News: Component personnel receive German badge of marksmanship
By Capt. Mario Di Virgilio
GEILENKIRCHEN, Germany - On Aug. 1, 2013, the German NSU hosted an award ceremony to award the German Armed Forces Badge of Marksmanship (Schützenschnur) to international Component members from Italy, Spain and United States.
Since May of this year, the German NSU has been offering international personnel the opportunity to qualify on German weapons (the pistol HK P8 and rifle HK G36) and earn the decoration. Out of about forty military personnel from various nations who participated in these shooting events, twenty five soldiers met all the requirements and were decorated that day.
The roots of the Schützenschnur date back as early as to the Eighty Years' War. The tradition of awarding a cord as decoration began in the early 18th century in Prussia under Frederick William I of Prussia. With the reorganization of the Prussian Army the Schützenschnur became the official military award which it still is. The Schützenschnur is awarded in three classes (Bronze, Silver and Gold) to military personnel of all grades but is only allowed to be worn by enlisted members.
During this award ceremony one German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency (Leistungsabzeichen für Leistungen im Truppendienst) was also awarded. USAF OR-6 Christian Casciola was presented with the Leistungsabzeichen in Gold for completing the necessary requirements in Evaluation Report, First Aid Course, German Sports Test, Marksmanship as well as the Rucksack March.
This decoration comes in three grades (Bronze, Silver and Gold) and is awarded to and worn by soldiers of all ranks as a sign of outstanding physical and moral standards.