Seven Chadron State College students and faculty earned the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency in late May. The testing took place at St. John’s University and Camp Ripley in Minnesota.
The Mount Rushmore Battalion was one of the few Army ROTC groups in which all students received the badge, according to Lt. Nathan Reicks.
Other colleges competing for the badge included the University of Minnesota, Minnesota State University-Mankato, the University of North Dakota-Fargo, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University, and St. John’s University.
He said the four-minute swim was difficult for several students since swimming in a wet uniform is additional and unfamiliar weight.
“Since we don’t have a pool and the lakes have been too cold to swim in, they weren’t able to practice ahead of time,” Reicks said.
The group members also completed the following timed tests: a 1000 meter run, an 11x10-meter sprint, and a flex arm hang keeping chin above bar.
Testing also included marksmanship with an M9 pistol from prone, kneeling and standing positions followed by a march with a 33-pound rucksack.
“I am proud of the students, they worked hard to achieve their goals. One of the best moments in the competition, was when Caleb Geiger and Jerrick Bowers were walking and encouraging Kalee Brewer on her ruck march. They had finished their ruck march and went back to ensure she would get Gold. Already having blisters, they walked another four miles to help out a fellow comrade accomplish her goals,” Reicks said.
Based on cumulative scoring on aspects of proficiency, cadets were placed into a ruck march ranking of gold at 7.5 miles, silver at 5.5 miles or bronze at 3.4 miles. All CSC students and faculty completed the ruck march within the time limit.
Overall medals earned by CSC students and faculty
Gold: Cdt. James Barrows of Silver City, N.M., Cdt. Kalee Brewer of Murdock, Neb.
Silver: Cdt. Evan Baker of Ord, Neb., Cdt. Dalton Boden of Ord, Neb., 1st Lt. Nate Reicks of Chadron
Bronze: Cdt. Jerrick Bowers of Gering, Neb., Cdt. Caleb Geiger of Cozad, Neb.
—CSC Information Services