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Bayside soldier wins German badge at state competition

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The German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency is normally only worn by German soldiers, but it can also be earned by U.S. soldiers of any rank.

So while earning another country’s award is a rare opportunity, Bayside’s own New York Army National Specialist Adilia Murillo made earning the German decoration look easy during a fierce five-day Best Warrior competition in late March.

Now a member of the 31 Bravo 107th Military Police Company at Fort Hamilton, Murillo, 24, was one of only 11 National Guard soldiers from across New York to participate in the Best Warrior. The Bayside resident was one of five to earn the only German military badge that is awarded to members of foreign militaries. A declaration of the armed forces of Germany known as the Bundeswehr, the badge was awarded upon the completion of eight physically enduring events, which were administered by a German military liaison officer.

Murillo, who just finished training with the New York Army National Guard in June 2014, said it was no easy feat, but she was well prepared.

“I live a very active lifestyle, but I’ve really just had to take it all one day at a time, doing all this stuff right after taking part in military skills testing, knowledge testing and marksmanship events.”

The Best Warrior competitions is designed to seek out the best Army National Guard Soldier and noncommissioned officer to go on and eventually compete in an Army-wide challenge. Murillo will not go on to the regional competition, but it was her first year after all.

Events were added to the competition this year, which took place at the Camp Smith Training Site near Peekskill, N.Y., to allow the soldiers to compete for the German badge, but that meant additional consecutive events.

To achieve the badge, Murillo and her fellow soldiers had to swim 100 meters in full uniform; carry out first aid and nuclear, biological or chemical war scenarios; and compete in a 9 millimeter pistol shooting challenge, a 12-kilometer march carrying a 35-pound rucksack, in addition to participating in three basic fitness events, including 11 consecutive 10-meter sprints, a flex arm hang and 1,000 meter run.

These events exhausted participants on top of the standard back-to-back Best Warrior events, but Murillo said she was thrilled to have taken part.

“I am honored and I think it’s awesome that National Guard and non-active duty soldiers are even able to compete for a foreign award like this,” she said.

Murillo, who hopes to be promoted to sergeant once a spot opens up, has her heart set on helping where help is needed right here at home. She enlisted for that very reason, even after having attained a degree in criminal justice.

“ I have always wanted to serve, and have admired those who serve. I was in college when Hurricane Sandy came, and I was in awe over those that contributed to the disaster relief. I thought I want to be a part of that in any way I can.”

The Long Island native assisted her family in operating its business, Five-Star Restaurant, in Brentwood, N.Y., before it closed and she decided a career in the military.

Now actively serving the New York Army National Guard, Murillo has already started working to protect people at home from disasters. She is currently involved in a National Guard joint task force with Homeland Security and city agencies to ward against and respond to possible terrorist activity.

Reach reporter Tom Momberg by e-mail at tmomberg@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

Updated 12:32 am, July 10, 2018
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