Pacific Soldiers earn Bundeswehr badge

| November 16, 2012 | 0 Comments
Staff Sgt. Perrin (right), an assistant instructor with the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge competition, critiques a competitor's target during the marksmanship portion of the competition.

Staff Sgt. Perrin (right), an assistant instructor with the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge competition, critiques a competitor’s target during the marksmanship portion of the competition.

Story and photos by
Sgt. Louis Lamar

94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — More than 200 Soldiers from various units within U.S. Army-Pacific participated in the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge competition held, here, Nov. 5-7.

The GAFPB is a decoration of the Bundeswehr, the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany, and it’s one of the few foreign awards authorized in the U.S. military.

Oberstabsfeldwebel Hans Stark (far left), German liaison sergeant major and a U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy instructor, stands with U.S. Army-Pacific Soldiers who completed the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge at the Nehelani, Nov. 7. Read about 8th Theater Sustainment Command’s participation in next week’s “Hawaii Army Weekly.”

Oberstabsfeldwebel Hans Stark (far left), German liaison sergeant major and a U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy instructor, stands with U.S. Army-Pacific Soldiers who completed the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge at the Nehelani, Nov. 7. Read about 8th Theater Sustainment Command’s participation in next week’s “Hawaii Army Weekly.”

U.S. Soldiers earn the award by successfully completing several timed, physically demanding military events, including a ruck march, bench press, high jump and marksmanship competition to determine the level of award earned, which are gold, silver or bronze.

“I’m enjoying this opportunity to train with Soldiers,” said Oberstabsfeldwebel Hans Stark, German liaison sergeant major for the United States and a U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy instructor.

During the GAFPB competition, Soldiers faced many difficult and physically demanding tasks in pursuit of the badge.

“In my opinion, the hardest event for the American Soldiers is the swim event,” said Stark.

“The swim was pretty tough,” agreed Spc. Chastoni Jones, administrative specialist, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command G4.

Taking advantage of the chance to earn a foreign military badge for Soldiers is a very memorable event.

“This is a great opportunity for Soldiers in the Pacific because they don’t get a lot of chances to earn foreign badges,” said Maj. Richard Dixon, USARPAC Headquarters and Headquarters Company.

“Soldiers really need to train hard for some of these events because, oftentimes, when they do physical training, they’re not focused on swimming events or jumping,” Dixon added. “So to be successful in this competition, they need to do some high or long jumping and swimming.”

The awards ceremony for the competition was held at the Nehelani, here, where 121 Soldiers were awarded the GAFPB. Stark presented Soldiers ranging in rank from private first class to lieutenant colonel with 74 gold, 31 silver and 16 bronze badges.

“I’m happy to be here and looking forward to coming here next year and continuing the program,” said Stark.

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Category: News, Training

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