The Expert Infantryman Badge was approved by the Secretary of War on 7 October 1943, and announced in War Department Circular 269 dated 27 October 1943.
In 1944 Army Chief of Staff, George C. Marshall initiated the development of an Award to honor the U.S. Army Infantryman. The Office of Heraldic Activity of the Quartermaster General began work on designing a badge that would represent the U.S. Infantry’s tough, hard hitting role in combat and symbolize proficiency in the Infantry arts.
Just as the Combat Infantryman Badge was intended to be an award for those U.S. fighting men whose primary mission was to close with and destroy the enemy; the Expert Infantryman Badge was instituted to build and maintain esprit de corps within U.S. Infantry units. The intent of the EIB was to provide an award to those Infantrymen who had attained and demonstrated the highest proficiency in their unique exceptionally demanding and difficult skill set.
In 1944, 100 NCOs of the 100th Infantry Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina were selected to undergo three days of concentrated testing to determine the Army’s first Expert Infantryman. Testing consisted of:
Qualify with one individual weapon and in transition firing; or
Qualify with one crew served weapon (for men who are authorized to fire same for qualification) and in transition firing.
Complete familiarization firing with one other weapon.
Complete continuous (without falling out) foot marches, with full field equipment of 25 miles in 8 hours and 9 miles in 2 hours.
Complete physical fitness test.
Complete the infiltration, close combat, and combat-in-cities courses
Qualify in the grenade course.
Military subject test, evaluated by a board of officers.
Upon completion of testing, 10 NCOs remained. These ten were then interviewed to determine the first Expert Infantryman. On 29 March 1944, Lieutenant General Lesley J. McNair, Commander of Army Ground Forces, presented the first Expert Infantry Badge to Technical Sergeant Walter Bull.
When awarding Sergeant Bull the EIB, Lieutenant General McNair stated, “The Expert Infantry Badge being awarded here today has been set up by the War Department for U.S. Infantrymen who are trained and fit for battle. After the Infantryman has been in battle, the Expert Infantry Badge may be replaced by the Combat Infantry Badge.” He went on to say, “Two-thirds of the troops of a division are Infantry. The other third Artillery, Engineers and the smaller units are to help and protect the Infantry. These helpers must find pride and satisfaction in the achievements of their Infantry, cheer it to victory… Infantrymen are killed and wounded in battle in far greater numbers than other branches. I am honored to be with you here. Be proud of your badges and become more expert every day. May they change to combat badges before long. Good luck.”
WWIIADT Expert Infantryman Badge Course will be held over eight days , it will follow the out line of the 1944 course with some changes. The course will be held at the FAAF, FREDERICK OKLAHOMA. You will be trained and tested on the following, Weapons transition firing, Land navigation, First aid, The Continuous 9.2 Mile Bull March with full field gear, Infiltration course, Mines and booby traps, Grenade course, DZ Security, reporting and reception of door bundle, Individual Weapons Nomenclature Class, Will then be put to the challenge one night- "BIVOUAC", and if time permits some other subjects.
This is a new training course at WWIIADT. We will be firming up the course schedule over the next couple months. If interested please contact us below, tell us what months would work best for you. One of our recruiters will get back to you. Thank you!