Expert Soldier Badge


Expert Soldier Badge
US Army Expert Soldier Badge.png
Drawing of the Expert Soldier Badge
TypeSpecial Skill Badge
Presented byUnited States Army
EligibilitySoldiers of the U.S. Army, other than Infantry, Special Forces, or Combat Medic occupations
StatusOctober 2019–present
RelatedExpert Infantry Badge and Expert Field Medical Badge
First awarding of the Expert Solder Badge to SSG Tyler Lewis, a Firefinder Radar Operator (13R), 15 October 2019

The Expert Soldier Badge, or ESB, is a special skills badge of the United States Army.[1] Similar in appearance to the Combat Action Badge, the ESB would be awarded to soldiers who are neither infantry, Special Forces, nor combat medics.[2] The badge was approved on June 14, 2019 and entered service in October 2019, as a way for soldiers in other military occupational specialties to certify competencies within their specific occupation, as well as general combat readiness.[3][4]


The concept of the Expert Soldier Badge (initially referred to as the Expert Action Badge) was initially proposed in 2015 as part of the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command's NCO 2020 Strategy, as one way to improve combat readiness in the Army.[5] The ESB was first openly discussed on March 30, 2017, at an NCO Development Town Hall hosted by CSM David Davenport.[6] Discussion mainly focused on the intent of the badge, as well as the possible criteria for award. The feasibility of the ESB was tested at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in April of the same year, with 53 soldiers taking part in the event. The results of the test at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, as well as future testing, will be used to determine if the criteria for the badge appropriately conveys the badge's intent.[7] The NCO 2020 Strategy, including the ESB, was further discussed in 2018 at a conference held at Fort Knox.[8]


The criteria for award of the ESB is that a Soldier must perform in 30 Warrior Tasks (Skill Level 1) and battle drills, and five METL tasks, chosen by a commander, from their unit's list of mission-essential tasks,[9] in addition to completion of a 12-mile foot march, a land navigation test and the Army Physical Fitness Test.[7][6] Testing is conducted at the brigade-level, with units being given a week to set up the test course, a few days of training, and then a few days of testing.[10]


Expert Soldier Badge
Combat Action Badge

The design for the ESB is similar to that of the Combat Action Badge (CAB). It features the same M9 bayonet and M67 fragmentation grenade, superimposed on a rectangular base, as found on the CAB. The ESB does not, however, feature a wreath.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Myers, Meghann (February 9, 2018). "Army putting finishing touches on new, revamped Expert Soldier Badge". Military Times. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  2. ^ Myers, Meghann (April 2, 2017). "Inside the Army's plan for the new Expert ction Badge". Military Times. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  3. ^ Panzino, Charlsy (March 24, 2017). "The Army is developing a new Expert Soldier Badge for soldiers who aren't grunts". Military Times. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  4. ^ Anderson, David (July 31, 2017). "Rolling out the expert soldier badge Army non-infantry soldier award". Wadena Pioneer Journal. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
  5. ^ "NCO 2020 Strategy" (PDF). United States Army Training and Doctrine Command. December 4, 2015. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Gragg, Michael (April 24, 2017). "CSM'S BLOG: THE CONCEPT OF THE EXPERT ACTION BADGE". United States Army Training and Doctrine Command. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Kimmons, Sean (April 3, 2017). "Proposed Expert Action Badge to honor, motivate Soldiers". United States Army. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  8. ^ Pilgrim, Eric (April 24, 2018). "NCO ACADEMY COMMANDANTS CONVERGE ON FORT KNOX FOR TRAINING CONFERENCE". United States Army Training and Doctrine Command. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  9. ^ Koester, Jonathan (May 15, 2017). "POSSIBLE NEW EXPERT ACTION BADGE DRAWS INTEREST DURING TRADOC TOWN HALL". United States Army Training and Doctrine Command. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  10. ^ Cox, Matthew (March 24, 2017). "Army to Require Soldiers to Test for Expert Action Badge". Retrieved May 11, 2017.