DUPLIN COUNTY, NC -- Eight JROTC Cadets from Hephzibah (GA) High School’s Rebel Battalion recently earned the Austrian Sports and Gymnastics Badge. Cadets Justin Greeley, Hailey Cliett and Allan Phillip earned the Gold Badge; Cadets Jeromy Cole and Graysen Greeley earned the Silver Badge; and Cadet Quinyatta Hampton and Dalton Roberts earned the Bronze Badge. Cadet Josh Mason earned the adult Bronze Sports and Gymnastics Badge, having turned 18 last December, he was ineligible to apply for the Youth Badge. Additionally, Cadets who earned the Silver or Gold Austrian Youth Sports Badge also qualify for the European Youth Sports Badge.
To earn the Badge, Cadets were required to qualify on tasks from five different disciplines. The five events are selected from a set of categories that the examiner can choose from. The events selected for the Hephizbah Cadets were a 200-meter swim (this is the one task every applicant must do), a shotput throw, a timed 100-meter dash, a timed distance run (1000m for females, 2000m for males) and a broad jump.
The Badge testing was the idea of the Senior Army Instructor, LTC Travis Burchett, who was seeking ways to connect his Cadets with fitness and other cultures. He contacted the Austrian Federal Ministry of Public Service and Sport after finding information on the Youth Sports and Gymnastics Badge online. He and his fellow instructor, SGM Clifton Fields, were approved to apply for Prüfer (Examiner) in September 2018, becoming the only Americans authorized to serve as Examiners.
Rebel Battalion Commander, Cadet Justin Greeley, who also earned the Norwegian Foot March Badge in December 2018, was excited to try for another foreign badge. He said that “this opportunity to earn the Austrian Sports Badge is unique and will be one more thing that I can add to my college applications in the fall”. B Company Commander, Cadet Hailey Cliett, a LET III, thought the testing was challenging, especially the broad jump and shotput events, and hopes that other Cadets will be motivated to test once they see her and her fellow awardees wearing their Badges in the fall.
Collection certificates were certified by LTC Burchett and mailed to Austria this week. Cadets will receive their Badges early in school year 2019-20.