German Armed Forces proficiency badge competition returns for fall
September 27, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (September 27, 2012) -- Soldiers can compete and show their dexterity by participating in the training and testing for the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge Oct. 1 to Nov. 2.
The commander of the German Army Liaison Staff, Lt. Col. Martin C. Geller, and Sgt. Maj. Mohamed Bouhloui, German Army Liaison Staff member, will host 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 Military Police Detachment.
"[The badge] is for overall athleticism for different events that [Soldiers] will go through that are timed, tested and based on performance," said Osmon, who is also serving as the U.S. point of contact during the competition.
There are several events throughout the training and testing such as the pistol competition, 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 ½-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.
In order to participate in the training and testing, 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."
Osmon participated in the GAFPB competition for the 2011 spring cycle and said that it was fun and challenging.
"The long jump was really challenging for me," he said, "but it was a good time."
Soldiers interested in participating for the international badge 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 Bouhloui.
"[The competition] is a really good liaison with the German Army Liaison Staff," said Osmon. "It's a good opportunity to meet new friends and comrades, and work together with them."
Osmon added 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. Mondays through Fridays, said Osmon. Soldiers can have their example memos signed and turned in up to the day before the training begins to be eligible to participate.
There will also be an award ceremony hosted by Geller after the testing to recognize those with outstanding achievements during the competition, said Osmon.
For more information or to get an example memo, call 255-2120/2554/0949.