CAMP SMITH TRAINING SITE, CORTLANDT MANOR , NY (08/13/2014)-- New York Army National Guard Sgt. Sean Massimo, a New Rochelle resident, has been awarded the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge following competition at Camp Smith Training Site August 2 and 3.
Massimo, a military policeman with the 442nd Military Police Company, was also recently named traditional non-commissioned officer of the year for 2014 during the New York Army National Guard's Best Warrior Competition.
Staff Sgt. Jeffery Dorvee, who is the full-time non-commissioned officer of the year for the New York National Guard, also received the German award.
German army Lt. Col. Rolf Metz awarded the badge to Massimo and Dorvee after they completed a series of rigorous physical and tactical challenges.
The New York Army National Guard's 53rd Troop Command is conducting the competition, and held a series of events at Camp Smith, according to Maj. John McBride, one of the competition organizers.
Metz, a German army liaison officer to the United States Military Academy at West Point, said McBride initiated competition planning by contacting him last September. Metz trained and certified the competition raters, and certifies final scores, he added.
McBride described the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge as a clear goal for the Soldiers which shows their peers how well-rounded they are.
"I think it's a genuine morale-building event for Soldiers," said McBride, an assistant operations officer for 53rd Troop Command. "You really have to be a well-rounded Soldier to qualify for the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge."
The badge was established in 1971 and is like the U.S. Army's Expert Infantry Badge, said Metz. The competition consists of tests every German Soldier must pass annually, he added.
"(The badge) is given out to German Soldiers who do well on those standardized tests," Metz said. Even so, German army units also hold competitions for the badge to build morale and esprit de corps.
The tests include the German Army Basic Fitness Test, a timed 100-meter swim, a 12-kilometer road march with a 33-pound ruck sack, a first-aid test and a pistol qualification. Some events are scored, and others are go or no-go.
The German Army Basic Fitness Test is made up of 11 timed 10-meter sprints, a timed kilometer run, and a chin-up test.
Massimo joined the Army in 2002 and served with the 4th Infantry Division in southern Baghdad, Iraq in 2005 and 2006. In 2008 he joined the New York Army National Guard's 101st Signal Battalion and has been awarded the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Army Commendation Medal and the Army Achievement Medal, among his other awards.
A personal trainer in civilian life, Massimo has an associates degree in construction management and civil engineering.