On Friday, June 14—coincidentally the Army’s 224th birthday—the Army unveiled its newest and most unnecessary badge: the Expert Soldier Badge. If you read this and are rolling your eyes, trust me, you are not alone.
According to a press release, the Expert Soldier Badge will recognize those individuals who demonstrate a mastery of physical fitness, marksmanship, and critical skills necessary for combat.
According to a quote from TRADOC (Training and Doctrine Command), who was behind this latest fiasco, the Army wants the units to train for their warrior tasks and battle drills while in garrison or in peacetime. But shouldn’t commanders be doing that anyway? Isn’t that what their job entails? Or did we miss something?
“We wanted every soldier to make sure they understand that they are experts in their field,” Command Sergeant Major Edward W. Mitchell, the senior enlisted man of the Center for Initial Military Training, said. “Achieving the new badge…requires a much higher standard, just like its cousins, which are the EIB and the EFMB.”