The first 11 soldiers were awarded the Expert Soldier Badge on Tuesday after being the first to take the pilot test two years ago during the award's initial testing.

They received the new badge during the Association of the United States Army's annual conference in Washington, D.C.

The ESB is available to all soldiers who are not combat medics, infantrymen, or Special Forces. To be able to take the test, soldiers have to qualify as "expert" on the M4 carbine or M16 rifle and receive a recommendation from their chain of command, according to the Army. The standards test soldiers' skills over a five-day period, per the Army, and includes events like the Army Combat Fitness Test, day and night land navigation, a 12-mile march, and more.

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