Military Salute: Soldiers compete for EIB

Military Salute: Soldiers compete for EIB

The best of the best are competing right now at Fort Stewart for the EIB, Expert Infantryman's Badge.

A total of 900 Dog Faced soldiers showed up for the challenge and now around 200 are left, competing for the coveted symbol of the complete army soldier.

1st Lieutenant Andrew Wells of Task Force 2-7 Infantry, 1HBCT, 3rd ID explains, "A lot of it's attention to detail and that's what really gets people out here."

1LT Wells knows thousands of soldiers go for the badge every year across the country.

"I put my all into it and if everything comes out well, then I'll walk away with the EIB, if things don't go my way, then it's not the end of the world," said Wells. "I got a lot of good training out of it too and that's what I keep telling my guys as well."

Wells wants to lead his soldiers by example as does Sergeant Zebulan Dumont from 3rd CAB, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd ID. He tells his company, "If I can do this, you can do this."

At the Master Skills Testing stations, soldiers are evaluated on weapons proficiency and confidence. It's a round robin type station, and if you make it through clean, it's called a "true blue".

SGT Dumont says you study, and then hopefully what your muscle memory knows, comes back to you. "Just all the steps, there's a lot of things in sequence you have to nail on the head. It's not something they forgive you for; you do it or you don't."

Because there's no forgiveness in the field as shown in another round called Individual Tactical Test Lanes, where a soldier is given a scenario like tending to battle wounded.

SGT Dumont wants to further his career in hopes of being a Sergeant Major, and the badge can only help. "It sets you a part from you peers."

The EIB competition wraps up this Thursday with awards.

For more information on the EIB process, click here.

FT. STEWART, GA (WTOC) - Copyright 2014 WTOC. All rights reserved.