3CR Soldiers join a 75-year-old legacy
Story by SSG Justin Geiger on 04/30/2019
FORT HOOD, Texas Every Soldier should maintain a significant level of professionalism, personal courage and, in uncertain situations, resiliency in the face of adversity.
For the infantryman of 3rd Cavalry Regiment that adversity started Apr. 22 during their individual pursuit of the coveted Expert Infantryman Badge (EIB). More than 600 candidates started the week-long testing period that demanded each Soldier showcase a proficient set of infantry knowledge and expertise.
“What’s associated with the EIB is a high-level of proficiency that you have to meet and exceed in order to even earn it,” said Cpt. Dino Buchanan, an Infantryman with 1st Squadron, 3rd Cav. Regt. “To some people, it’s just a badge, but to the person that earned it, it’s an extraordinary accomplishment that highlights their abilities.”
This mentally and physically grueling process to earn the badge consisted of a physical fitness assessment, day and night land navigation, medical, weapons and patrol lanes that included 10 different stations per lane.
As the days increased the number of candidates continuously decrease, and by the last day of testing, only a little over 80 infantrymen remained.
Several hours before the award ceremony, the remaining candidates had to successfully complete a 12-mile ruck march, within three hours or less and immediately afterward clear, disassemble, assemble and perform a functions check on their individual weapons.
“Very rarely in life do we have the opportunity to face a challenge, that is extremely mentally and physically taxing, that is quantifiable and distinguishes you from our peers,” said Col. Jonathan Byrom, commander of the 3rd Cav. Regt.
“You all have withstood the various task and it’s very difficult to earn an EIB the success rate for the Army is about 9 percent,” said Byrom.
Each Soldier accepted the challenge with a “will to win” attitude knowing the level and adversity they would have to overcome in order to join a brotherhood that was established 75-years-ago.
“Throughout your career and 30 years from now when you have your grandchild sitting on your lap, you’re going to have the privilege of say you earned this very difficult badge,” said Byrom as he addressed the formation standing on the parade field.