Posted 11 months ago
By John Axtell
ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Seven members of the Army ROTC…Reserve Officer Training Corps…at Chadron State College earned the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge in testing late last month near St Cloud Minnesota St. John’s University and Camp Ripley.
1st Lt. Nate Reicks, an active duty National Guard officer and ROTC instructor at CSC, took part in the testing along with 6 of his cadets and says the detachment was one of the few groups to have 100% of its members earn the badge.
Participants had to successfully complete a 4-minute swim in uniform, a 1000 meter run, a series of 11 ten-meter sprints, a flex arm-hang while keeping their chin above the bar, pistol marksmanship from 3 positions and, as their final, a march with a 33-pound ruchsack.
The cumulative scoring on the earlier testing put each participant into one of 3 segments for the march…7.5-miles for gold, 5.5-miles for silver, and 3.4-miles for bronzes…with a time limit for each, with each CSC member…all cadets except for Reicks, making the time limit.
Earning Gold Medal status were James Barrows of Silver City, N.M., and Kalee Brewer of Murdock, Neb., while Reicks, Evan Baker and Dalton Boden, both of Ord, Neb., earned Silver. Jerrick Bowers of Gering and Caleb Geiger of Cozad earn Bronze.
Lt Reicks says he’s proud of his cadets and the way they worked hard to achieve their goals while struggling at times, as during the swimming in a wet uniform.
One of the best moments in the competition for Reicks came during the ruck march when Geiger and Bowers, after finishing theirs and having blisters, returned to walk with and encourage Brewer to ensure she would get Gold.
Chadron State is part of the ROTC Mount Rushmore Battalion, which also includes South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Black Hills State University, and National American University. Dackery Geimen of Mines took the testing with the CSC unit and also successfully earned the badge.
Other higher education institutions with ROTC members competing for the German Armed Forces Proficiency 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.