News Icon

News: Hohenfels infantrymen test for the honor of the EIB

Story by Staff Sgt. Caleb Barrieau, Pfc. Mychal Chelette, Sgt. Jacob Sawyer and 1st Lt. Dennis Whitt

Sgt. Guillermo Rivas is awarded the EIB 1st Lt. Dennis Whitt

The final seven infantry soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, have completed the weeklong set of testing. Brig. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, commander of the Joint Multinational Training Command, and Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey R. Huggins, the senior enlisted adviser to the commander, spoke at the awards ceremony and awarded each recipient their Expert Infantry Badge.

HOFENELS, Germany - The mark of professionalism for any infantry soldier is embodied in the Expert Infantryman Badge.

In most infantry units, the rigorous rite of passage to earn the coveted badge is conducted on an annual basis. This year at Hohenfels, Germany, soldiers tested their mettle as more than 200 infantrymen competed for the badge.

Pvt. Braser Sestoso, serving at the Joint Multination Readiness Center, is assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment.

"To me, the EIB shows that you are a competent infantryman," said Sestoso, who was dead set on earning the badge, "They train you hard and test you rigorously. It's an honor to earn it."

The EIB is different than other awards.

With 26 years of service in the infantry, Master Sgt. Tim Tasse has firsthand knowledge of why the EIB is such a significant award.

"It's not a requirement to have it," says Tasse, who earned his EIB as a young soldier in 1988, "but those who do wear it display to their peers and leaders that they have the high level of intelligence, determination and adaptability that it demands."

Infantry soldiers who have already earned the badge often mentor their comrades who are undergoing the challenges that EIB testing presents.

Staff Sgt. Aaron Hestand is a squad leader serving with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, and assisted in running the traffic control point lane during the testing phase.

"Each lane is designed to test different skill sets that are essential to the professional infantryman," explains Hestand.

"Preparation and mentorship begins months before EIB takes place," said Hestand, who like other leaders in his unit, spent numerous hours guiding and assisting their soldiers as they prepared for the testing phase.

With a traditional pass rate of approximately 10 percent, the soldiers who make it through the demanding week of testing have achieved a hallmark that will stay with them for the duration of their careers.

However, the EIB represents more than just pride in a well deserved achievement.

For Hestand, it is the knowledge that EIB holding infantrymen can impart on other soldiers which is essential to maintain what is so often called the world's best fighting force.

"EIB is a goal that each infantryman wants to attain, it keeps them [soldiers] driving forward, trying to be better. That's why we are always able to fight and win."

Crossing the finish line of the 12-mile foot march that stands as the last hurdle before being awarded the EIB, 1st. Lt. Stuart McFarlane smiles as he says, "It was definitely worth it!"

Earning the badge marks McFarlane and the other six infantrymen who earned met the standard as masters of their chosen profession.

Narrowly missing the foot march deadline by minutes, Pvt. Sestoso is determined to take what he has learned from the grueling competition and return next year to meet the challenge of the EIB once again.

Connected Media
ImagesExpert Infantry Badge...
Candidates for the Expert Infantry Badge stationed at...
Images1st. Lt. Stuart...
Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, infantry soldiers...
ImagesEIB candidate is...
Expert Infantry Badge candidates stationed at Hohenfels,...
ImagesEIB candidate fires a...
Expert Infantry Badge candidates stationed at Hohenfels,...
ImagesEIB candidate...
Expert Infantry Badge candidates stationed at Hohenfels,...
Images1st. Lt. Carl Hill is...
Warrior Field at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, the...
Images1st Lt. Ian Lawson is...
The final seven infantry soldiers assigned to 1st...
Images1st. Lt. Stuart...
The final seven infantry soldiers, assigned to 1st...
Images1st. Lt. Mitchell...
The final seven infantry soldiers assigned to 1st...
ImagesCapt. Robert Eberts...
The final seven infantry soldiers assigned to 1st...
ImagesPfc. Zak Kozlowski is...
The final seven infantry soldiers assigned to 1st...
ImagesSgt. Guillermo Rivas...
The final seven infantry soldiers assigned to 1st...

Web Views

Podcast Hits

Public Domain Mark
This work, Hohenfels infantrymen test for the honor of the EIB, by SSG Caleb Barrieau, PFC Mychal Chelette, SGT Jacob Sawyer and 1LT Dennis Whitt, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:08.08.2013

Date Posted:08.27.2013 05:18

Location:HOHENFELS, BY, DEGlobe

Hometown:LEIDEN, NL

Hometown:APEX, NC, US





More Like This

  • Approximately 150 Soldiers, assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division "Long Knives," stood in a single file formation at a windy Fort Hood Stadium, Nov. 16, to begin the grueling week-long process of qualifying for an Expert Infantry Badge.
  • Soldiers from 3rd Cavalry Regiment tested their land navigation skills during a practice run of the unit’s 1st Expert Infantry Badge course at a training site on the outskirts of Killeen, April 16.
  • Fifty-five paratroopers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, received their Expert Infantryman Badge Nov. 8, at Pike Field. The EIB is a special skills badge that is presented for completion of a course of testing designed to demonstrate proficiency in infantry skills.
  • Weeks of training and testing concluded with a ceremony, which inducted a chosen few who have proven themselves worthy of displaying the mark of an expert. It is the Expert Infantryman Badge, a 1795 model Springfield musket encased by a silver border with an infantry blue background that is exclusive to the Infantry.


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




  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Flickr