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For the first time since World War II, American non-infantry soldiers in the field have been trained and designated as infantry troops, allowing them to have 11-Bravo as their secondary military job specialty.

The infantry-qualification course was conducted by Joint Task Force Phoenix, which has been training the Afghan National Army.

But in late May, soldiers from the Indiana National Guard’s 76th Infantry Brigade went through the two-week course to train them as infantry.

Forty-six U.S. soldiers began the course at a U.S. camp on the outskirts of Kabul and an Afghan army training center, officials said, and 35 graduated.

The use of non-infantry soldiers as grunts in Iraq has become a major issue for the Army.

Though the soldiers — often engineers or artillery — get training as infantry, they are not actually designated as such, so they are not eligible for certain awards or special consideration.

With a secondary military occupational specialty of infantry, a soldier would be eligible for such awards.


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