German badge competition returns for spring cycle
Soldiers participate in the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge road march last year. This year's competition for the badge runs April 16 to May 18.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 5, 2012) -- The time has come again for Soldiers to shine by showing their dexterity by participating in the training and testing for the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge April 16 to May 18.

The German Liaison Staff and the 6th Military Police Detachment will be hosting the training and testing for the proficiency badge, which is a skill badge that Soldiers can earn from the German government that is officially recognized by the U.S. government, according to Staff Sgt. Jamie P. Osmon, operations sergeant for the 6th MPD.

"[The badge] is for overall athleticism for different events that [Soldiers] will go through that are timed, tested and based on performance," he said.

There are several events throughout the training and testing such as the pistol competition, in which the Soldier is given five rounds and must get a minimum of three rounds into three different targets, said Osmon. A Soldier will attain bronze-level for getting three rounds into the three separate targets, silver-level for four rounds and gold-level for hitting the targets with all five rounds.

The competition also consists of a 7 1/2-mile ruck march that must be completed in 2 ½ hours, a 100-meter sprint, 2,000-meter run, long jump, shot put and a 200-meter swim, according to the operations sergeant.

The bronze, silver and gold levels can be awarded in both the pistol and ruck march portions of the test while everything else is based on time or distance standards depending on age groups.

Most of the training before the testing portion consists of lower body exercise, according to Osmon.

"A lot of people have trouble with the swimming and the long jump, so we focus on a lot of lower body and leg exercises to get them ready," he said.

Osmon participated in the GAFPB competition for the spring cycle last year, and said that it was fun and challenging.

"The long jump was really challenging for me," he said, "but it was a good time."

In order to participate in the badge competition, a Soldier must be recommended by his or her chain of command, said Osmon, adding that they can't be recommended "unless their overall character is of the highest quality."

If a Soldier is interested in participating for the international badge, he or she must obtain an example memo to be signed by their chain of command, said the operations officer, which can be obtained my emailing Osmon or Sgt. Maj. Mohamed Bouhloui, German liaison staff member.

"[The competition] is a really good liaison with the German government," said Osmon. "It's a good opportunity to meet new friends and comrades and work together with them."

Osmon also said that earning the badge helps Soldiers stand out from their peers on their Class-A dress uniforms by showing their chain of command that they have gone above and beyond.

Training for the events will be conducted daily at the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Facility beginning at 6 a.m., said Osmon. Soldiers can have their example memos signed and turned in up to the day before the training begins on April 16 to be eligible to participate.

There will also be a presentation after the testing to recognize those with outstanding achievements during the competition, said Osmon.

Page last updated Fri April 6th, 2012 at 14:56