National Defence

National Defence

December 09, 2015 08:00 ET

PWOR Performs German Army Proficiency Badge

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 9, 2015) - Members from The Princess of Wales' Own Regiment (PWOR) and Kingston Police Force conducted Exercise Black Bear in order to complete the German Army Proficiency Badge (GAFPB) or, Abzeichen fur Leistungen im Truppendienst, challenge.

Exercise Black Bear was an individual soldier skills qualification that emphasized physical fitness, marksmanship and basic soldier skills in order to qualify for the GAFPB. PWOR is the first Canadian unit to conduct this demanding challenge. Members first performed rigorous fitness and swim testing at the Royal Military College of Canada. This was followed by combat first aid and CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) challenges, as well as a Load Bearing March for 13km and a range shoot at Canadian Forces Base Kingston. PWOR Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Parkinson and German Colonel Oberstleutnant Von der Felsen presented all medals on November 26, 2015 at the PWOR Armouries. 32 members conducted the challenge; three soldiers obtained bronze standard, 13 obtained silver standard, and 16 obtained gold standard.

Master Warrant Officer Scott Shultz was the driving force behind this exercise. Being German Canadian and a member of the Canadian Armed Forces as well as the Kingston Police Force, it was of particular meaning and importance to him to watch the comradery unfold throughout this challenge. He believes the soldiers learned a lot about their German allies and old stereotypes were put to bed. German Colonel Oberstleutenant Von der Felsen echoes the sentiment and adds that it was particularly poignant to stand on the parade square and look at the Canadian and German flags, side by side, under the cross of sacrifice.

This rewarding and challenging experience was such a success that Lieutenant Colonel Parkinson is considering making it an annual event. Congratulations to all involved.

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