CAMP HOVEY, Republic of Korea -- Follow me! I am the Infantry. Sixty-one infantrymen with 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) "Bulldogs", 1st Armored Division (AD) (Rotational) and other tenant units competed against themselves to earn the Expert Infantryman Badge.
The 4th Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 3rd ABCT, 1st AD (Rotational) led Expert Infantryman Badge train-up and certification from April 1-27.
Sgt. William Powell, Houston, Texas native, 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, 3rd ABCT, 1st AD (Rotational), expounded on his experience as an EIB candidate.
"It's challenging, constant attention to detail is an absolute necessity," said Powell. "Every day I stayed late (during train-up) to go over all of the details and it really paid off on testing day."
The Bulldog Brigade EIB certification was a combined effort, testing both U.S. Soldiers and Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army Soldiers. Cpl. Yunil, Jeon, Seoul, Republic of Korea native, KATUSA, Tango Security Force, 8th Army, was the only KATUSA to earn the badge this year and described his crucible.
"There was a lot of pressure as the rounds (phases) went by," said Yunil. "Other KATUSAs dropped out, some who I thought were better than me, and when they left they would leave pressure on my back by saying - 'Hey, you're the only KATUSA left,' but I think the pressure actually forced me to try harder."
Approximately 410 ROK and U.S. Army infantrymen began the journey toward earning the highly-coveted EIB. Only 14 percent achieved their goal. Small-unit leadership at the platoon and squad level proved critical in preparing junior Soldiers for EIB testing.
"I'm a brand new private and didn't know a whole lot about weapons or medical, I learned a lot during this time," said Pvt. Robert Dryden, infantryman and Baltimore, Maryland native, 4th Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment. "I was taught everything hands-on from my team leader and squad leader going into EIB."
Senior leadership from U.S. Forces Korea, 8th Army, 2nd Infantry Division/ROK-U.S. Combined Division, and 3rd ABCT, 1st AD presented Army Achievement Medals and Challenge Coins to the twelve infantrymen that "True Blued" EIB testing, meaning they passed each phase of testing on the first try.