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    2d TSB Soldiers earn coveted Norwegian Foot March badge

    2d TSB Soldiers earn coveted Norwegian Foot March badge

    Photo By Candy C Knight | U.S. Army Specialist Anthony Harris, 2d Theater Signal Brigade Executive Assistant,...... read more read more



    Story by Candy C Knight 

    2d Theater Signal Brigade

    WIESBADEN, Germany — With the sun slowly rising, and “The Eye of the Tiger” blasting on the speakers, 50 Soldiers from the 2d Theater Signal Brigade and the 102d Strategic Signal Battalion spent Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021 completing an 18.6-mile march, in uniform and carrying a 25-pound rucksack, all to earn the right to wear the coveted Norwegian Foot March armed forces skills badge.

    Norwegian Army Lt. Col. Ola Galaaen opened the event, providing advice and words of encouragement to the participants as they began the Marsjmerket.

    “This is going to be a long march,” he said. “Take care of yourself and do your best.”

    The strength and endurance event began in 1915. Participants must complete the march within 4 hours and 30 minutes for male Soldiers, or 5 hours and 15 minutes for female Soldiers. Soldiers who complete the march within those times earn a bronze, silver or gold badge, depending on the number of times the Soldier completed the march.

    “Being in Germany gives U.S. Soldiers a unique opportunity to interact directly with our NATO partners,” said Maj. Carlos Semidey, 102d SSB Executive Officer. “These events are a seamless way to show our commitment to our partners and similarities in how we train and fight for our shared interests.

    The course included 11 laps around North Clay Kaserne. The rigorous terrain added extra physical exertion to the already taxing event.

    This is the second Norwegian Event hosted this year. The event was limited to 50 participants to adhere to local COVID-19 mitigation protocols.

    Despite the limitations, the abundance of participants, with more Soldiers placing their names on the standby list, shows that Soldiers are showing they understand the importance of physical and mental fitness, Semidey added.

    “I’m hoping this event helps to motivate all participants and reinforce the importance of physical fitness,” he said. “Self-pride and to lead by example for all those in our brigade to be physically fit.”

    The most difficult part of the march, according to Spc. Anthony Harris, was not giving up on himself, mentally.

    “I wanted to test my mental fitness,” the 2d TSB Executive Assistant said. “I knew I was physically fit to complete the march, but I knew to complete nearly 19 miles I would need a double dose of mental strength and resilience to keep pushing myself forward.”

    “For me, this event was about motivating others and helping them see that your age, rank or position doesn’t matter. What matters is accomplishing the mission and challenging yourself to do your best every time,” said Sgt. Maj. Victor Antonetti, 2d TSB S-3’s Sergeant Major.

    Although most of the Soldiers suffered blisters, cramps, chafing, muscle soreness, or all of those simultaneously, the majority of participants soldier on, motivated by the shouts of encouragement from the friends and family who came out to show their support.

    Additionally, the Wiesbaden USO donated water, fruits and snacks to help keep marchers moving. Event volunteers also continuously checked on the participants’ well-being, providing self-aid and buddy care when needed.

    Challenging oneself was also the reason Capt. Victoria Cashio, 2d TSB Behavioral Health Officer, took part in the event.

    “I participated because I like to challenge myself,” she said. “It’s an honor to compete and earn the right to wear the badge of one of our NATO partners.”

    By the end of the march, 37 Soldiers earned the Norwegian Foot March badge.

    The Norwegian Foot March, along with similar events, helps forge the bond and build a stronger partnership between US servicemembers and NATO partners.

    “I feel it’s great that the Norwegian armed forces allow our servicemembers to compete and earn an award from their military service,” he said. “It’s a great achievement to be part of an exclusive club of servicemembers who completed the march and earned the badge.”



    Date Taken: 09.19.2021
    Date Posted: 09.21.2021 06:47
    Story ID: 405663
    Location: WIESBADEN, HE, DE

    Web Views: 2,175
    Downloads: 0