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    Florida Army National Guard Hosts Expert Infantryman Badge and Expert Soldier Badge Qualifications

    FLANG hosts multi-state ESB/EIB event

    Photo By Sgt. Neysa Huertas Quinones | 2nd Lt. Jillian Warnock, left, a financial manager with 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Neysa Huertas Quinones 

    107th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    CAMP BLANDING JOINT TRAINING CENTER, Fla.- Over 140 Soldiers gathered to put their mental and physical skills to the test during Expert Infantryman Badge (EIB) and Expert Soldier Badge (ESB) qualifications May 18-22 at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, Fla.

    The event was coordinated by the Florida Army National Guard’s 53rd Infantry Brigade. Florida Army National Guard (FLARNG) Soldiers participating in the event were joined by both active and guard components from across the nation. The difficulty of the course makes EIB and ESB a recognition not every Soldier receives during their time in service. Less than 20 candidates were able to complete the selection process and pin their respective badge insignia on their uniforms.

    “It's the drive to keep that tradition going,” said First Sgt. Anthony Calvi, event NCOIC from 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Charlie Co. 1-124. “To display that you are an expert in your unit and get that knowledge to go to soldiers with, they could easily see that on your chest and they know that they can find answers to those level one tasks and could trust your responses.”

    Assessments within the event included foot patrols, weapons drills, land navigation, and many more critical combat skills necessary to be a true master of their craft. Some candidates participating came from non-combat roles but still demonstrated their proficiency while maintaining immense attention to detail. Both the ESB and EIB qualifications test soldiers on their ability to complete dozens of tasks to standard, with many of those resulting in first-time failure dismissals from the course. Soldiers that accomplish every task to standards and receive first-time "go’s" on all events are additionally regarded as “True Blue.”

    “This is important because you can take a soldier who is right out of basic training and push them through the expert soldier training and even if they don't graduate, they will have hands-on training with weapons they probably won't have access to otherwise.” said 1st Lt. Tyler Trumbo, an infantry officer with the 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment. “They are getting all that weapons, medical and patrol training which will give them that baseline knowledge from expert infantry training.”

    EIB and ESB qualifications don't just challenge candidates, instructors selected for the course must uphold and present the standards which all recipients of these badges are held. They spend countless hours giving thorough hands-on training then later validating everything soldiers have learned through their experience.

    “The most challenging situation I found myself in was walking side-by-side with a few candidates in the pouring rain during night land navigation training,” said Sgt. Kyle Hughes, infantryman and instructor with the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Charlie Co. 1-124. “ We teach soldiers it's possible regardless of all adversities. We are experts, we have to show expert-level confidence and execution no matter what.”

    While not every soldier makes it through the course, the wealth of knowledge gained leaves many with their heads held high and eager to try again. The exposure to training that specifically targets those critical combat skills improves not just the individual candidate, but their unit as a whole. ESB and EIB qualifcations continue to celebrate Army tradition while expanding on mission readiness and troop development.

    “This course is most important because it adds tremendous pressure and stress to perform tasks perfectly over and over again for days. This not only teaches Soldiers on tasks, it teaches them to teach others those tasks. They can go back to their units and train all their soldiers to an expert level. This course is cost-effective, requires minimal training equipment, and has a short duration.”



    Date Taken: 05.22.2023
    Date Posted: 05.24.2023 11:52
    Story ID: 445379

    Web Views: 43
    Downloads: 0