Schofield Barracks, Hawaii -- Seven Soldiers from the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command participated in a highly prestigious German award at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii December 14, 2011.

There aren't many foreign awards that the United States military and its' allies can be awarded and approved to wear on their uniform but German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge is one of the most sought after awards.

The GAFPB is a decoration of the Bundeswehr, the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany and is regularly awarded to German military personnel who fulfill the various requirements.

The GAFPB is earned by meeting or exceeding the standards of several military-physical events. Some events include a ruck march and marksmanship competition to determine the level of award presented which is gold, silver, or bronze.

Sgt. 1st Class Robert Ybarra, G3 operations non-commissioned officer in charge, Spc. Roberto A. Maldonado, senior early warning systems operator, Sgt. Chris Helms, G3 attack operations, Staff Sgt. Michael Hoye, Air Operations Command, Spc. Joshua Effemiades, operation assistance, Spc Danjelo Moore, G6 cummunications all participated in the competition from the command.

Ybarra, G3 operations non-commissioned officer in charge, said "The run is the hardest because it's done after you finish the sprint and you've already done the pool event and high-jump event. Thank God my wife texted me earlier and told me to dig in."

After the initial weigh in, the first event is the 100 meter swim which took place at the Richardson Pool. The second event was the long jump or high jump where the Soldiers were then required to jump different distances depending on the age and sex.

The next events were the sprint, fourth was the run event consisting of the 3000 meter or 5000 meter events, the fifth event was the bench press event.

Helms said, "The hardest competition so far is the run partially because I failed it but I'm going to try again."

Hoye said, "I like to run but that run was pretty difficult mainly because my legs were still a little weak from the pool and the grass on the field didn't offer much traction. What made me want to do this is because this is difficult and it sets me above my peers."

The military proficiency phase was the last section of the competition and encompassed the ruck march, medical test, and pistol qualification.

The awards ceremony for the competition was held at Fort Shafter. Each candidate was given either the bronze, silver or gold GAFPB for Military Proficiency. It was presented to Soldiers from Private First Class to Lt. Col. who were given just two days to complete the competition by German Sgt. Maj. Frank Bergander.

"The German Army has about eight or nine months to train for these events while these Soldiers completed all the requirements in a two-day period," Maj. Richard Dixon, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army Pacific.

Page last updated Fri January 27th, 2012 at 15:57