HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Seven Air Force Life Cycle Management Center-Hanscom Airmen earned the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency during events held here Sept. 9-11.
The badge is a decoration of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany. It is one of the few approved foreign awards U.S. service members may wear in uniform.
“I’m very proud of myself for achieving the silver badge,” said Capt. Patrick Wu, Enterprise Information Technology and Cyber Infrastructure Division program manager.
Service members were tested on self-aid buddy care, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear readiness, marksmanship and physical fitness events, including a 1,000 meter run and a 100 meter swim while in uniform.
Participants could earn a bronze, silver or gold award based on their performances in each event.
“It was both physically and mentally challenging,” said Capt. Evan Amato, a cost analyst supporting the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node program, who earned a gold badge. “I’m grateful we had the opportunity to represent Hanscom and the Air Force in a joint environment.”
The other AFLCMC-Hanscom gold badge recipient, 2nd Lt. Ryan Alexander Walford, is the lead engineer for the National Capital Region-Integrated Air Defense System.
“Covering multiple days, it afforded a great opportunity to meet not only other service members from all over the New England region, but also a unique opportunity to meet soldiers from the German Bundeswehr as well,” he said.
The Massachusetts National Guard has hosted the event since 2013. More than 120 service members participated in the three-day event, with 107 earning a badge.
“It means a lot to accomplish this because I have failed at it before [in 2019],” said Tech. Sgt. Victor Portes-Garcia, 66th Security Forces Squadron flight sergeant and a silver badge recipient. “I didn’t give the events enough credit so it was an ego check and a lesson in humility.”
“It was an intense three days. I’d like to go for gold [next year],” said 1st Lt. Joseph Dooley, Space Systems Command Enterprise Corps program manager, a silver badge recipient.
Second Lt. Blake Nunes, Enterprise IT & Cyber Infrastructure Division executive officer, said it’s been a “decade old goal” of his. He earned the silver badge.
Other silver badge recipients were 1st Lt. Jan Mayer, Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks payload engineer, and Airman 1st Class Lee Ostertag, a member of 66 SFS.