Schützenschnur - German Armed Forces Badge for Weapons Proficiency
Well today I earned the Bronze and even though I find the German weapons much easier to handle and less rounds to qualify with; getting the Gold is no easy task and its very easy to BOLO.
If you have any questions on how you qualify; feel free to ask. BTW, officers cannot wear the cord on the uniform but at least it can go in your permanent records as a foreign award.
The German Armed Forces Badge for Weapons Proficiency (German: Schützenschnur) is a decoration of the Bundeswehr, the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The decoration is awarded to German military personnel of all grades, but is only allowed to be worn by enlisted members. The German armed forces regulations point out, that "the Schützenschnur is a decoration for weapons proficiency for enlisted soldiers." Officers can receive the award, although it is not currently authorized to be worn on their uniforms. Foreign military members also may be awarded the badge, the German military regulation on officers still applies, permitting only the enlisted members to wear the badge.
Corporal from the Prussian Infantry-Regiment wearing a Schützenschnur in 1894
The history of the Schützenschnur dates back to the Eighty Years' War where Spanish troops were ordered to hang any Dutch person who carried a musket. Therefore Spanish musketeers began to carry ropes which were often carried over one shoulder. Awarding a cord as a decoration began in the early 18th century in Prussia under Frederick William I of Prussia. 
With the reorganization of the Prussian Army under Gerhard von Scharnhorst the Schützenschnur became an official military award.
The Reichswehr and later the Wehrmacht adapted the Schützenschnur as an award for proficiency in marksmanship. The award existed in 12 different levels with different versions for infantry and armored troops. 
In 1957 the Bundesgrenzschutz introduced the Schützenschnur.
A similar decoration existed within the East German National People's Army and the Border Troops of the German Democratic Republic.
In the United States military the German Armed Forces Badge for Weapons Proficiency (Schützenschnur) is one of the few pre-approved foreign awards, requiring no individual approval request to be forwarded up the serviceman's chain of command to the United States Senate for acceptance. Occasion and manner of wear of the Schützenschnur are governed by the individual services' uniform regulations (e.g., Army Regulation 670-1); such regulations additionally specify the placement of the concealed button on the uniform with which to affix the Schützenschnur's rope.
To earn the award one must successfully shoot the German service rifle (G36), pistol (P8) and machine gun (MG3). The awarded grade is determined by the lowest weapon qualification.(Ex: if you qualify all gold and one bronze, you get awarded the bronze.)
Classes / Grades
The category of heavy weapons (most commonly the machine gun) is not mandatory to earn the bronze badge. The Rifle and Pistol are the only weapons that require minimally score of bronze.
- German Armed Forces Badge for Weapons Proficiency in Bronze (Schützenschnur in Bronze) is awarded for shooting with the rifle and the pistol with a score in at least bronze.
- German Armed Forces Badge for Weapons Proficiency in Silver (Schützenschnur in Silber) is awarded for shooting with all of the weapons with a score at least in silver
- German Armed Forces Badge for Weapons Proficiency in Gold (Schützenschnur in Gold) is awarded for shooting with all or one of the weapons with a score at least in gold
- The Army and Air Forces version of the award is a silver colored rope with a round metal badge on a flat end near the top of the rope, on its center it displays the German eagle surrounded by a wreath of oak leaves.
- The Navy version of the award looks the same except the rope's color is navy blue.
Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran (OIF V & OEF X & XIII)
Former Marine/MP/Combat Engineer
05-24-2011 05:57 AM