Military students at Cal U share a computer. Military students at Cal U share a computer.

SERVICE MEMBERS AIM TO EARN GERMAN BADGE

Photo of Armed Forces German Proficiency Badge.

For the second consecutive year, Cal U will host members of the active-duty, reserve and National Guard components of the U.S. military as they compete to earn the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge.

Physical fitness tests will take place, rain or shine, April 26-28 on the University’s main and upper campuses. The marksmanship test will be held at the Westmoreland County Community College Public Safety Training Center in nearby Smithton, Pa. 

Testing for the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge is being organized by the Office of Veterans Affairs at Cal U. To earn the badge, candidates must meet benchmarks in swimming, running and other physical activities; qualify on the pistol range; pass a first-aid test; and complete a 7.5-mile road march while carrying a backpack weighing at least 33 pounds.

As many as 70-80 service members are expected to participate. 

See the complete schedule

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The badge

A decoration of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge is one of the few foreign awards that U.S. military members may wear on their uniform.

It has been available since 1972 to U.S. service members who meet rigorous proficiency standards.

All eligible members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and National Guard may compete for the award.

The badge is awarded in gold, silver or bronze, depending on the results of the pistol qualification, the first-aid test and the road march.

Proficiency testing

Standards for some events are based on the participant’s age.

Events include:


  • 200-meter swim
  • 100-, 400- or 1,000-meter sprint
  • High jump or long jump
  • Shot put (or 100-meter swim)
  • 3,000- or 5,000-meter run (or 100-meter swim)
  • Road march with pack (at least 33 lbs.)
  • Pistol qualification
  • First-aid proficiency test
  • Commander’s evaluation

A ceremony recognizing participants who complete the badge requirements will be held at 2 p.m. April 28 in the Performance Center, with a member of the German military in attendance. 

Testing for the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge is being organized by the Office of Veterans Affairs at Cal U.

Media coverage is welcome; to arrange access, contact 734-938-5344.