Skip to comments.Army announces new Combat Action Badge eligibility
Posted on 06/12/2005 3:36:34 AM PDT by mark502inf
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 10, 2005) -- The Army announced this week the eligibility requirements for its new Combat Action Badge.
The requirements are laid out in a Department of the Army letter published on June 3. The letter also discusses changes to the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Combat Medic Badge.
The CAB, whose design features both a bayonet and grenade, may be awarded to any Soldier performing assigned duties in an area where hostile fire pay or imminent danger pay is authorized, who is personally present and actively engaging or being engaged by the enemy, and performing satisfactorily in accordance with the prescribed rules of engagement, according to the specific eligibility requirements.
Award of the CAB is not limited by ones branch or military occupational specialty; however, to receive the CAB, a Soldier must not be assigned or attached to a unit that would quality the Soldier for the CIB or CMB.
The CAB's creation was approved by Army chief of staff Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker on May 2, 2005, to provide special recognition to Soldiers who personally engage or are engaged by the enemy.
Warfare is still a human endeavor, Schoomaker said. Our intent is to recognize Soldiers who demonstrate and live the Warrior Ethos.
"The Global War on Terrorism and its associated operations will be the first era of conflict considered for this award," said Lt. Col. Bill Johnson, Human Resources Command chief of military awards. "September 18, 2001, is the effective date for the new award. That is when President Bush signed Senate Joint Resolution 23, authorizing the use of military force against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States."
The CAB should be available late this summer or early fall through unit supply and military clothing sales stores.
How many people in OIF have actually used grenades and bayonets while fighting?
Not many--and I expect those who did are getting CIBs, not this badge.
Didn't use much imagination in the design did they?
I suspect this new medal is a result of those with a non-infantry MOS wishing to be recognized for time spent under fire IE arty and engineers.
At this rate, why not just give everyone a Congressional Medal of Honor, to help their self esteem?
That way no one will have to feel left out.
The krauts had the Infanterie Sturmabzeichen as well as the close combat assault badge, and I don't think there was a great deal of confusion over the matter; the analogy is not exact in this case, but there are levels of combat, and there are levels of combat. A civilian like myself may not know the shorthand, but throughout history, men-at-arms can distinguish s**t from shoe polish.
Designwise, I'm unimpressed with this award, but I suppose it is intended to echo the CIB, which it "kind of, sort of" does.
"The letter also discusses changes to the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Combat Medic Badge."
First the berets, then a Combat Action Badge that sounds like it was designed by the Italian milita, and now they are gonna muck around with CIBs and CMBs!?
The CIB was designed, in part, to honor a traditional connection with every American combat infantryman since the Colonial era. And the CMB was, in part, a grassroots effort by WWII combat infantry to recognize the special roles that combat medics, God Bless 'em, play.
Leave it to somebody with the "Five Oh Ducks" to ruin my breakfast Danish. ( From a guy who who served with the Five Oh First).
this will really help with enlistments!...look like the wimps that Clinton promoted are still incharge!
I have mixed feelings about this. I had a non-combat MOS and got the crap pounded out of me in enemy engagements. The VC/NVA did not care what your MOS was. Our unit also did short range patrols. I did many things beyond my MOS that put me at greater risk.
Having said that, the guys out in the bush should have special recognition for what they did. The bulk of the KIA's and WIA's were those guys. Their living conditions were horrific and personal risk was always much, much greater for them.
For me, getting an award for 'combat actions' would not make any difference. That is not why I was there.
From what I've been able to read about it. The changes to the CIB and CMB are to allow Special Forces medics to receive the CIB rather than the CMB. There will be no changes to the appearance of the badges themselves. Special Forces medics differ from their regular Army counterparts in that they are allowed to carry arms and directly engage enemy forces. Many Special Forces medics feel more akin to the infantry aspects of their jobs than they do the medical aspects. After some of the knock down drag out fire fights in OEF/OIF they felt shortchanged receiving a medical badge while their buddies received the CIB.
I was at a county fair 5 years ago and there was a young couple making up custom license plates.
The next day I brought my "Vietnam Service Medal" ribbon and asked if they could make a VSM on a license plate. They did and did it with some sort of tape. I had my doubts about the different colored tapes holding up, but the plate is still on my truck.
I think just having served is something to be proud of, regardless of recognition for valor or gallantry.
"Special Forces medics differ from their regular Army counterparts in that they are allowed to carry arms and directly engage enemy forces."
Our Army medics carried M16s. Something must have changed since then.
In the AF (I am most familiar with those rules, back in the day) medical types carried special Geneva Convention ID cards and were not allowed to carry 'offensive' weapons - pistol OK, M-16, no. I said 'screw that', carried a GAU 5 and a 45. - my ID card looked like everyone elses.
I beleive most SOF medics have more than one job (cross-trained) so the change in the CMB makes sense. at least IMO.
In my experience, Army medics (91B/W) always carried 9mm pistols for self defence, but as ASOC stated, due to their status under the Geneva Convention they were not supposed to carry offensive weapons. Maybe since OEF/OIF the rules have been bent a little to include the M-16 for self defense. Special Forces medics are "shooters" first and medics second.
"A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon"
One of our medics was a CO, but all the others carried M16s.
After the CO medic was dusted off, I distinctly remember hearing our Captain tell someone in the rear that he did not want any more medics who could not carry arms.
I had no idea that the Geneva Convention had provisions for this. Our unit used mechanical ambushes, and at that time we did know they were against the Geneva Convention.
I believe that the policy changed after Operation Just Cause in 1989. James Markwell was a combat medic in 1st Ranger Battalion. He was killed in action by direct fire, during the initial assault. He was armed only with a 9mm and he had expended all ammunition. I believe that was a catalyst for the change to medics carrying rifles. Combat medics carry rifles in OIF/OEF. I do not know if this is technically proper, but it is common practice for logical reasons.
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