3rd Infantry Regiment and the EIB

| March 30, 2012

The 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) has placed a number of photos on their Facebook page of their Expert Infantry Badge testing last week. For those of you who have no experience with the EIB, it’s a series of combat-related tests that an infantryman must pass in order to earn the coveted EIB;

There is no room for error in the test, a candidate must have a perfect score on the test to earn the EIB. The photo at the top is during the final mile of the 12-mile road march at Fort AP Hill. According to the 3rd IR;

353 candidates attempted to earn the coveted EIB; only 128 received it by the end of the week.

Yeah, it’s a big f###ing deal.

Category: Military issues

Comments (33)

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  1. Just A Grunt says:

    That is still a huge number of EIB’s. The year I got mine, in my 3rd attempt, only about a dozen of us in the battalion earned it. I still have the orders somewhere. They put all of us on one set of orders. It is however my most prized award. Even to this day I remember the two tasks, one in each of the previous attempts, that I got a NO-GO for. Under the old rules it was one and done. There were no retests.

    Still congrats to all who earn it, you are in rare company just as those who earn the EFMB (Expert Field Medical Badge) are.

  2. CI says:

    Yep…I remember that look, on me. EIB was harder than the first CIB….and after watching a few EFMB circuits, medics had my complete respect.

  3. Bobo says:

    I remember my two attempts clearly. First time was a no-go with the Claymore (forgot to safe the trigger after testing the system), second was the M-60 (we had to sling our weapons while doing the assemble and disassemble and it completely threw me off). The only thing that was more mentally challenging was my submarine qualification board, and there was no 12 mile ruck walk required to qualify submarines. The awardees have my utmost respect.

  4. COB6 says:

    That’s like a 35% go rate! Sounds like the old Berlin Brigade’s infamous Free-I-B to me. But congrats anyway.

  5. Right Rev Mr. Wolf says:

    One thing I’ve always wondered about the EIB-

    Why Rangers and SF don’t get one as a part of their training. Isnt there quite a bit of crossover in the EIB and Tab-training?

    Would this make sense? Earn a tab, get an EIB with it?

    • CrossRiflesOIF2 says:

      Actually SF and Rangers typically do go to EIB. When I went we had a guy from a nearby SF group and he told us he was the only one in his platoon that didn’t have one. So he was extra motivated to get one, he was in my testing group and it was interesting to see him so excited and nervous. I already had my CIB, but I wanted both Infantry awards. Out of around 500 only 42 of us made it. Call for fire and grenades was the biggest killer. Even if you don’t make it, the training is invaluable, but if you want to make it anywhere in the Infantry you should take it serious. What people don’t understand is that the graders are badge protectors, they don’t want you to have their badge unless you truly deserve it. To say anyone gets a Free-I-b is completely stupid. The EIB board will not allow such a thing and neither would the graders. You have to complete each task in order, without error and in a very small amount of time. Also the graders mind f#ck you at every station, they want you to fail. Anyone who hates on the EIB is obviously a failure in the Infantry. Infantrymen respect it, only losers hate it. Some units have a higher pass rate due to having more time to train for it, we only had a 5 day notice to go for testing because another unit was doing it. Its a lot like the scouts and their spur ride, it would obviously be in your best interest to excel.

  6. CI says:

    @ Mr Wolf – Interesting concept……..one obstacle to overcome is the restriction to 11 series and 18B’s.

  7. Liberty Valance says:

    The CIB is the one girls like.

  8. Right Rev Mr. Wolf says:

    That’s fine… if you are 18 or 11 and earn your tab, congrats, you get an EIB with it.

    It’s like the guy next to me in the FOB- I’m not 18 or 11, but if we’re both firing at the same Talib he gets CIB and I don’t… no worries…

  9. Jonn Lilyea says:

    The EIB test and the SFQC and Ranger School don’t test the same skills.

  10. xbradtc says:

    One reason the GO rate is higher these days is that units put a lot more effort into the trainup for it. Which, I guess Bn CDRs like it as a bullet point on their OERs. That’s fine. It’s good refresher training on basic skills.

    • Jonn Lilyea says:

      xbradtc: If I remember correctly, there’s a unit streamer that’s awarded when a unit has a certain percentage of EIB awardees. I ran the 3rd Division’s EIB site for a few years at Aschaffenburg because the brigade sergeant major liked the fact that I’d go toe-to-toe with battalion commanders when they disputed individual NO GOs (the Army made me the best asshole I could be). Apparently, the EIB streamer was a big deal to commanders.

  11. CI says:

    I remember iterations in days past, from other units, where the GO rate was far higher than 35%……prompting labels of ‘Free-IB and ‘Easy-IB’.

    Can’t speak to the actual reasons for the rates though.

    And Jonn has a good point that escaped me earlier…..Ranger School and the Q do indeed have different skill sets. Related, sure….but not an equal standard for testing.

  12. Just A Grunt says:

    What separates the EIB testing from giving the badge to somebody for completing tab training is that the EIB is administered over a 2-3 day span. A period of time in which you must be perfect, whereas in tab training it is just what it implies, training. Mistakes are made, corrective action taken and hopefully the next time the result will be different. There was not a single task on the EIB test that I hadn’t done hundreds of times but put that NCO with the clipboard and a stop watch staring at you in apparent glee as he waits for you to make the slightest goof, well that puts it into an entirely different world.

    Just to bore you further on my second attempt I was given a NO-GO for the task Set Headspace and Timing on an M2 .50 caliber MG. This is something I had done probably thousands of times and being a TC on a M113 this was right in my wheelhouse. No problems, easy peasy. Or so I thought. At the signal to begin I whipped out the gauge and checked the headspace. It was good to go. Next I jumped to the timing. Inserted the NO GO end. No Click. Inserted the Go end. Click. Well shit I am good to go. Or so I thought.

    I hung the gauge over the trigger handles and stood up. The NCO asked me if I was done and I replied Yes. He said NO GO. Wait how could he do that, he didn’t even check it and I know damn good and well it was good. His reply was there was no need for him to check it since I had just done it but the task was to SET headspace and timing NOT check it.

    In other words I should have taken the barrel out and screwed up the timing first.

  13. USMC Steve says:

    EIB is cool and all, but the only one that really counts is the CIB. And the standards pretty much demand perfection there too, or ya get dead or crippled up.

  14. CI says:

    Except for those occasions where the CIB has been essentially handed out as participation credit. My first award was basically just that.

  15. El Marco says:

    Bitch of a test. My first attempt (1982) I bolo’ed wire splicing of all things. Got it on a the second attempt (1984).

  16. DaveO says:

    Cool – so the slicksleeves get to wear a long rifle too!

    In 1989, the EIB was important, and prevalent. Nowadays… not so much.

  17. streetsweeper says:

    Never had the opportunity for CIB nor chance to go for the EIB. However, I do have a certain amount of respect for those of you whom have been awarded them. And by the way, Jonn? I’d much rather deal with an asshole verse’s a snake in the weeds. That way, everybody knows where they stand.

  18. NHSparky says:

    The only thing that was more mentally challenging was my submarine qualification board,

    Best one I ever heard on a qual board: “You are a molecule of seawater. Light my rack light.”

    And kudos to those recent awardees. The physical and mental challenges are nothing to belittle.

  19. Mike W. says:

    Took me a FEW tries to achieve the EIB. Earned for sure for me anyway……heard of ‘wholesale give aways’ in certain units, but never saw it when I was on active duty. Oh, earned mine in Panama in ’83 or so.

  20. Just Plain Jason says:

    Damn “infinity” need all kinds of stuff to look good on their uniforms… ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Bah Bodenkurk says:

    128 out of 353 earned their EIBs??? When I got mine in November 2010 my brigade started with about 980 testing and only 73 earned it. Either Old Guard is better at combat related stuff than actual brigade combat teams, or my brigade combat team sucks ass. Or Old Guard grades leniently IOT look better. One of those things.

  22. Just Plain Jason says:

    Or you have a ton of guys that have attention to minuteua of detail hammered into their heads on a daily basis? I had a friend who was on the caissons at the Old Guard and the prep time is hard as hell there. Trust me there is no taking stuff to the cleaners there. Those guys did some hellacious train up for that event.

  23. Bah Bodenkurk says:

    I get ya, the Old Guard’s entire job is based on attention to detail and constant drill. But in a line squad there isn’t a man who doesn’t know how to put a DAGR into operation, take down and reassemble a SAW or 240 and do functions check and correct malfunction etc, headspace and time a .50 cal, and so forth. You’re probably right- it’s more than likely the attention to detail- but the numbers just really confused me. Plus, it seems like every Old Guard guy I know has an EIB and I just assumed getting an EIB in Old Guard was like getting an ARCOM for going to Iraq or Afghanistan.

  24. Just Plain Jason says:

    The funny thing is watch a guy from the old guard do D&C in a regular unit, they get screwed up. It is different than everywhere else. I just found it really weird I just defended some parade monkeys and infantry goons…I must be getting nicer as I age.

  25. Bah Bodenkurk says:

    Jason, I had a former Old Guard platoon sergeant, and he turned out to be one of the best soldiers I ever knew when we deployed to Iraq and eventually Afghaniland too. I always think it’s funny, though, when I see them do that outside-heel kick every time they stop marching at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. When I was a kid, those guys made me fall in love with the Army!

  26. Just Plain Jason says:

    I wanted to do that when I was a kid also…too short…too engineer!

  27. fm2176 says:

    I earned mine with TOG and consider the higher GO rate as a result of the way training and testing is conducted. Soldiers are bussed to AP Hill and stay in the barracks there for the duration of testing. Study hall is mandatory nightly from 1830-2030 (or thereabouts) and there are no distractions besides perhaps a quick trip to the shoppette, if you are lucky enough to get there before they close. Smartphones give the Soldiers internet and such, but in ’04 I could only find a cell phone signal in a couple of spots.

    My stick started with 13 and 5 of us earned our EIBs. We were the ones who took study hall seriously and took our time going from station to station.

  28. Bah Bodenkurk says:

    I earned mine recently by comparisson- October 2010. They’ve recently changed the entire thing around. There are now 3 lanes with 10 tasks per lane, conducted on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of test week. Monday is APFT and Land Nav, and Friday is the ruck. If you fail any of the non-lane stuff there are no second chances the way there always used to be. The thing is, though, most of the failures were on the hardest of the lanes- the TCP lane. It had the most time consuming stuff (break down/ reassemble the M240B and functions check, headspace and time .50 cal, put a CLU into operation, SALUTE report, call for fire, range card, and a few others). I remember finishing my range card 15 seconds before my time was up. I also pulled a shoulder muscle somehow during the 12 miler but didn’t really notice it until after I took my ruck off. And the two last guys to finish the 12 miler in time, who came in only minutes after me, both passed out, probably due to poor hydration. They were LTs, after all. One of which was that guy who recently got arrested for setting up that hit squad. There were three people that crossed the finish line just barely over the three hours. I felt bad for those dudes.

  29. Marcus says:

    I earned mine back in 1989 at Ft. Ord. We didn’t have to screw around with the 50 cal. We were light infantry and it wasn’t required. Out of my whole battalion only 18 of us earned it. While in Germany I did see the push by commanders to have everyone with one. In Berlin they tested twice a year. The joke was EIB stood for everybody in Berlin. I felt this was disrespectful to those of us that worked so hard to earn this coveted award. As a tester in Berlin I was as hard on them as the testers were on me when I earned mine. At Ft. Ord you could not be a tester if you yourself had not earned one.

  30. Green Thumb says:

    Got my EIB in the TOG.


    Roger that.

    Either get it, or don’t bitch. Unless you are non-IN. Unless you have the EFMB. Then you are good in my book.



  31. Harold H Heikkinen says:

    I earned my EIB in 1959 at Kirchgoens, Germany.
    I was the only PFC E-3 in Hq & Hq Co, 2D Armored Rifle Battalion, 46th INFANTRY, 3D ARMORED DIVISION (SPEARHEAD)to get the EIB. The Order was dated 11 September 1959 at Kirchgoens, Germany. You did not need a EIB to get promoted in our outfit. Most NCO’s never got the EIB.