An Army infantry officer out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, has designed a smartphone training app that nearly doubled his battalion's success rate at earning the coveted Expert Infantryman Badge, or EIB, last year.
First Lt. Egor Krasnonosenkikh, a platoon leader with 7th Infantry Division's 4th Battalion, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, created the EIB Pro by teaching himself how to program through YouTube videos and other online resources while cooped up at home during the early months of the pandemic, according to an Army news release.
"I was at home and on my computer anyway, so I figured I'd do something that's useful," said Krasnonosenkikh, who earned his EIB in 2019 despite his dissatisfaction with the Army's traditional paper study guide.
"I really disliked that little book that we got, which always got destroyed easily," he said.
Each year, infantry soldiers who have not earned the distinctive badge, which consists of a silver musket mounted on a blue field, must go through EIB testing -- a series of 30 infantry tasks, ranging from land navigation, small arms and first aid to completing a 12-mile road march in under three hours.
In 2018, Army officials at Fort Benning, Georgia, ran a pilot to update EIB standards for the modern battlefield that led to changes in tasks such as indirect fire, soldier movement under fire, hand grenades, CPR and casualty care under fire.
Krasnonosenkikh's EIB Pro app, which is free on the Android and Apple stores, features videos, written instructions and a step-by-step guide on the EIB's tasks, conditions and standards, according to the release. There's also a progress tracker that measures a user's task confidence and repetitions per task lane.
Since its creation, EIB Pro has been downloaded more than 11,000 times and in 65 different countries, according to the release.
The new app seemed to make a difference for the soldiers in Krasnonosenkikh's battalion, which had a success rate of 28.5% -- almost double the brigade's average, the release states.
"There were soldiers that told me without my app, they don't think they would have gotten it; I've even heard that from captains and majors," said Krasnonosenkikh, who will soon start a new job writing apps for Army Futures Command.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at email@example.com.