Former Bainbridge High School student athlete and 2003 graduate Keith Haire is making a name for himself in the United States Army and recently earned the prestigious Expert Infantry Badge after a grueling test at Colorado’s Fort Carson.
Keith (who played quarterback, third base and point guard for the Bearcats) joined the Army after graduating from Valdosta State University. During his time in the military, he has excelled with multiple promotions and currently holds the rank of Captain and is the commander of Brave Company in the Army Rangers. One of his most recent accomplishments includes earning the prestigious Expert Infantry Badge.
According to an article in the Colorado Springs Gazette, “Last week, about 700 Fort Carson soldiers tested to earn the Expert Infantryman Badge, a coveted symbol of their proficiency at combat tasks. The five-day exercise involved a physical fitness test, land navigation and more than 30 tasks divided into three categories: weapons, medical aid and patrol…Candidates also must complete a 12-mile march within three hours while wearing their combat pack, holding their weapon and carrying 35 pounds of additional impedimenta…Immediately after the march, candidates face “Objective Bull,” a simulated casualty event where they must treat a wounded soldier and haul them to a medical evacuation site 50 meters away.”
The week began with 700 candidates, said Maj. Johnathon Knapton but the number dwindled each day.
“We expect 15-20 percent of the 700 soldiers to earn the badge,” Knapton said.
Haire was one of the few soldiers who completed the training and earned the prestigious honor.
“Second to my marriage, the happiest I have felt in my life. I am just kidding, but it was good” said Haire after completing the grueling challenge.