Army to begin awarding new Expert Soldier Badge later this year

news
Army TRADOC Town Hall Expert Action Badge Discussion

The Army will soon have a new badge available to soldiers, but only those that have mastered "the art of soldiering."


The Expert Soldier Badge "will test a soldier's proficiency in physical fitness, marksmanship, land navigation and other critical skills, and demonstrates a mastery of the art of soldiering," an Army press release says.

It's the equivalent of the Expert Infantry Badge (EIB) and Expert Field Medical Badge (EFMB), and available to everyone who is not an infantryman, combat medic, or Special Forces soldier.

The badge was originally named the Expert Action Badge and faced pushback from soldiers who saw it as a participation trophy, a response the Army swiftly dismissed.

The anticipated design of the ESB. (U.S. Army photo)

To qualify for the ESB test, soldiers must be recommended by their chain of command, pass the new Army Combat Fitness Test, and qualify as an "Expert" on the M4/M16 rifle.

The test itself includes another "another ACFT, day and night land navigation, individual testing stations, and culminates with a 12-mile foot march."

The test stations could include five additional tasks, the press release says: Reacting to an IED attack, employing progressive levels of individual force, marking CBRN-contaminated areas, constructing individual fighting positions, and searching an individual in a tactical environment.

The brigade commander will choose the tasks from the unit's mission essential task list.

Standards for the badge are not going to be adjusted for age or gender, the release says. The standards and regulations of the badge will be finalized this September, and will start being available in early fiscal year 2020, which starts in October.

"The ESB is all about increasing the readiness of our Army," TRADOC Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Guden said in the release. "This is not a badge to award so that the entire Army now has an 'expert' badge to wear. ... [T]his is a badge to award to those who truly deserve recognition as an expert in their career field; for those who have achieved a high level of competence and excellence in their profession."

SEE ALSO: Army Swears Expert Action Badge Isn't A Participation Trophy

WATCH NEXT: Climb To Glory

Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials are warning soldiers and military families to be aware of scammers using the Exchange's logo.

In a news release Wednesday, Exchange officials said scammers using the name "Exchange Inc." have "fooled" soldiers and airmen to broker the sale of used cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and boat engines.

Read More Show Less

KABUL (Reuters) - The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility on Sunday for a suicide blast at a wedding reception in Afghanistan that killed 63 people, underlining the dangers the country faces even if the Taliban agrees a pact with the United States.

The Saturday night attack came as the Taliban and the United States try to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan's U.S.-backed government.

Islamic State fighters, who first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014 and have since made inroads in the east and north, are not involved in the talks. They are battling government and U.S.-led international forces and the Taliban.

The group, in a statement on the messaging website Telegram, claimed responsibility for the attack at a west Kabul wedding hall in a minority Shi'ite neighborhood, saying its bomber had been able to infiltrate the reception and detonate his explosives in the crowd of "infidels".

Read More Show Less
U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Brian Kimball

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Calling aviation geeks in New York City: The British are coming.

In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Air National Guard/Staff Sgt. Michelle Y. Alvarez-Rea

Frances and Efrain Santiago, natives of Puerto Rico, wanted to show their support last month for protesters back home seeking to oust the island's governor.

The couple flew the flag of Puerto Rico on the garage of their Kissimmee home. It ticked off the homeowners association.

Someone from the Rolling Hills Estates Homeowners Association left a letter at their home, citing a "flag violation" and warning: "Please rectify the listed violation or you may incur a fine."

Frances Santiago, 38, an Army veteran, demanded to know why.

Read More Show Less
Todd Rosenberg/AP

A West Point graduate received a waiver from the U.S. Army to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, and play in the NFL while serving as an active-duty soldier.

The waiver for 2nd Lt. Brett Toth was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, who said that Toth signed a three-year deal with the Eagles. Toth graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 2018.

Read More Show Less