MILITARY MATTERS: 3rd Brigade Soldiers in Georgia Testing for Expert Badges
FORT STEWART, Ga. (WTVM) - 3rd ID soldiers in Georgia have been busy preparing for their tests happening this week for three different expert badges.
Requirements to get these Army expert badges include physically challenging exercises like transporting a wounded soldier – or in this case, a 200-pound dummy. while assessing injuries and preparing to move them 50 meters. Military leaders say these tests determine the best of the best.
“Before they participate, they’re required to meet minimum standards of physical fitness and marksmanship, and they’re tested on their ability to pass a physical fitness test. Over the course of a week, they test on infantry skills on patrolling, weapons proficiency, and medical proficiency,” EIB Board President SGM Joseph Cobb said.
For weapons proficiency, soldiers are timed while they prepare and fire a Mark 19 grenade launcher, a lethal piece of machinery. Of course, all weapons used in this test are disarmed. Soldiers say these exercises help them establish a baseline.
“Going through all of this training, for me, it’s very important to see where I’m at from a readiness perspective, and also improve my readiness and lethality, and be ready when the nation calls upon me,” 3rd Brigade Support Battalion member PFC Christian Marginean said.
Regardless of who passes, military leaders say these past couple of weeks’ preparation is crucial to preparing them if they’re called into action.
“It really just gives them a lot of training. Whether you learn the task or not, the grueling effort it’s going to be to be able to take all of this in in a short period of time and then go out and test on it, it just totally talks volumes to the character of that individual,” EFM badge testing board leader SFC Jason Hodges said.
From throwing grenades, to assembling weaponry, these are just some of the more than 30 exercises and drills required of these soldiers - with a final test this week.
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