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Army revamping Expert Infantryman Badge testing

Sgt. Tracey Long grades a candidate during scenario-based testing for the Expert Infantry Badge for infantryman with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, Feb. 1, 2011, at Fort Bragg, N.C. The EIB was created in 1943 as a means to recognize excellence among the infantry. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod)

The Army is planning to rewrite the book on its Expert Infantryman Badge by September.

Soldiers in a pilot program at Fort Benning, Ga., recently tested changes to the requirements for the badge, which include revamps of proficiency on indirect fire, moving under fire, grenade use and medical care under fire.

“Their feedback was really essential to rolling out this new standard, making sure it was validated before it hit the horse,” Master Sgt. Charles Evans, from the Office of the Chief of the Infantry, said in an Army statement Monday. “Just working out all the kinks and making sure that all the tasks were applicable, realistic and up to date with the latest doctrine.”

Most of the changes are aimed at better standardizing the test, the statement said.

Soldiers vying for the EIB must execute 30 tasks — 10 each on weapons, patrolling and medical care.

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The new badge manual is expected to be completed by this year’s first EIB event at Fort Benning in September, the Army said.

In 1944, Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall began development of the EIB award to honor the role played by infantryman in combat.

The EIB testing process measures the mastery of individual skills over a five-day period.

Every EIB candidate must pass an Army physical fitness test with a minimum score of 80 percent in each event, a day and night land navigation course and then spend three days rotating through the test’s 30 consecutive stations.

Only 14 percent of soldiers tested earn the EIB, according to the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence.

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© 2018 the Stars and Stripes

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