WIESBADEN, Germany - The USAG Wiesbaden Community Color Guard (middle) marching into the BRITA Arena alongside their German army counterparts during the Bundeswehr Pledge ceremony on Friday, Nov. 12.
WIESBADEN, Germany - The USAG Wiesbaden Community Color Guard (middle) marching into the BRITA Arena alongside their German army counterparts during the Bundeswehr Pledge ceremony on Friday, Nov. 12. (Photo Credit: Nadine Bower) VIEW ORIGINAL

WIESBADEN, Germany - On Friday, Nov. 12, the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Community Color Guard participated in the Bundeswehr Pledge Ceremony in the Wiesbaden BRITA Arena. During the ceremony, around 200 new recruits pledged their service to Germany.

The recruits voluntarily joined the German Armed Forces to work as reservists while still holding their regular civilian jobs. Reservist training includes short military training exercises, which gives them all the rights and responsibilities of a regular Bundeswehr Soldier.

The ceremony featured speeches of the chairman of the Wiesbaden City Council, Dr. Gerhard Obermayr, the Commanding General of the Hessen State Command (Landeskommando Hessen), Brig. Gen. Olaf von Roeder, and the Hessen Minister President, Volker Bouffier.

In his speech, Bouffier stressed the role of the Bundeswehr as a “people’s army.” In his eyes, adding Soldiers that are still working in their regular civilian jobs, but assisting the Bundeswehr as Soldiers in times of need, was an important way to reconnect the German Armed Forces with the civilian public.

Brig. Gen. Olaf von Roeder specifically thanked the families of the reservists for their sacrifice, since this task takes the Soldiers away from their families in their free time.

The Bundeswehr invited the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden to participate in the ceremony with their Garrison Color Guard as a sign of appreciation for the long-standing cooperation between both armies. Sgt. Andrew Penton, 66th MI Brigade, Spc. Jesus Bernal, HHBN U.S. Army Europe and Africa and Pfc. Drake Mickelson, 1-214th GSAB, joined their counterparts from the Hessen State Command in the ceremony, which was held in conjunction with the 66th birthday of the founding of the German Army.