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06 Expert Soldier Badge ESB non infantry types Army combat fitness test 2nd Infantry Division ROK U.S. Combined Division Support Our Troops

Camp Humphreys, South Korea. (May 13, 2024): Many of the articles we publish concern the high-speed doings of America’s elite special forces, and for good reason. The ordinary non-infantry types, however, also have a way to demonstrate that they too are highly skilled warriors. In this photo by Sergeant Gwang Neung Kim, Major Grace Lee, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 23d CBRNE Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division ROK-U.S. Combined Division, receives her Expert Soldier Badge (ESB) from her spouse.

The ESB is a special skills badge awarded to soldiers who are neither infantryspecial forces, nor combat medics who want to demonstrate their competence in various warrior tasks. These include land navigation, marksmanship, and physical fitness as part of a tough and realistic combat skills course. Candidates must perform thirty warrior tasks with additional mission essential skills chosen by their unit commander, complete a twelve-mile foot march, and pass land navigation and physical fitness tests.

To be eligible to compete for an ESB, a Soldier must be within height and weight standards and be recommended by their chain of command. They must be experts at their assigned weapon and have passed an Army Combat Fitness Test in the last six months. They also need to be highly motivated as the pass/fail rate for the ESB has been as high at twenty percent for the 20,000 Soldiers who have attempted the effort so far.

The Army wants every soldier to be “combat ready” and earning the ESB can be a source of pride and a major contributor to a successful career for non-infantry types.