ANSBACH, Germany -- Lt. Col. Ryan Welch, commander of 1st Bn., 3rd Avn. Regt., presented Sgt. Maj. Klaus Meyer from the Bundeswehr-Reservisten (German Armed Forces) with an Army Meritorious Service Medal for over 30 years of German American partnership, here, 24 Jan. 2017. Meyer has worked with over 20 U.S. Army units since 1985 and has assisted over 1,000 Soldiers in earning their German Armed Forces Proficiency badges and Schutzensnurs.
Meyer also provided guard support for USAG Ansbach after Sept. 11th, 2001. His Unit, Panzerbatllion 304 from Heidenheim, spent six months protecting the base until the force protection measures were brought up to standard.
Sgt. Maj. James Halchishick, the former Command Sergeant Major for 412th, was instrumental in recognizing Meyer for his service. "He embodies the citizen soldier, was a great friend to the 412th and is a great friend of mine," said Halchishick. "He has given a lot to our community over the past 30 years."
Lt Col. Frank Hummel, the commander of the Bundeswehr-Reservisten unit, also spoke of the long standing tradition of exchange between German and American Soldiers. He said that joint training and exercises are an excellent opportunity to foster friendship among allied nations and build camaraderie within the profession of arms.
In July of 2015 Meyer awarded a total of 97 Soldiers from the 412th Aviation Support Battalion with their German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge at Shipton Kaserne. The 412th Soldiers were awarded 58 gold badges, 31 silver badges and eight bronze badges.
Meyer facilitated the event and oversaw all of the individual tests.
Competing to earn the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge is an excellent opportunity for Soldiers to gain a cultural understanding and appreciation for what German Soldiers do to remain qualified every year.
These events have an array of physical and mental challenges to evaluate the Soldiers. It is designed to test overall military performance, physical ability and the professional character of the Soldier.
The Soldiers are required to conduct the standard German Armed Forces Physical Fitness Test. The test is comprised of a 110-meter shuttle run in the maximum time of sixty seconds, flexed arm hang-keeping the chin above the bar for a minimum of five seconds and a 1,000 meter sprint with maximum time of six minutes and thirty seconds.
Soldiers are also required to participate in a 12 kilometer ruck march while carrying a thirty-three pound rucksack within two hours and a pistol qualification course with the German P8 pistol. Additionally the participants conduct First Aid and CBRN (chemical) training.