FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – U.S. Army Sgt. Hope Snyder, a human resources specialist with the 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, was awarded the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge, June 2, 2019, during a ceremony at the U.S. Army Reserve Center here.
In order to receive the badge, a service member must pass a series of tests including an 11×10 meter sprint, flexed arm hang, 1000 meter run, pistol qualification, road march and 100 meter swim. They must also demonstrate first aid and proper wear of nuclear, biological and chemical protective gear.
Testing was conducted May 31 to June 2, hosted by the Regional Training Site – Maintenance Fort Indiantown Gap and administered by the 94th Training Division, 80th Training Command, U.S. Army Reserve.
“The standards of this test are completely different from our [Army Physical Fitness Test] standards,” said Snyder. “The fact that I can do that and do something way beyond what our test is, is pretty cool.”
The German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge is split in to three grades based on a service member’s overall score- gold, silver and bronze. While many service members strive to earn the bronze badge, Snyder earned the silver.
“I see myself at a whole different level,” said Snyder. “The fact that I was able to not only earn a badge but to earn a silver badge, I feel like I’m capable of way more than I thought I was before I did this.”
As a non-commissioned officer and leader in the 28th ECAB’s personnel section, Snyder plans to push her Soldiers to earn the badge themselves.
“It’s something to strive for,” said Snyder. “It is something that I can now tell people they should do and it is something that will make them better Soldiers.”
About 50 other U.S. Soldiers and Airmen from Pennsylvania with the National Guard, Reserve and Active-duty also earned badges and were recognized during the ceremony.
German Army Lt. Col. Andreas Heselschwerdt, who also conducted certifications, awarded the badges. Heselschwerdt is currently the Chief of International Doctrine for the U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute in Carlisle, Pa.
The German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge, though typically awarded to German service members, is also awarded to service members of allied nations. Along with many other foreign awards, it is approved for wear on a U.S. Soldier’s uniform.
“It’s a foreign badge,” said Snyder. “How often do you get to have a foreign badge on your uniform? That’s pretty cool.”