUVER, WA, US

Options

  • Army
  • Marines
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • National Guard

HOLIDAY GREETINGS

SELECT A HOLIDAY:

VIDEO ON DEMAND

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Flickr