MANNHEIM, Germany - Of the many perks that come with being stationed in Germany - the travelling, the schnitzel and, of course, the beer - the one thing that many Soldiers seem most eager to accomplish during their tour here is earning themselves a SchAfA1/4tzenschnur, the German marksmanship badge.

For a select group of 'Roughnecks' from the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 18th Military Police Brigade, their chance to prove themselves on a German range came Dec. 3 at German Feldjager Battalion 251's range in Mainz, Germany.

The American MP company has maintained a strong partnership with the German battalion over the years, and the joint effort of participating in one another's ceremonies and events has given countless Soldiers the opportunity to set their sights on the coveted badge. It is as common a sight to find German feldjagers at the brigade's ranges trying to earn American marksmanship badges as well as it is to find Americans on a German range.

The SchAfA1/4tzenschnur is earned by qualifying on a series of German weapons at either a gold, silver or bronze level. The lowest qualification earned on any given weapon serves as the level that the badge is awarded. For a Soldier to qualify as an expert, he must qualify at the gold level on every weapon.

Depending on the range that the Soldiers attend, they may fire various combinations of the G36 rifle, P8 pistol and the MG3 machine gun. The Soldiers of the HHC were tested on two pistol ranges and one rifle range.

After a full day of firing, the Soldiers headed back to the Feldjager battalion's headquarters for a barbecue put on by their hosts and a chance to socialize with their German counterparts.

Overall, the event provided both units with a chance to maintain their partnership and experience the similarities and differences between the Feldjagers and military police.

As the Soldiers were handed their badges by German Cpt. Maik Biel, the commander of the Feldjager Battalion 251, both sides promised to meet again soon and welcomed one another to future ranges - ensuring that the tradition will continue and allowing more MPs to go for the gold.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16