Iowa State ROTC find success at GAFPB Event

Sara Petersen

Each year, the ROTC at Iowa State participates in a special event called the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (GAFPB). The GAFPB was held during the weekend of Nov. 10-12, and it was successful for Iowa State.

The Iowa State ROTC ended up leaving with 19 gold and nine silver awards.

The GAFPB is a region-wide event, so students from other ROTC programs besides Iowa State were there as well. All branches of ROTC at Iowa State were represented at the GAFPB.

“There was probably 200 plus people right when we showed up, and we thought it was going to be just people in ROTC here at Iowa State,” said Connor McCann, Air Force ROTC cadet and senior in computer engineering.

“When we walked in and saw everybody, we were just blown away,” McCann said.

The GAFPB consists of rigorous tests and trainings that the students have to go through such as shooting, swimming and reaction to nuclear environments. It is one of the students’ favorite events of the year.

“Overall, the whole GAFPB event – getting gold, and having a great time with my friends – I really enjoyed it,” said Stephen Glynn, Army ROTC cadet and junior in kinesiology and health. Glynn said one of his favorite parts of the GAFPB was the pistol qualification.

“I found that one really fun because overall I’ve fired an M16 and an M4, but I haven’t actually gotten the chance to qualify with a pistol – so that was fun for me,” Glynn said.

One special part of the event that all the students enjoyed was the fact that the event was overseen by German Sgt. Maj. Markus Hausleitner. 

“The event was fun overall, but being able to interact with the German sergeant major made it even better,” McCann said.

“When the German sergeant major came through, he really stuck out because I’ve never seen a uniform like that before,” Glynn said.

Glynn was very impressed by the German sergeant major this year.

“When I met him, he was very proficient in his English. I’ve never heard someone from Germany that fluent in English. Just the way he approached you, and how nice he was – he talked to you not as a subordinate, but as a friend. I’m really glad he was the Command Sergeant Major and that I got to meet him,” Glynn said.

The GAFPB is full of hard trainings and tests, but the students all think it is a great experience and one that will be remembered.

“There was definitely a strong connection between the branches there,” McCann said. “I got to learn a lot about how the other branches operate. Seeing how they do everything different was a cool experience.”