Thursday, September 23, 2021

Platoon Leader is the First Latina to Earn a Prestigious Military Badge at Fort Hood

1st Lt. Maria Eggers recently became the first woman and first Latina from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment to earn the coveted Expert Infantry Badge, or EIB, qualifying at the highest level.

In April, Eggers, 24, received the medal by successfully finishing the five- day test that measures a soldier’s physical fitness and ability to perform to standards of excellence in a wide variety of critical infantry skills. The test measures the mastery of those skills through different evaluations and varying degrees of stress. It’s a feat for women, as fewer than 100 in the entire U.S. Army have received it.

In an interview, Eggers said that she was surprised when she found out that she was the first Latina to earn the award in the regiment; “I was shocked by how few females have had the opportunity or who have tried. I definitely think it is amazing that we have females that are in this profession and that we’re succeeding. There is a lot of good talk that happens whenever somebody is successful. It just shows that we can do it, and that females are strong, and we can handle this job too” she said.

Fort Hood has been the focus of attention following the disappearance and killing of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen. According to authorities, a fellow soldier was arrested in connection with her murder.

Last week, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand introduced bipartisan legislation calling for independent military prosecutors to handle sexual assault cases and other serious crimes in the military.

NBC