With apologies to every other mother on the planet, I do need to let you know that my children are the nicest, sweetest, most incredible and most awesome.

If you don’t disagree with me, shame on you. It’s a mother’s perogative and pleasure to feel that way about her children!

Expert Infantry Badge
Expert Infantry Badge

Your children notwithstanding, I need to tell you about Daniel and what he just completed – his EIB or Expert Infantry Badge, a much more grueling process than it sounds. 

In his platoon, there are only 2 others who have earned the honor.  On this testing process, which is the second one 2nd Cavalry has done since arriving in Germany in 2007, 280 began.  And they began to drop off as the tests went on.  At last they were down to the the few who did the last stage, a 12 mile “march.”  Of course in full gear; what a silly question. 

The first days were spent being tested on their knowledge of emergency battle first aid and included doing a needle puncture chest pressure release and injecting themselves with an epi-pen.  If I was asthmatic and it was a matter of stabbing myself with this explosion triggered very big needle or not breathing, I would probably go for the needle.  Other than that, I’m not so sure.

They demonstrated battle knowledge; familiarity with all their weapons and usage.  In those tests, they could not fail more than 2, and couldn’t fail the same one twice.  The numbers dwindled with each test.

Daniel was in a group which had been whittled down to himself and 3 others this morning.

I had asked Daniel what the march strategy was and he said maintain an even pace and run downhill.  And run on the flat if you can.  Run walk.  Maybe run some more.  Do the best you can on the uphill and then run downhill.  Personally I think the term “march” is somewhat of a misnomer.

Despite the mother of all hills at 6 miles, he completed the course in 2 hours 54 minutes and said he was so happy when they told him he was “good to go” that he cried.  I am so proud.  His time in the Army has showed him he is made of so much more than he thought!

Daniel with dented badge
Daniel with dented badge

Daniel was the only one from F Company to have completed the badge this time – the only other one who made it through to the march, dropped out at mile 6.

When the day was done, of the 280 who had started, 43 were awarded their badge.

Upon receiving them, the recipients engage in an Army ritual for this sort of thing – they slap (or pound) each other on the badge as a way of congratulations.  It’s a rite of passage.  What this pounding does is drive the badge into the wearer’s chest.  They generally end up with scars from it, and at least a lot of blood down their uniforms which needs to be washed out.  Daniel noted that his badge was “really dented.”  He had been dreading that ceremony when he received his Airborne wings, (it didn’t happen because of the rush everyone was in to get home for Thanksgiving).  I think he was proud of this one.

You earned it sweetie!  Congratulations from the whole home team!


2 thoughts on “Bragging

  1. Wow, Daniel!! You exceeded my high expectations for you. You must be very tough. We found a few southern Utah slot canyons to test your mettle — or is that medal? Anyway, if 70 years old can do it, it would be a breeze for you. We promise not to pound holes on your chest.
    Lots of love from both of us.
    Grandma and Grandpa


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