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CPT Bruce Baltis
Indiana University Department of Military Science

MAJ Todd Tinius
Indiana University Department of Military Science

Last modified: Monday, February 12, 2007

Cadets compete in a variety of events this weekend

Feb. 12, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- After this weekend (Feb. 17-18), Indiana University cadets and soldiers will have swum 200 meters, competed in the shot-put and long jump, finished a 400-meter dash in under 68 seconds, and run 5 kilometers in 23 minutes during a competition at the Bloomington campus.


The Indiana University Department of Military Science will be hosting the competition for cadets and soldiers to earn the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency. This competition will not only consist of track and field events, but also include first aid testing, a marksmanship competition and a road march. ROTC programs from throughout the Midwest will be attending.

In addition, they must engage targets at 25 meters distance with a 9mm pistol and complete a road march (these two events will be held at Camp Atterbury, Edinburgh, Ind.). The badge is awarded in three levels, bronze, silver and gold, and the standard for the gold badge is an 18.7-mile road march in under five hours, carrying a 22-lb. rucksack and other equipment. The standards for the events are stringent, and participants need to bring a wide variety of skills to have a chance of earning the award.

Captain Bruce Baltis, IU Army ROTC training officer, is the coordinating officer and hosting official for the competition. Cadets and soldiers are looking forward to this event as an opportunity to experience the standards of a military other than that of the United States. If they pass all of the events, they will be awarded the Military Proficiency Badge, a decoration that can be worn on U.S. uniforms. This testing is not often offered to cadets who do not regularly work with soldiers from other countries.

"Most soldiers go their entire careers without having the chance to earn a foreign decoration," says Lieutenant Colonel Eric Arnold, professor of Military Science at IU and the commander of IU ROTC's Screaming Bison Battalion. "This is a great opportunity for our cadets."

IU ROTC cadets have been training for this competition for the last few weeks, and many of them have remarked that the events are a lot harder than they had assumed. After performing the long jump, shot put, and 400 meter dash in the IU field house recently, a winded cadet was heard to say, "the Germans aren't just giving this thing away, are they?"

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