Soldiers strive to become infantry experts during event at Fort Bragg

Soldiers must successfully load and unload, shoot two rounds and correct a malfunction on a .50 caliber machine gun.

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WNCN) —Fort Bragg’s Expert Infantryman Badge (EIB) event is underway.

On average, only 10 percent of candidates pass the annual training. Many of the soldiers currently in the running just returned from Iraq.

The EIB training is a step by step process and described as very tedious.

SGT. Maj. Walter Embich of the 3rd Brigade combat team said “there is no variation, you either do it the way you’re told to do it or you don’t pass.”

The five day training begins with the Army’s Physical Fitness test. There’s also medical and weapons training. Soldiers must master the clearing and use of an Ak-47.

They must also successfully load and unload, shoot two rounds and correct a malfunction on a .50 caliber machine gun.

Moving under direct fire is another station. The soldier must demonstrate three individual movement techniques.

The final obstacle is a 12-mile march to be completed in less than three hours. Those that succeed receive the coveted EIB badge.

SGT. Richard Domer of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team said “being able to say you’re an expert in your trade, it’s a very good thing.”

Nearly 900 soldiers began the training Monday. By Wednesday, that number had dropped to 260.

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