MHS graduate earns foreign military badge
On March 7, Merrill High School graduate and current cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point Brant Raleigh, was honored with the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency.
The badge is awarded and worn by German service members of all ranks and can also be awarded to allied service members. To earn the badge, the service member must pass a rigorous fitness test Raleigh explains “First we had to walk 7.5 miles with 40 pounds on our back in under an hour and a half, followed by a shooting test with a pistol,” “We then had to swim 100 meters in uniform in under four minutes, then strip down to our swimsuit and run a 1000 meter shuttle run, finishing with a flexed arm hang for over a minute.”
Based on how well the service member completes the fitness test, they can be awarded three different levels of the badge; bronze, silver and gold. Raleigh did well enough in every test to earn the gold badge.
“I tested gold for all events,” Raleigh added. “No one was required to do the test, but I thought this was a really cool opportunity because this badge isn’t actually a US Military award. A German officer had to actually come and award us with the badge, and then we needed to get approval to wear the badge on our uniform.”
Brant is currently a Nuclear Engineering major at West Point Military Academy, located in West Point, NY. Following his graduation in May of 2022, he will become a commissioned officer in the US Army as a 2nd Lieutenant.
Brant is the son of Karla and Neil Raleigh of Merrill.