The German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (GAFPB) competition is just one of the great opportunities for Army ROTC Cadets to compete. Many foreign medals can be earned by soldiers, but only a few that can be earned by cadets. The competition tests physical fitness through swimming, first aid, track and field events, pistol marksmanship, and a road march.
Three Maranatha cadets recently earned the opportunity to compete for the coveted badge: Rosa Lewis, Joel Auchtung, and Brooks Groom. These Charlie Company cadets traveled to Marquette University to compete in a 400-meter dash, 5K run, shot put, high jump, swim, pistol shooting, and a final ruck march.
“This was a great experience for me, as it pushed me mentally to the max,” Lewis said. “I had to prepare weeks in advance for the swimming just because it was physically challenging for me. High intensity describes the atmosphere.”
Auchtung (left) said that the pistol shoot made him somewhat nervous, but he still did “great” at 25 meters.
“I was able to get a perfect score on my first attempt,” Auchtung said. “To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised with myself, having only been able to practice twice before the competition!”
Groom (right) pushed himself almost to the breaking point by running the entire 7.5-mile ruck march instead of walking and using the entire allotted 120 minutes, something attempted by only a handful of cadets. His ethos is “Don’t accept the standard. Exceed it.”
All three Maranatha Cadets earned gold badges, joining six other classmates who had previously accepted the challenge and excelled. Charlie Company thanks Marquette Army ROTC for hosting this year’s competition and for giving Maranatha’s cadets the opportunity to have been part of this outstanding event.