Top-notch soldiers can now earn a new device that acknowledges their high level of proficiency. The service unveiled its Expert Soldier Badge (ESB) on June 14 ‘ the Army’s birthday ‘ in order to give recognition to all soldiers who excel at their jobs. The ESB is equivalent to the Expert Infantry and Expert Field Medical badges, but for other military occupational specialties. Infantry, Special Forces, and medical specialists are not eligible for the ESB. To qualify, soldiers must demonstrate high levels of physical fitness, marksmanship, land-navigation expertise, and war-fighting tasks. Standards for qualification should be complete by September, with the first soldiers receiving the ESB designation sometime after fiscal year 2020 begins on Oct. 1.
As of now, the service will expect successful candidates to take the ESB test, they must pass the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) and qualify as Expert on the M4 or M16 rifle. After that, they must pass another ACFT, as well as day and night navigation and a 12-mile foot march. They also will have to pass a series of individual tests at testing stations, to include:
* Reaction to an improvised explosive device (IED) attack.
* Construction of individual fighting positions.
* Search for an individual in a tactical environment.
* Use “progressive levels of individual force.”
* Mark areas that are contaminated with CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) materials.