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Thread: Schützenschnur - German Armed Forces Badge for Weapons Proficiency

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    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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    Default 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.
    Contents

    History


    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. [1]
    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. [2]
    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.
    Present status

    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
    • 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.
    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 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
    Design
    • 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.
    See also
    Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran (OIF V & OEF X & XIII)
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    Moderator MPclk2006's Avatar
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    I got my Silver one back in like 2005, even though I never been to Germany! haha...Congrats, Chief!

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    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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    Where did you qualify at? You had German soldiers that ran the range at your location? I was really doing awful with the rifle missing at 200 meters at the standing. I needed three attempts and wasted the ammo lol

    NCO told his soldiers, "there is no more qualification for the G36 since there is no ammo......thanks to Chief" lol. But hey, I been carrying a pistol only since 2006 and the PMI on these weapons is just a 15 minute looksey, feely with no dry fire and no live fire familiarization. You just handed a weapon and told to qualify. I like that everyone qualifies on the same weapon and no zeroing. That was amazing. No kick as well with the rifle. The MG3 starts spraying with the slightest trigger pull.
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    Earned Gold awhile ago at Fort Bliss with the German Detachment there. Good times, they (German Troops) meet us at the local Rod n' Gun Club. Shared some brew, swapped some lies, all in all had a good time. I never knew the part about Officers not being able to wear their cord, caught me slipping there. Personal question though, would you rather wear the Gold Schützenschnur, or the Gold Sports badge (Have always been told to my Gold Schützenschnur since it has more "flair," insert eye roll here).

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    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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    lol. Well I didnt know you can take up to a year to complete the sports badge. Meaning, you can do the swim event and then train for the other event, etc. That looks very nice as well. Mostly everyone in Germany has one or the other but these ranges are not easy to get. You have to coordinate with the German S-3 or training NCO.

    I did have to pay 4 euros for some German food today (which they BBQed at the range). Had a schnitzel with some pommes frites and a 7-UP lol

    It did remind me of my Marine days that I can rifle qual with my soft cover on. There was a Navy Sailor in his blue cammies that qualed as well.
    Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran (OIF V & OEF X & XIII)
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    Moderator MPclk2006's Avatar
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    I did it at Fort Huachuca, AZ when I was there stationed with the MP unit, it was funny b/c we would always have signal soldiers trying to piggy back with us to the range so they could qualify...they started getting suspecious when we kept telling them we had no ranges coming up and then its on the post news paper that we had just completed the German qualification for the badge hahahahahah, boy were they mad LOL...

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    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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    That is so raw lol

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    I have been the Organizer and Administrator of many 'Schützenschnur' and 'US Army Marksmanship' events while stationed in Germany.
    They were always done during so called 'Partnership' (Partnerschaft) events. That is, the German Army 'Partnership' unit invited their USArmy/USAF Partners to participate and earn the appropriate award (bronze, silver, gold). Vice versa, we, the Americans, did the same to the Germans to earn Marksman, Sharpshooter, Expert badges.
    The usual standards were lowered and shooting was made much easier/comfortable (good weather, minimum targets, mats on the ground, sometimes the instructors closed both eyes). When someone didn't or couldn't hit the target, appropriate arrangements were made to help him along. The idea was to make everyone happy and let him/her go home with an award and certificate.
    Ranges & Weapons (cal. 45/M16, Ammo) were reserved and prepared. There was a fund to pay for the logistics.
    The 1st step to the Schützenschnur was 'Bronze'. One needed a second Partnership event to qualify for Silver (only if he had made Bronze before) and a 3rd for Gold (provided he had silver). However, the US badges just depended on the score as we all know.
    After the event there usually was a get-together, BBQ and lots of drinking.
    I made the Gold Schützenschnur. But in all honesty I guess it was perhaps 'arranged' as a reward for me because I had run so many Partnership events for the Germans. I wore it anyway, even though I was an Officer (1LT at the time) but no one said anything.

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    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Tanker View Post
    I have been the Organizer and Administrator of many 'Schützenschnur' and 'US Army Marksmanship' events while stationed in Germany.
    They were always done during so called 'Partnership' (Partnerschaft) events. That is, the German Army 'Partnership' unit invited their USArmy/USAF Partners to participate and earn the appropriate award (bronze, silver, gold). Vice versa, we, the Americans, did the same to the Germans to earn Marksman, Sharpshooter, Expert badges.
    The usual standards were lowered and shooting was made much easier/comfortable (good weather, minimum targets, mats on the ground, sometimes the instructors closed both eyes). When someone didn't or couldn't hit the target, appropriate arrangements were made to help him along. The idea was to make everyone happy and let him/her go home with an award and certificate.
    Ranges & Weapons (cal. 45/M16, Ammo) were reserved and prepared. There was a fund to pay for the logistics.
    The 1st step to the Schützenschnur was 'Bronze'. One needed a second Partnership event to qualify for Silver (only if he had made Bronze before) and a 3rd for Gold (provided he had silver). However, the US badges just depended on the score as we all know.
    After the event there usually was a get-together, BBQ and lots of drinking.
    I made the Gold Schützenschnur. But in all honesty I guess it was perhaps 'arranged' as a reward for me because I had run so many Partnership events for the Germans. I wore it anyway, even though I was an Officer (1LT at the time) but no one said anything.
    Some things havent changed over time sir. It is an awesome event and like I said before, I am truly impressed with the German weapons and how they are designed. Also, I love the sights and no kick. I shot the MG left-handed but you have to cup the buttstock under-handed unlike with the M60 where you cupped it overhanded and shot righty.
    Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran (OIF V & OEF X & XIII)
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    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
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    I received the certificate and badge yesterday and to my amazement, I received the silver. I forgot what was not counted in the scoring but was something that we shot. Anyway, in order to get it into your iPerms, you have to have it translated into english before bringing it to your S1. So the German lady at legal did it for me today and notarized it. If you are enlisted, a DA 4187 has to be completed for authorization to wear.

    Good stuff.
    Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran (OIF V & OEF X & XIII)
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    Former Marine/MP/Combat Engineer

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