By Dawn Arden, Assistant editorAugust 6, 2013
The 2nd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, and the German Liaison's office hosted testing for the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency last week, giving more than 100 Soldiers from the 3rd Chemical Brigade and 14th Military Police Brigade the chance to earn either the gold, silver or bronze badge.
Lt. Col. James Lock, 2nd Bn., 10th Infantry Reg. commander, said he hijacked the idea from Alpha Company after they presented it to him this spring. He said he wanted to make this great opportunity available to more than just one company.
In order for units to hold this event, they must have a German officer or non-commissioned-officer of at least an E-6 rank present to supervise.
"We do it all time here at Fort Leonard Wood, and it's really nice to go out and to see the Soldiers and (the challenges)," said Sgt. Major Joerg Phol, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence German liaison.
The challenges for this award include sport disciplines with pull ups, sprints, 1000 meter run, and a 100 meter swim in duty uniform in under four minutes, after which the participant must remove their uniform while treading water.
There is also a military part that includes a first aid test, road march, and pistol qualification with an M9. Cumulative points must add up to more than 400 to qualify for the gold, 300-399 for the silver, and 200-299 for the bronze badge.
"(Swimming) 100 meters in under four minutes in ACUs is not easy, I know. In the United States, the most people fail in this event (compared to the other events tested)," Pohl said.
According to Capt. Jacob Nussrallah, 2nd Bn., 10th Infantry Reg. S-3, they lost the most participants during the swim and the M9 qualification. However, not everyone had a difficult time with the swim; some found it to be one of the easier challenges.
"This is something that I've wanted to do for a while now, actually since I've known about it," said Staff Sgt. Jesse Frederick, Company A, 787th Military Police Battalion. "I did pretty well in the swim, I'm happy with my time."
The GAPBMP was introduced into the German Armed Forces in February 1971. For the German Soldiers, this is an annual event that must be completed as a prerequisite for the German non-commissioned and commissioned officer.
Lock noted that the 14th MP brigade supplied additional ammo, weapons and cadre to help with this event and that it was a success in part due to their support.
In the end there were 21 gold badges awarded, 29 silver, and only six bronze.