August 20, 2016 — The GAFPB is a decoration of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Germany. In the United States Army, the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency is one of several hundred foreign awards approved for wear on the uniform and one of the most sought after awards for Soldiers.
The difference between this competition and other similar events is that participants in the GAFPB do not compete against each other. Each soldier participates individually in order to receive the highest merit they can achieve. “Acquiring the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge is unique for a US Soldiers. This is special because besides the regular physical exercises like push-ups, sit ups and the 2 mile run, you have different kinds of categories and different kinds of training paths to test the Soldiers and their physical condition of their military training” – said Sgt. Maj. Mike Kitzler, German Liaison from the Combine Arms Support Command in Fort Lee, Virginia, who was present to supervise the event.
This year, Soldiers had the opportunity to improve their physical condition facing a series of events divided in two different categories, Basic Fitness and Military Training. The Basic Fitness includes 11 x 10 meter sprint test, Flexed-arm Hang, and 1000 meter run. The Military training includes swim in uniform, Combat Lifesaver Written Test, MOPP4 (Mission-Oriented Protective Posture) proficiency test, 9mm Pistol or rifle Qualification, and a Road March from 6km to 12km carrying a 33 lb. rucksack.
To earn a bronze, silver, or gold badge, gold being the highest merit possible, Soldiers must successfully complete all challenges. 2LT Adam Hollier a Transportation Officer in the 414th Civil Affairs BN, earned the gold badge and said that the most challenging event was the 100 meter swim in uniform. “It was a great experience and really a unique opportunity for a reserve soldier.” said Hollier.