The cadets and officers stood in formation as German Officer Sergeant Major Probst awarded each of them with a bronze, silver or gold badge. One might call it the Olympics of the ROTC, but in these games, all competitors can win a gold medal.
On April 27-29, three of Maranatha’s cadets (Wetzel, Kile and Chovan) participated in the German Armed Forces Badge of Military Proficiency (GAFPB) test. All three cadets earned the GAFPB that now decorates their Army Service Uniform.
While foreign awards are not commonly accepted in the United States Military, GAFPB is one of the most highly sought-after awards. The test originated and is administered by the Germans, but any allied soldier who completes the test and meets the necessary qualifications can earn this badge.
Over 100 participants from the 3rd brigade gathered at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Sergeant Major Probst, serving as this year’s German administrator, oversaw the test and awarded the badges.
To earn the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge, the soldiers competed in seven events:
- First Aid Test
- Swim Test (100m wearing full uniform)
- Pull Ups
- 11x10m Sprint
- 1000m Run
- Pistol Range
- Ruck March
For each test, standards are set determining whether the participants earn the bronze, silver or gold badge. The standard for each test corresponds with a set amount of points. Once all seven events are completed, the points are added together to determine what level of badge each solider earned.
While in some ROTC events the participating universities compete against each other, this competition was different. The test to earn the GAFPB was a personal battle—both mentally and physically.
“It’s a mind game,” says Cadet Kile. “Your muscles can do it. You just have to get it in your mind that you can do it.”
This statement proved to be true in each test. MBU’s ROTC cadets were fully capable, and with determination they mentally pushed through.
Awarding of the GAFPB
Upon completion of all events, Cadet Wetzel and Cadet Kile both earned a gold badge and Cadet Chovan earned a silver.
According to Wetzel, they fulfilled their purpose in receiving another honorable medal. These decorated soldiers proudly wear their badges which signify their continued excellence and determination in the military.