2/16th Infantry Soldiers recognized as “Experts”

A Soldier with the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, receives the Expert Infantry Badge during a ceremony in Arta, Djibouti, Jan 14, 2015. Forty-three 2/16 Inf. Rgt. Soldiers successfully completed all testing components to earn the EIB.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ian Dean) 2nd Battalion Soldier receives the Expert Infantry Badge during Ceremony in Arta, Djibouti A Soldier with the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, receives the Expert Infantry Badge during a ceremony in Arta, Djibouti, Jan 14, 2015. Forty-three 2/16 Inf. Rgt. Soldiers successfully completed all testing components to earn the EIB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ian Dean)
Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, stand in formation to receive the Expert Infantry Badge during a ceremony in Arta, Djibouti, Jan. 14, 2015. Forty-three 2/16 Inf. Rgt. Soldiers successfully completed all testing components to earn the EIB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ian Dean) 2nd Battalion Soldiers stand in Formation to receive Expert Infantry Badge during Ceremony in Arta, Djibouti Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, stand in formation to receive the Expert Infantry Badge during a ceremony in Arta, Djibouti, Jan. 14, 2015. Forty-three 2/16 Inf. Rgt. Soldiers successfully completed all testing components to earn the EIB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ian Dean)
A Soldier with the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, removes the sling from his weapon after completing a twelve-mile road march as part of Expert Infantry Badge testing in Arta, Djibouti, Jan. 14, 2015. The road march was the final component for EIB testing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ian Dean) 2nd Battalion Soldier removes Sling from his Weapon after completing Twelve-Mile Road March A Soldier with the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, removes the sling from his weapon after completing a twelve-mile road march as part of Expert Infantry Badge testing in Arta, Djibouti, Jan. 14, 2015. The road march was the final component for EIB testing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ian Dean)
A Soldier with the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, rushes to the finish line of a twelve-mile road march as part of Expert Infantry Badge testing in Arta, Djibouti, Jan. 14, 2015. As the final component of EIB testing, Soldiers must complete the road march in three hours or less to earn the EIB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ian Dean) 2nd Battalion Soldier rushes to Finish Line of Twelve-Mile Road March as part of Expert Infantry Badge Testing A Soldier with the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, rushes to the finish line of a twelve-mile road march as part of Expert Infantry Badge testing in Arta, Djibouti, Jan. 14, 2015. As the final component of EIB testing, Soldiers must complete the road march in three hours or less to earn the EIB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ian Dean)
Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, rest after completing a twelve-mile road march as part of Expert Infantry Badge testing in Arta, Djibouti, Jan. 14, 2015. As the final component of EIB testing, Soldiers must complete the road march in three hours or less while carrying approximately 50 pounds of gear. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ian Dean) 2nd Battalion Soldiers rest after completing Twelve-Mile Road March Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, rest after completing a twelve-mile road march as part of Expert Infantry Badge testing in Arta, Djibouti, Jan. 14, 2015. As the final component of EIB testing, Soldiers must complete the road march in three hours or less while carrying approximately 50 pounds of gear. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ian Dean)

Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, set out to complete testing designed to push their physical and mental limits and demonstrate proficiency in their skills.

Approximately 250 Soldiers put their skills to the test during the Expert Infantry Badge testing at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Jan 4-14, 2015.

 “Soldiers must demonstrate a high level of proficiency in each task in order to move on to the next portion of testing,” said U.S. Army Capt. Phillip Matousek, 2/16th Inf. Rgt. B Company Commander. “Approximately 15 percent of candidates successfully complete the testing and earn the EIB. It’s a very rigorous competition.”

Testing began with the Army Physical Fitness Test. Although the Army requires 60 points in each category to pass the APFT, EIB candidates must score a minimum of 75 points in each of the three testing components, push-ups, sit-ups and two mile run, to move on to the next phase. The next portion is the land navigation course. Soldiers must use their land navigation skills to negotiate unfamiliar terrain and reach specific points in both daytime and nighttime conditions.

The Soldiers then moved on to three days of skill testing. Candidates were required to demonstrate efficiency in 40 different tasks including map reading, first aid, weapons proficiency, and use of communication and navigation equipment.

“Soldiers are tested on Skill Level 1 tasks,” Matousek noted. “These are all the tasks an infantryman needs to know to do their job.”

The final stage of the competition is a twelve-mile road march. Each candidate must complete the march over rugged terrain in three hours or less while carrying approximately 50 pounds of equipment.

At the end of the road march, 43 Soldiers successfully completed all portions of the certification and earned the EIB. One of these soldiers was U.S. Army Pfc. Brian Whipple, who had more than one reason to celebrate.

“Today is exactly one year since I joined the Army,” said Whipple. I can’t think of a better day to earn my EIB. I am so proud right now.”

Shortly after the road march, candidates who had successfully completed all portions of testing were recognized during a ceremony. The 2/16 Inf. Rgt. leadership congratulated each Soldier as they pinned the EIB on their uniform.

Matousek was among the 43 who stood in this formation.

“As a leader, earning the EIB sets the example for my Soldiers,” said Matousek. “It shows that earning the EIB is something they can and should do; it motivates them.”

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2/16th Infantry Battalion Expert Infantry Badge

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