BRUCHSAL, Germany – In the spirit of marksmanship training and partnership, the 6. Feldjaeger Regiment 3 from Bruchsal, Germany, hosted Public Health Command Europe soldiers in a Schuetzenschnur, German marksmanship, shooting event Aug. 9.
PHCE soldiers from across Germany and Belgium were trained by ten German soldiers on how to fire the German G-36 rifle and P-8 pistol. The occasion gave soldiers the chance to experience the differences in coalition partner weapons systems and strengthen partnerships with NATO allies.
The competition is a result of almost five years of friendship between the senior enlisted advisor, Master Sgt. Ilker Irmak, at Public Health Command Europe and Feldjaegerfeldwebel, equivalent to a U.S. Army Master Sergeant, Cortez Kaefer, personal protection lead and instructor, with the 6. Feldjaeger Regiment 3.
“We go way back. We initially met at a United States Army Medical Materiel Center Europe Schuetzenschnur event in 2018,” Kaefer said. “Throughout deployments and moves we remained in touch. Irmak returned to Germany in March and called me right away to discuss partnerships in the future.”
"This event is to tighten partnerships and rekindle friendships with our host nation counterparts," Irmak said. "But most importantly, we cannot forget the tactical significance of this event it allows us to familiarize ourselves with German weapon systems, gain proficiency and to operate those if called upon."
For those fortunate enough to participate, there's a chance to receive either a gold, silver or bronze Schutzenschnur marksmanship award, which U.S. soldiers can wear on their dress uniforms.
The following soldiers successfully received the marksmanship badge:
Public Health Command Europe, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment:
- Pfc. Oscar Caro
- Spc. Joel Robles
- Sgt. 1st Class Nathaniel Alejandro
- Capt. Megan Heineman
- Maj. Melody Mullin
Public Health Activity- Rheinland Pfalz:
- Cpl. Aleqs Gibson
- Cpl. Kelby Gilmore
- Cpl. Jasmine Maxi
- Sgt. Kameron Coleman
- Sgt. Stephanie Hardin
- Sgt. Ryan Harper
- Sgt. 1st Class Mario Leon
- Sgt. 1st Class Eddie Valentin
Sgt. Ryan Harper, veterinary food inspector at the Baumholder Veterinary Treatment Facility, said it was a great chance for someone in his field, who usually does not get as many range opportunities as other military occupational specialties, “to practice and learn new pointers while interacting with the German Army.
“It’s an amazing opportunity that allows us to italics our skills and see changes through the others eyes,” Harper said. “It’s important because it allows for soldiers to learn things they never knew and in a joint combat environment it may be necessary.”
Public Health Command Europe is hosting soldiers of the 6. Feldjaeger Regiment 3 at the Breitwenwald range in Landstuhl to compete for the U.S. marksmanship badge later this year.
"This is just one of many partnership events we have planned in the future," Irmak said.