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Gen. MacArthur's CIB


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#1 Bluehawk

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 06:11 AM

Does anyone have access to the orders by which General Douglas MacArthur was granted his Combat Infantry Badge?

Or, does any one know how he got that? My understanding is that General officers were/are not eligible, and that the CIB was not awarded at a time when he would have been Colonel or below.

Trying to clear up some difference of opinion about this, so any guidance would be appreciated.

#2 Gil Sanow

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 06:53 AM

I suspect it would have been honorary rather than official.

G

#3 Jack's Son

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 07:14 AM

I suspect it would have been honorary rather than official.

G

Gil,
If it were honory, shouldn't that be pointed out some where?
Perhaps in his biography.

#4 Bob Hudson

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 07:36 AM

There is an interesting commentary about MacArthur wearing all sorts of decorations that of questionable eligibility: http://thesmokingun....ue-case-of.html

#5 Bluehawk

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 07:38 AM

Thanks guys...

There is always the possibility that it (like numerous other recognitions) could have been given by just about any commander above him, but...

#6 bobgee

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 08:13 AM

Blackhawk - Thanks for the question.....and Forum Support for a most interesting and thought-provoking link!
Bobgee

#7 LtRGFRANK

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 08:24 AM

The thing about Him and the phillipines is that instead of meeting the Japanese on the beaches where we outnumbered them he reverted to WWI thinking and pulled his forces back to WWI style forts where the Japanese surrounded and shelled and waited til the US ran out of supplies Had he net them headon there might have been a different outcome. The Marines proved we could beat them headon. Robert

#8 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 08:29 AM

There is an interesting commentary about MacArthur wearing all sorts of decorations that of questionable eligibility: http://thesmokingun....ue-case-of.html



Quite enlightening - a worthy read for all!

#9 seanmc1114

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 09:19 AM

Thanks guys...

There is always the possibility that it (like numerous other recognitions) could have been given by just about any commander above him, but...

Maybe, but how many commanders were there above MacArthur in WWII? George C. Marshall. Anyone else?

#10 kjones5452

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 09:58 AM

I always felt the MOH was a bogus award but I wouldn't think that even he would have the gall to wear the CIB which,by the way,
I had no idea he had until today,when I read this.

#11 seanmc1114

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 10:02 AM

I always felt the MOH was a bogus award but I wouldn't think that even he would have the gall to wear the CIB which,by the way,
I had no idea he had until today,when I read this.

I have seen references saying he received a CIB and there is a picture of one of his uniforms ina museum display with a CIB somewhere on this forum, but does anyone know if MacArthur ever actually wore a CIB anywhere in public?

#12 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 10:13 AM

I have seen references saying he received a CIB and there is a picture of one of his uniforms ina museum display with a CIB somewhere on this forum, but does anyone know if MacArthur ever actually wore a CIB anywhere in public?


http://www.usmilitar...d...st&p=483898

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#13 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 10:20 AM

http://www.usmilitar...d...ost&p=16198

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#14 Bluehawk

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 11:42 AM

Maybe, but how many commanders were there above MacArthur in WWII? George C. Marshall. Anyone else?

Now that you mention it... gulp :blink:

#15 Gil Sanow

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 12:01 PM

Gil,
If it were honory, shouldn't that be pointed out some where?
Perhaps in his biography.


Perhaps his biographers chose to ignore the situation.

G

#16 tredhed2

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 12:03 PM

Perhaps his biographers chose to ignore the situation.

G


Or were ordered to ignore the situation.

#17 kjones5452

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 12:57 PM

I just wonder for which conflict, WW2 or Korea?
And I would REALLY like to see the paperwork.
I betcha this,if it was WW2 he probably would have
added a star after Korea.

#18 USAFnav

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 03:11 PM

For what it's worth, General Joseph Stillwell was awarded the CIB on his deathbed -- he had always wanted one, had actually served in combat in at least one instance in WWII (an action for which he was awarded the DSC). It was awarded by Secretary of War Robert Patterson on Oct 11, 1945. Stillwell died the next day. See Barbara Tuchman, Stillwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-1945, p. 528.
Pete

#19 kjones5452

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 03:27 PM

I have absoutely no problem with "Vinegar Joe" having it.

#20 dogfacedsoldier

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 03:35 PM

Hello,

I think it would have to do with his actions in WWI. He had a pretty incredible career in WWI, where he won some of his highest decorations. I know other officers wore CIB's based on their infantry experience in combat in WWI. SLA Marshal wore one based on his "battle experience " in WWI, of course he wasn't even in the infantry in WWI. Enlisted mule handler or something like it. I can't say how widespread the wearing of the CIB was by WWI vets during WWII, but some of them wear it, now official or unofficial I cannot say, but I think it would have been unofficial. Who was going to tell a 5 star general MacArthur what decorations he could wear.

Jon

#21 Gil Sanow

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 03:41 PM

That's fine, but one will find it very difficult to find any photo of him wearing any ribbons after he retired as chief of staff before he went to the PI. Even when he appeared before Congress when he came home from Korea, he wore only stars. I don't think he wore his 5-star eagles on his shoulder loops, and I am not sure he even wore US's on the collars.

G

#22 Bluehawk

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 08:17 PM

Well... when all is said and done, if he was not authorized to wear it, then even a 5 Star General would be subject to the Stolen Valor Act today.

His combat performance in WWI is said to have been unusually outstanding in the field (a DSC and 7 silver stars!), under conditions which would have qualified for a CIB. If he got it for WWII or Korea, then he was not at all qualified either by regulations or by not having lifted a weapon in combat.

But then, the pesky regulations remain as they were and are. I suppose it shows some measure of humility that his particular CIB is "only" a first award.

West Point plaque

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Edited by Bluehawk, 17 August 2010 - 08:22 PM.


#23 kjones5452

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 09:29 PM

Seems odd that his personal West Point honor system took somewhat of a back seat when awards were involved.

#24 tredhed2

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 09:58 PM

Well... when all is said and done, if he was not authorized to wear it, then even a 5 Star General would be subject to the Stolen Valor Act today.

His combat performance in WWI is said to have been unusually outstanding in the field (a DSC and 7 silver stars!), under conditions which would have qualified for a CIB. If he got it for WWII or Korea, then he was not at all qualified either by regulations or by not having lifted a weapon in combat.

But then, the pesky regulations remain as they were and are. I suppose it shows some measure of humility that his particular CIB is "only" a first award.

West Point plaque


By your logic, he "qualified" based upon retroactive recognition of his WW I performance, whether or not "pesky regulations" exist.

The Combat Medic's Badge was awarded only to combat medics assigned/attached to infantry units during WW II. This was amended later to included medics assigned to other ground combat arms units; however, this amendment is not retroactive.

#25 seanmc1114

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 04:37 AM

By your logic, he "qualified" based upon retroactive recognition of his WW I performance, whether or not "pesky regulations" exist.

The Combat Medic's Badge was awarded only to combat medics assigned/attached to infantry units during WW II. This was amended later to included medics assigned to other ground combat arms units; however, this amendment is not retroactive.

Exactly right. I don't think Bluehawk was suggesting that MacArthur's CIB was earned for his WWI service but that his actions in WWI were of the type that would later qualify for the award after it was created. There were lots of combat infantrymen in WWI but not a single one of them rated a CIB for that war because it did not exist then and when created it was only retroactive to December 7, 1941.

Here's my point in this discussion. Despite the specific regulations for the CIB, you will always hear stories of people who received it but probably shouldn't have and everyone can have their opinions. Personally, if the intent of the badge truly was to honor those grunts who suffered and sacrificed day after day on the front lines, facing not only the enemy but also the elements, disease, fear, loneliness and boredom that went along with the inherent dangers of being in combat, then I doubt most brigade/regimental commanders and senior NCO's and even many battalion commanders truly lived the life the award was intended to recognize. Yes, they may have been shot at on occasion, but they didn't really live the foxhole life. Nevertheless, under the regulations, they qualified.

On the other hand, it does not matter what kind of combat MacArthur saw in WWII. He simply did not qualify for the CIB because it was restricted to soldiers with an infantry MOS in the rank of Colonel and below serving in a unit of brigade/regimental size or smaller. There was never a time in WWII that MacArthur was not a general officer and thus he did not meet the maximum grade requirements or the MOS requirement. Nor was he assigned to an infantry unit. He simply did not meet three of the absolutely basic requirements of the award.

Let's face it, general officers did see combat and some were even killed in action. In WWII, Lesley J. McNair was killed by friendly fire while observing the Allied breakout in Normandy, Simon B. Buckner was killed by Japanese artillery on Okinawa and Maurice Rose was killed by enemy small arms fire in Germany. The example of Joseph Stillwell receiving the CIB has already been mentioned. But his award was specifically made as an exception to the rule. You can debate the merits of that decision but it was done. Until I see some authority that says such a waiver was made for MacArthur, as far as I'm concerned he did not earn the CIB.


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