As a corporal I am part of the German Armed Forces sports promotion cection and based in Bruchsal, Baden-Württemberg.
Today’s article is intended to give you a little insight into my employer’s high level sports promotion and to answer some frequently asked questions.
I was drafted back in 2013 and was allowed to complete my basic training at the Emmich-Cambrai Barracks in Hanover, which has since been renamed the Hauptfeldwebel-Lagestein Barracks. For six weeks, from 5:00 a.m. until 11 p.m., I was able to learn everything that a soldier must be able to do, at least in principle, together with many other athletes from a wide variety of sports. By far the most beautiful experience was certainly the brisk march to the military training area with an overnight stay in the forest at an abundant 10 degrees below zero and the ultra-generous march back to the barracks. We really had to hurry because in this scenario our barracks were already being pressured by the enemy and we were the last chance for rescue. On site, the situation was then “surprisingly” relaxed, only the plate-sized blisters on my feet were from now on the enemy.
The kind of soldier, as I am one, is largely exempt from military service and has the task of representing the Federal Republic of Germany on an international level in a purely sporting capacity. That’s why I don’t live in a barracks and only wear camo to military training courses. You cannot apply to become part of the sports promotion program – you are called up by the responsible sports federation after examination of your sporting prospects and corresponding fulfillment of standards. A personnel planning meeting, attended by the federation’s sports director and sports promotions section leader, is held to decide whether a career is possible and makes sense.
After the physical and medical examination, basic training is scheduled, which is shortened to a sporty six weeks. Even if we are exempt from military service, we must complete certain courses in our careers. The basic training is followed by the NCO course, the exercise leader course and the German Armed Forces trainer’s license. At the end of the year, I complete the field officer course, thus completing my military training. Of course, the German Armed Forces take into account our annual sports schedule – i.e., courses are usually only held after competition highlights and are scheduled in such a way that both summer and winter athletes can participate.
Even if it sounds relaxed to be part of the sports promotion section of the German Armed Forces, we must not forget that we have a mission and in order to fulfill it, a lot of hard training is required. Therefore, sports soldiers are tested every year for standard fulfillment and perspective. After one year, everything can be over again.
For me, it was and still is a privilege to be a member of the sports promorion section of the German Armed Forces. Just as a soccer player becomes a professional when he signs his first professional contract, I became a professional when I joined the sports promotion section. This is not a matter of course and I am proud to belong to this select circle.