New Rules For Combat Badges

August 5, 2008

First off, I want to apologize for not having anything posted since Friday. With Marty’s new job as a civilian, he travels to various military installations training Soldiers. Currently he’s working at Fort Bliss, so we took the weekend and traveled to El Paso to spend some time with him, before his youngest son has to fly back to where he lives.

As of July 22nd, new rules have been applied, for Soldiers to earn a Combat Action Badge (CAB), the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Combat Medical Badge. The new rules are retroactive to September 18, 2001. What that means is Soldiers who are no longer in the military, yet meet the new criteria, are able to apply for and obtain a combat badge. The new rules also make obtaining these badges much quicker. Among the key changes that were announced on July 22nd are:

* While not qualifying by themselves, engagement by improvised explosive devices, which include vehicle borne IEDs and similar devices - should be considered in recommendations for the award of the Combat Infantryman Badge.

* Medical personnel who are assigned, attached or under the operational control of combat aviation units are elgible for the award of the Combat Medical Badge.

* Authority to award the CIB and CMB is delegated to the colonel-level commanders, such as brigade combat team commanders.

* Authority to award the Combat Action Badge is delegated to colonel-level commanders and the commanders of regional medical centers.

* Award of the CAB is not automatic and will not be awarded solely on the basis of the award of the Purple Heart.


In making the changes, a panel of officers and NCO’s met earlier in the year to review combat badge award criteria. One of the goals of the panel was to move the awarding of the badges down to brigade level, in order to speed the process of awarding the badges to Soldiers.

“We would like to see the badges awarded as soon after the qualifying event as possible,” the awards chief, LTC Marion Salters said.


Military members applying for the badges, should use DA Form 4167 and submit the form along with supporting documentation through their command channels, to the commander who is authorized to approve the award. For veterans and retirees who qualify for the award, but no longer with military units, they should submit their requests along with supporting documentation to the Military Awards Branch of the Human Resources Command.

It’s great that the Army is recognizing that often it took an extremely long time for a Soldier to receive a Combat Badge that they deserved. I’m hoping that this will indeed streamline the process and that many who would not have qualified previously, will be able to do so now.

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