JOINT BASE EXPEDITIONARY LITTLE CREEK-FORT STORY, Va. - Over the Shore Soldiers of the 11th Transportation Battalion, 7th Sustainment Brigade found themselves testing their physical and mental metal as they competed for the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge, April 5.

"Earning the GAFPB requires Soldiers to participate in a wide range of physical events which test their physical readiness and drive to succeed," said Chief Warrant Officer Glen Spence, commander, 396th Harbor Master Detachment, 11th Trans. Battalion. "Plus, you have the added bonus of increasing unit morale and esprit de corps."

The GAFPB is broken down into four phases of competition. Participants are required to pass all phases thus making them eligible to be awarded either a gold, silver, or bronze badge. The level of badge awarded is based upon each Soldier's individual score.

Phase one finds Soldiers competing in track and field events such as sprinting, the high jump, the long jump, and the throwing of the shot put. A 200-meter swim makes up the second phase of the GAFPB. Both of these grueling events were held at Norfolk State University.
Competition wasn't limited to battalion and brigade Soldiers. Student cadets enrolled in NSU's Reserve Officer Training Corps program also competed for the coveted award. After completing the swimming event Soldiers and cadets had two more phases to pass in order to obtain the badge.

The third phase consisted of weapons qualification, the M-9 pistol range at Camp Allen, a nearby Marine Corps camp also located in Norfolk, was the site where competitors put their marksmanship skills to the test. Last but not least came the fourth phase of the challenge, the 6-km to 12-km road march. The road march found Soldiers and cadets working their stride at First Landing State Park located just outside JBELCFS.

"The GAFPB event was a tremendous success," said Spence. "We qualified a total of 37 out of 39 Soldiers and Cadets. Those who took part seemed to thoroughly enjoy the challenging event and look forward to participating again in the future."