USAF Airmen Earn Germany Proficiency Badge

8/11/2015 – ST. JOSEPH, Mo.  — U.S. Airmen from the 139th Airlift Wing earned the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge during a competition Aug. 6 – 8 here at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base.

The thirty-six member team consisted of airmen first class thru lieutenant colonel, medic to pilot, who bonded together to accomplish timed events to include:  11×10-meter sprint, flexed arm hang, 1,000 meter run, pistol marksmanship, 7.5 mile ruck march, and 100 meter swim in uniform.

“This is the best turn out of Airmen I have ever tested,” said German Sgt. Maj. Kitzler, a liaison officer from the German Armed Forces who is stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
Individuals competing were awarded gold, silver and bronze badges based on their overall score standings.

“The German Armed Forces Proficiency Test is the most popular among our international partners and we offer testing more than 20 times a year,” said Kitzler. “Outstanding performances by all of you. In the German Army we have one year to complete these events; you did this in two days.”

Airman from the 139th Airlift Wing, Missouri Air National Guard, are awarded the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge after competing in physical training challenges at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, St. Joseph, Mo. August 8, 2015. The competition, administered by Sgt. Maj. Mike Kitzler, German liaison officer at Fort Leavenworth, KS, included sprints, flexed arm hang, 1000-meter run, 100-meter swim in uniform, pistol marksmanship, and ruck march.(U.S. Air National Guard photo by: Senior Airman Patrick P. Evenson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Kim Smith, who is assigned to the 139th Medical Group, said she was glad she did it.

“As a female I think sometimes we don’t even try because it’s physical and we don’t think we have the strength, but as more and more people stand up, we realize it can be done,” said Smith.

“The comradery was the best part; I was able to come here with the team and do something like this and achieve a milestone.  Being able to do this with the people you go to war with that you work with every day,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Joshua Hartzell, who is assigned to the 560th Red Horse Unit from Charlestown, S. C.

Hartzell was invited by the 139th Security Forces Squadron, when members had trained together earlier this year for a combat arms course.

“Thanks for leading from the front. Other wing members are going to see your outstanding performance and I know this took great effort, my hats off to you,” said Col. Ralph Schwader, commander of the 139th Airlift Wing.

by Maj. Melanie Englert
139th Airlift Wing

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Jose J. Sanchez, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Defender Magazine, USAF Honor Guard, Bolling AFB, Washington DC, 416th SFS, Griffiss AFB, NY, 89th SFS, Andrews AFB, MD