News: Soldiers take on EIB Challenge
Story by Staff Sgt. Johnathan Hoover
FORT HOOD, Texas — Soldiers strive for excellence and the infantrymen assigned to 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry division, were given the chance to achieve it by earning the Expert Infantryman Badge April 23-27, here.
Testing for EIB is a week-long event beginning with a physical fitness test where soldiers must pass with a minimum score of 75 points in each event followed by a day/night land navigation course.
The next three days are spent conducting testing on three lanes consisting of 10 tasks designed to resemble combat scenarios. The final event is a 12-mile road march that must be completed in less than three hours.
Prior to EIB testing, participants took part in a week of training provided by other soldiers who had previously earned their badges. The trainers also served as graders for the testing.
“Physical fitness, using your time wisely and motivation are the key factors that a soldier must have to be awarded the EIB,” said Sgt. 1st Class Blaine Dowell of Tucson, Ariz., the operations non-commissioned officer-in-charge assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. “Everything the soldiers were tested on came right out of the manuals.”
For the soldiers taking part, the EIB was a challenging way to show their skills.
“It was very strenuous and very time consuming, especially during the training week,” said Sgt. Ryan Shriner from Meridian, Idaho, an infantryman assigned to Company A., 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd BCT. “My team and I used the maximum amount of time that the trainers would allow us to train in the evening.”
Shriner said that while serving in Iraq he had a team leader who was killed in action. That soldier had earned the EIB, and Shriner is striving to be like him.
To lead soldiers, you have to be an expert, so it was very important to me to get my EIB, said Shriner.
“I blacked out when I crossed the finish line. I wanted it so bad that I pushed myself to the breaking point,” said Shriner. “I was completely overjoyed when I finally realized that I passed and I have my EIB.”
Approximately 258 soldiers began testing with only 38 actually receiving their EIB at the ceremony held at 10:00 a.m. April 27.
The soldiers who earned their EIB will go on to serve as future EIB graders someday and help uphold the standard for the next generation of infantrymen.