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NEWS | May 11, 2023

Puerto Rico strives for gold: 166th RSG hosts German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge competition

By Staff Sgt. Katherine Ramos Muniz 1st Mission Support Command

For the past few months, the Army Reserve 166th Regional Support Group has hosted the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge events. A competition that enabled over 200 service members, including those from the Puerto Rico National Guard, Reserve Officer Training Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines, and U.S. Army Recruiting Command, an opportunity to test physical and mental strength.

Col. Carsten Treder and Command Sgt. Maj. Alexander Behrendt from the German Armed Forces participated in the GAFPB awards ceremony celebrated May 6, where competitors earned between bronze, silver and gold.

Spc. Daniel Rivera Orellana, from the Army Reserve, was the highest score earning him the golden badge.

"The German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge is an incredible opportunity for our soldiers to share in the experience of our German counterparts," said the 166th RSG Brigade Commander, Col. Brian J. Slaughter. "Much the same way the German Armed Forces participate in our Army Combat Fitness Test, Expert Infantry Badge, and a long list of other U.S. Army badging programs."

A certified German Physical Training instructor administered the testing for the GAFPB, a decoration of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany and one of the most sought-after awards to achieve.

"Continue to excel!" encouraged Command Sgt. Maj. Shahpour J. Eskandary, the 166th RSG command sergeant major, during his closing remarks. "I am proud of every single one of you, please take this experience back to your unit and continue to inspire others."

The 166th RSG took advantage of the occasion to recognize the efforts of Cpt. Jose Babilonia and Master Sgt. Carlos Otero, as they were responsible for orchestrating the GAFPB in Puerto Rico.

"This opportunity to experience new and exciting challenges through an incredible partnership with our German counterparts is priceless," concluded Col. Slaughter. "I am extremely proud of the soldiers that competed and the ones that received the award, and also very grateful to our German friends for their support and long-term commitment to continue to work as partners."