Captain Rudy Dambeck, a judge advocate in the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG), made history by becoming the first-ever commissioned JAG to earn the Expert Soldier Badge.
To earn the Expert Soldier Badge, a soldier must perform 30 battle drills and warrior tasks—such as loading an MK19 grenade launcher and placing an M18 Claymore mine—and also a land navigation test, 12-mile ruck march, and the Army’s Physical Fitness Test. It falls to the unit’s commander to choose the battle drills and tasks.
The Expert Soldier Badge is pretty new, having been introduced in 2019. It is designed to test the combat skills, fitness, and overall readiness of soldiers whose Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) isn’t considered combat, special operations, or combat medic. The Expert Soldier Badge is the equivalent of the Expert Infantry Badge and the Expert Field Medical Badge.
“When you know what the weapon systems look like. When you know what medical treatment looks like. When you know at least your basic level patrol and soldier tasks. When a lawyer knows what that stuff looks like, they’re able to give a lot more informative advice to the commanders of the infantry companies out there that are looking for on the spot advice,” Captain Dambeck said in a press release.
JAGs are military lawyers and licensed attorneys who represent the Army and Army Soldiers when it comes to military legal matters. Their duties extend beyond the expected court-martials and include other legal disciplines, such as civil litigation, labor law, and international law
“You actually get to do army stuff, rather than just talk or think about it all the time. NTC [the National Training Center] is a great example of that and ESB training and testing is another great example of that,” added Dambeck.
Despite being a military lawyer, Dambeck acknowledged that an officer is first and foremost a leader, and he or she is expect to lead from the front and provide the example.
“As an officer, no matter what branch, you’re supposed to be a leader. You’re supposed to lead by example. So, it would be kind of a hard ask for me, a hard sell for me to stand up and ask junior-enlisted paralegals to push themselves during PT or push their land-nav skills or marksmanship skills or get out and try and earn their ESB if I’m standing here and I didn’t even try.”
Charles Marshall Trump says
As a former 03 Infantry Marine, guys we don’t get stuff like this, this award like Squad leader school should be a personnel file entry, as Ranger School and other schools are, no uniform candy. If this pog Captain even thinks a seasoned infantry Company commander is even going to look his way much less ask, his advice he sadly mistaken Sir, sadly mistaken! Why would u be out with them in the 1st place! Stay in the rear and do ur legal thing. Real grunts got buisness to do! Your a liability in the bush!
Windsor Thompson says
How would you know where a JAG is? Given that our latest war had kinetic engagements breaking out all over the place it is quite possible that a JAG Officer could be right in the middle of harm’s way. A seasoned Leader sees these badge holders as having a capability that non-batch holders do not possess. And season leaders know how to use their troops. Given that you were a Marine 03 that’s not a lot of seasoning. But I appreciate the viewpoint of a company grade officer.
Richard D. Krayneum says
A JAG Officer, should be ‘in the REAR, with the GEAR’…where they BELONG!
Christopher Hecker says
Brilliant “journalism “…. even the image of the Army Service Uniform, with the ESB above Air Assault wings, is incorrect to the story.
The unifom show is that of an enlisted, not officer- and the branch ensignia is artillery, not JAG….
Gayest. Award. Ever. This used to be “know your common task skills”. But no, with the Participation award Generation now running the Military, you see what has happened. Totally ridiculous.
Funny….early in my 32 year military career we would have termed this event as “knowing your basic soldier skills”…glad to see the “awards for everyone” generation has infiltrated the Army to give a reward for doing what every soldier is supposed to know or do!
Robert J Butcher Esq JD says
I spent over 40 years as a trial attorney in Chicago Illinois, but before that I enlisted as a 18 year old in the Army, went to Korea then after the war Taiwan. We have these craze ROE s harming our guys who are the shooters made by JAG people who heard a shot fired. Let our Captain go to the Stan and lead a patrol or two the write you ROEs
Stavros Atlamazoglou says
The headline mistakenly suggested that Cpt Dambeck had received the EIB instead of the ESB. It now has been updated to accurately reflect the content of the article.
steven n says
Fix the headline please. He in not eligible for the EIB.
John Horan says
Sorry that’s not a COMBAT ACTION BADGE
The title says the Captain Earned an Expert Infantry Badge. This is not correct. Please make this change. Thank you.
John Horan says
He’s wearing a COMBAT ACTION BADGE .
it’s not a CAB, it’s the new ESB. the headline is still wrong, though.
Douglas Sanchez says
The title is miss leading when you say that this JAG officer has earned an EIB but from from it. The EIB and Expert soldier badge are two totally different badges.