SCHOFIELD BARRACKS (June 15, 2012) -- Select U.S. Army-Pacific command Soldiers earned the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge after completing a series of qualification tests, here, June 5-6.

This is the second time the test has been given in Hawaii.

The German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge, or GAFPB, is a decoration awarded by the German army and authorized by the U.S. Army for Soldiers who meet or exceed qualification standards.
To be awarded the badge, a German liaison officer must be present; therefore, German Sgt. Maj. Hans Stark, liaison officer for the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, presided.

The first day started out with a 9mm qualification at KR8 range. Given five rounds, each Soldier needed to determine the medal for which he or she would strive -- three of five rounds for bronze, four of five for silver, and five of five for gold. Soldiers then continued the attempt for that specific medal or received nothing.

From there, Soldiers not certified in the Combat Lifesavers Course took a medical test. All participants finished the first day with a timed ruck march carrying 33 pounds and four quarts of water.

"I think everyone is doing exceptionally well," said Maj. Richard Dixon, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army-Pacific. "It's great to see all the camaraderie, Soldiers helping out their fellow Soldiers."

The second day of events concentrated on track and field and sporting events, such as swimming, a high jump or long jump, 100- and 1,000-meter sprints, bench presses, and a 2,000-meter run for females and 5,000-meter run for males.

One particular event, however, had Soldiers struggling to stay afloat.

"Up to this point, it's been the swim portion that's been the toughest," said Sgt. Kyle Mangrum, tactical communications officer, 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th Theater Sustainment Command. "It's 200 meters, (and) I know 200 meters doesn't sound like a lot, but unless you swim every day, it kind of hurts."

Awards were given out, June 7, to those who succeeded in passing all events for their medal.
The event began with 189 medal hopefuls and ended with 112 medal recipients.

Seventy-nine individuals earned gold, 26 earned silver and 7 earned bronze.