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The Combat Infantryman Badge


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Michael,

Basically the individual who earns the CIB has to be an infantryman, assigned to an infantry unit and actively engaged in combat on the ground.

 

While the ordnance unit that you referred to may have been attacked and they successfully fought off the enmy, they could not earn the CIB because they were not infantrymen and it was not an infantry unit. The infantry unit has to be at Regiment or Brigade level or smaller. Because the unit is assigned to an infantry division, this will not qulify them for a CIB.

 

There are some gray areas to this, but basically it must be an infantryman in an infantry unit being shot at in ground combat.

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So in a a sense only nfantrymen would get this glorious award. Even if an artileeryy company or a engineer battalion had the same offensive or defensive.They could not be awarded it?Thats kind of messed up in a way..what kind of badge could they have earned froma situation like that??None,right?

Regards,

 

Michael Sweeney--Researcher and Collector of WW2 77TH Division

If you have any named items to a 77th Division Soldier please contact me!!!

 

In memoroy of my Grandfather

Eugene Henry Sweeney

1st Lieutenant of the 306th

Infantry Regiment Company L -

Veteran of Guam and Leyte

 

 

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So in a a sense only nfantrymen would get this glorious award. Even if an artileeryy company or a engineer battalion had the same offensive or defensive.They could not be awarded it?Thats kind of messed up in a way..what kind of badge could they have earned froma situation like that??None,right?

 

Correct. During WWII, there was no other badge other than the Combat Medical Badge that denoted close combat. Even getting the CMB for medics was tough. Origianlly medics were not authorized combat pay as they were considered non-combatants.

 

 

The Combat Action Badge (CAB) is the award that is currently issued to those non-infantrymen or medics who are engaged in combat with the enemy.

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" We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. "

View my website honoring the men and women of Indiana: http://indianavets.wix.com/indiana-at-war and follow my updates on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/IndianaModernAgeofWar/
Interested in US uniforms? Join the Association of American Military Uniform Collectors! http://aamuc.org/or find us on Facebook! facebook.com/AAMUC.ORG

 

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The CIB was created to recognize infantry soldiers who had experienced combat. This was because infantry soldiers suffered the most casualties during wartime. The Combat Medic Badge is similar in that it was created to recognize medics serving in combat who also suffered from extremely high casualty rates.

 

If memory serves me correct it was awarded to any infantry soldier who engaged the enemy in a combat zone or who served in a combat zone for 30 days or more. I could be wrong but I believe it was also awarded to infantry soldiers at Battalion level or lower. During the Gulf War we had some infantry officers who were assigned as staff officers at Brigade level and who were ineligible for the CIB.

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very interesting,i never really had thought about it before and i guess goodthing I brought it up because I never truely knew this. Thanks guys!

Regards,

 

Michael Sweeney--Researcher and Collector of WW2 77TH Division

If you have any named items to a 77th Division Soldier please contact me!!!

 

In memoroy of my Grandfather

Eugene Henry Sweeney

1st Lieutenant of the 306th

Infantry Regiment Company L -

Veteran of Guam and Leyte

 

 

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It may have been unit policy to require a minimum amount of time in combat, i.e. 30 days, but there has never been a minimum time policy in the Army Regulations regarding CIBs.

 

You can look at my website at: http://36thair3ad.homestead.com/CIB.html for info on the CIB,and the Army's Institute of Heraldry at: http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/Badges/U...sArmyBadges.htm for more info on the CIB, CMB, and CAB.

 

Steve

Collecting 3rd Armored Division items of all kinds from all eras, specializing in the 36th Armored Infantry Regiment.

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So in a a sense only nfantrymen would get this glorious award. Even if an artileeryy company or a engineer battalion had the same offensive or defensive.They could not be awarded it?Thats kind of messed up in a way..what kind of badge could they have earned froma situation like that??None,right?

 

What's so "glorious" about getting shot at?

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The CIB was created to recognize infantry soldiers who had experienced combat. This was because infantry soldiers suffered the most casualties during wartime. The Combat Medic Badge is similar in that it was created to recognize medics serving in combat who also suffered from extremely high casualty rates.

 

If memory serves me correct it was awarded to any infantry soldier who engaged the enemy in a combat zone or who served in a combat zone for 30 days or more. I could be wrong but I believe it was also awarded to infantry soldiers at Battalion level or lower. During the Gulf War we had some infantry officers who were assigned as staff officers at Brigade level and who were ineligible for the CIB.

 

During WW II, the CIB was also worth points under ARS. It was also an unintended way to "even" things outs, as air crews received Air Medals for flight missions, while ground forces received nothing for "ground patrols". Awards and decorations were worth points under ARS, and the more points a serviceman or woman had, the sooner they returned home.

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Quite ironic. My father was in an Artillery battalion that was part of an Infantry Division and he was a Forward Observer, which meant he went on patrol with infantry platoons. But he would not have been eligible for the CIB.

 

On the other hand, an artilleryman who climbed into a light observation plane and flew missions as an Airborne Forward Observer could be awarded an Airman's Medal.

 

Steve

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In WWII the CIB could be awarded to non infantry units, people who volunteered to fight as infantry during the Battle of the Bulge, Black personel who volunteered as infantry from other branches as Fifth Platoon members, many of them had been in supply and engineers units. In the CBI engineer and Cavalry units (124th Cav) who fought with Merrill's Maruaders and the Mars Task Force recieved CIB's. I believe after the War, they changed the rules a bit making the CIB for infantry units and Cavalry units fighting as infantry. Non infantry units such as engineers and others were no longer eligible, even if they fought as infantry.

 

 

Jon

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In WWII the CIB could be awarded to non infantry units, people who volunteered to fight as infantry during the Battle of the Bulge, Black personel who volunteered as infantry from other branches as Fifth Platoon members, many of them had been in supply and engineers units. In the CBI engineer and Cavalry units (124th Cav) who fought with Merrill's Maruaders and the Mars Task Force recieved CIB's. I believe after the War, they changed the rules a bit making the CIB for infantry units and Cavalry units fighting as infantry. Non infantry units such as engineers and others were no longer eligible, even if they fought as infantry.

Jon

 

 

Thats pretty interesting,something I never knew before.Thanks Jon

Regards,

 

Michael Sweeney--Researcher and Collector of WW2 77TH Division

If you have any named items to a 77th Division Soldier please contact me!!!

 

In memoroy of my Grandfather

Eugene Henry Sweeney

1st Lieutenant of the 306th

Infantry Regiment Company L -

Veteran of Guam and Leyte

 

 

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What's so "glorious" about getting shot at?

 

 

You miss interpreted my words,I only meant that for such bravery and courage that a non infantry unit shows while in combat that is the same as an infatryman he should fairly be awarded the same "glorious-achieving Medal"

Nothing is "Glorious"about being shot at the but for what they went threw they deserve the same glorious medal that was presented to the infantry men.

Regards,

 

Michael Sweeney--Researcher and Collector of WW2 77TH Division

If you have any named items to a 77th Division Soldier please contact me!!!

 

In memoroy of my Grandfather

Eugene Henry Sweeney

1st Lieutenant of the 306th

Infantry Regiment Company L -

Veteran of Guam and Leyte

 

 

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Things have changed drasticaly since WWII as far as the CIB award criteria goes. What used to be 30 days in WWII got widdled down to 24 hours by the time Panama kicked in. I remember running into a pair of 7th ID infantrymen at Travis right after Panama. Both were sporting CIB's. I asked them how they got them and they gave me the 24 hours explanation. It makes sense since up until Iraq, it was impossible to get 30 days in a combat zone. Either way, whoever earns the CIB, CMB or CAB gets my respect!

 

-Ski

In Memory Of......
Pte Harold Griffiths, 1805, 1/6th Manchester Regt, KIA June 4th, 1915 in Gallipoli
Cpl Isaac Judges, 40494, 6th East Yorkshire Regt, KIA October 3rd, 1917 in Ypres
May they rest in peace.....

MSgt - USAF Retired

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"...an Airborne Forward Observer could be awarded an Airman's Medal."

 

I think you mean the Air Medal.

 

You know what he meant! ;)

 

-Ski

In Memory Of......
Pte Harold Griffiths, 1805, 1/6th Manchester Regt, KIA June 4th, 1915 in Gallipoli
Cpl Isaac Judges, 40494, 6th East Yorkshire Regt, KIA October 3rd, 1917 in Ypres
May they rest in peace.....

MSgt - USAF Retired

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Either way, whoever earns the CIB, CMB or CAB gets my respect!

 

-Ski

 

 

I agree completly

Regards,

 

Michael Sweeney--Researcher and Collector of WW2 77TH Division

If you have any named items to a 77th Division Soldier please contact me!!!

 

In memoroy of my Grandfather

Eugene Henry Sweeney

1st Lieutenant of the 306th

Infantry Regiment Company L -

Veteran of Guam and Leyte

 

 

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Would someone please post a scan of the appropriate reg that rquires 30 days in combat for award of the CIB?

 

This is a common belief, but I've never seen it in print in an official Army-wide regulation or publication.

 

I believe the 30-day rule may have been a local unit poilicy only.

Collecting 3rd Armored Division items of all kinds from all eras, specializing in the 36th Armored Infantry Regiment.

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There were exceptions, as has already been pointed out, such as the 124 Cav etc.

 

Also IIRC there were Artillerymen of the 101stAB (I can't remember the Batt) that were awarded the CIB for Normandy as they fought as infantry due to the fact that non of their guns were assembled and working after landing. I also believe that after the war DA rescinded award of the CIB to these men.

 

During the early part of the Vietnam conflict, that designated as the "Advisory Period", all members of Special Forces regardless of the branch, that were attached to A Detachments were awarded CIB. The same goes for SF members of SOG RTs and STs and Hatchet teams.

 

Incidentally there are a few SF soldiers during the Vietnam period who were awarded both the CIB and also the CMB.

Written contributor to French Militaria Magazine, UK World War II Re-enactors Magazine &The Karkee Web Research Team.

Remembering the service of:
9095 Pte Alfred Fredrick NEWLAND, 7th Field Ambulance, 2 Division, AIF. WIA 16/11/16 France.
436 Private Albert McCANN, B Company 8th Battalion AIF. Enlisted 26/8/14. Killed in Action 17/6/15 Gallipoli.
VX24056 Gunner George Edward McCANN, 2/3 Composite Anti Aircraft Regiment. Enlisted 7/6/40. Discharged 3/8/44. Served in Australia and New Guinea.



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Would someone please post a scan of the appropriate reg that rquires 30 days in combat for award of the CIB?

 

This is a common belief, but I've never seen it in print in an official Army-wide regulation or publication.

 

I believe the 30-day rule may have been a local unit poilicy only.

 

I can't scan it, but this link and reference may contribute to the misunderstanding about the 30 day policy: www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r600_8_22.pdf is the link to the current version (11 DEC 2006) of AR 600-8-22, Army Awards. Per para 8-6e(1), page 99:

"e. The special provisions authorized for the Vietnam Conflict, Laos, and Korea on the DMZ are outlined below.

(1) During the Vietnam Conflict, any officer whose basic branch is other than infantry who, under appropriate orders, has commanded a line infantry (other than a headquarters unit) unit of brigade, regimental, or smaller size for at least 30 consecutive days is deemed to have been detailed in infantry and is eligible for award of the CIB notwithstanding absence of a written directive detailing that Soldier in the infantry, provided all other requirements for the award have been met. Orders directing the officer to assume command will be confirmed in writing at the earliest practicable date."

 

I don't see a requirement in para 8-6b (page 98-99) for 30 consecutive days in combat for award of the CIB. It appears the 30 consecutive days requirement was unique to non-infantrymen who commanded line infantry companies during the VN conflict, as I read this. It's an interesting point to discuss, and I wonder what the regulatory requirements for award of the CIB were during the VN Conflict? Apparently, the period reference was US Army Vietnam Regulation 672-1, per the info at boards.law.af.mil/ARMY/BCMR/CY2006/20060005828C070205.doc but I haven't yet found a copy of the reg online.

 

There's a transcription of the 1995 version of AR 600-8-22, para 2-6 at www.amervets.com/replacement/cib.htm#isr which provides some interesting insight to the history of the CIB, and approval. In the interest of brevity, I won't copy and paste it here.

 

HTH,

Thrasher

I remember:

Chris Ingrassia (9/11) CPT Tristan Aitken (OIF, 2003)

MAJ Paul Syverson (OIF, 2004) CPT Tom Miller (OIF, 2005)

SSG Scottie Bright (OIF, 2005) CPT Chris Petty (OIF, 2006)

MAJ Hurley Shields (OIF, 2008)

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________


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The award of the CIB/CMB, without a corresponding award for other MOSs was a point of some controversy, even in WW2 (http://ourvoice.legion.org/story/280/retroactive-combat-action-badges-pushed is the fastest insight to this I can pull up; wish I could pull up a 2004/05 Army Times). I'm surprised by Jon's comment above "In WWII the CIB could be awarded to non infantry units, people who volunteered to fight as infantry during the Battle of the Bulge, Black personel who volunteered as infantry from other branches as Fifth Platoon members, many of them had been in supply and engineers units" and would like to know a reference for that statement. That exact controversy grew over time, and eventually contributed to (lead to?) the creation of the Combat Action Badge in 2005 for other MOSs.

 

After doing a little research tonight, I'm glad the CIB requirement didn't change with the addition of the CAB. Both the 2006 [para 8-6b(2)] and 1995 [para 2-6c(2)] versions of AR 600-8-22 require "a recipient must be personally present and under hostile fire..." and it's corrollary in 2006's para 8-8c(3) about eligibility for the CAB "Soldier must be personally present and actively engaging or being engaged by the enemy..." is essentially the same as the CIB. That said, my opinion and $4 will get a cup of coffee at Starbuck's:)

 

Thrasher

I remember:

Chris Ingrassia (9/11) CPT Tristan Aitken (OIF, 2003)

MAJ Paul Syverson (OIF, 2004) CPT Tom Miller (OIF, 2005)

SSG Scottie Bright (OIF, 2005) CPT Chris Petty (OIF, 2006)

MAJ Hurley Shields (OIF, 2008)

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________


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Yes, it was probably controversial then, but I've talked to some people who were in the engineer units involved at the battle of Mych. (CBI), and they said they had recieved the CIB, and I have had two engineer uniforms from those units involved, and they had CIB on them. I currently have a 1st Cav. uniform from WWII with a CIB on it, although I know they weren't authorized such during the war. I know the same is true of the Black troops involved in the formation of the Fifth platoons, I have seen their uniforms and they were also awarded CIB's. Virtually none of these men had been infantrymen. They played loose with a lot of regs in WWII. I talked to a man who fought in the Bulge, who fought as an infantryman in the Bulge. They were awarded the CIB, and it was later rescinded, and reawarded and rescinded. He stayed in the Army after the war. The regs say one thing, and the people in charge did otherwise. I know in the Korean War, when things were desperate, they asked for volunteers for combat in Korea and some Army band members volunteered, and were awarded CIB's forr action, and I doubt that they ever officially infantrymen on their records, although it may have been switch. This individual wrote about his experiences, and he had been a member of the 24th Inf. Div. band. Were the awards controversial, I would say yes, but the people in the field saw it differently than did the people who sat at desks. I did a lot of oral interviews with vets at one time, including an MOH winner for the breakout at Anzio. I heard a lot of things, some of which today would create a real stir. I heard one such comment from a member of the 517th AB, and what he said they did was in Italy (Rome), just prior to the Southern France invasion. I can't repeat it, because I do not want to cause a real controversy. Sorry for really mentioning it, but I heard the story firsthand, and it was confirmed by another member of the 517th. It is not about the award of anything, it is about the conduct of American forces in Rome.

 

 

Jon

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Jon,

 

Thanks for the follow-up. Like you, I've heard vets tell stories that made me think "sir, shhhh, don't say that publicly, you'll get in trouble" (the ones I'm thinking of were 29th Division vets who survived Omaha). Also like you, I'm not comfortable with repeating that particular story.

 

On the approval of awards and badges, I think that approval was kept at MUCH lower levels during WW2, facilitating the common-sense approach; I'd bet it was the same in Korea. For example, CIBs were approved at the regimental commander-level, where today it's the corps commander (in 2003 it was the brigade commander). I guess that's just an example of the regs changing over time.

 

Thrasher

I remember:

Chris Ingrassia (9/11) CPT Tristan Aitken (OIF, 2003)

MAJ Paul Syverson (OIF, 2004) CPT Tom Miller (OIF, 2005)

SSG Scottie Bright (OIF, 2005) CPT Chris Petty (OIF, 2006)

MAJ Hurley Shields (OIF, 2008)

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________


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Yes, it was probably controversial then, but I've talked to some people who were in the engineer units involved at the battle of Mych. (CBI), and they said they had recieved the CIB, and I have had two engineer uniforms from those units involved, and they had CIB on them. I currently have a 1st Cav. uniform from WWII with a CIB on it, although I know they weren't authorized such during the war. I know the same is true of the Black troops involved in the formation of the Fifth platoons, I have seen their uniforms and they were also awarded CIB's. Virtually none of these men had been infantrymen. They played loose with a lot of regs in WWII. I talked to a man who fought in the Bulge, who fought as an infantryman in the Bulge. They were awarded the CIB, and it was later rescinded, and reawarded and rescinded. He stayed in the Army after the war. The regs say one thing, and the people in charge did otherwise. I know in the Korean War, when things were desperate, they asked for volunteers for combat in Korea and some Army band members volunteered, and were awarded CIB's forr action, and I doubt that they ever officially infantrymen on their records, although it may have been switch. This individual wrote about his experiences, and he had been a member of the 24th Inf. Div. band. Were the awards controversial, I would say yes, but the people in the field saw it differently than did the people who sat at desks. I did a lot of oral interviews with vets at one time, including an MOH winner for the breakout at Anzio. I heard a lot of things, some of which today would create a real stir. I heard one such comment from a member of the 517th AB, and what he said they did was in Italy (Rome), just prior to the Southern France invasion. I can't repeat it, because I do not want to cause a real controversy. Sorry for really mentioning it, but I heard the story firsthand, and it was confirmed by another member of the 517th. It is not about the award of anything, it is about the conduct of American forces in Rome.

Jon

 

Jon,

With regards to the 1st Cav CIB, it was issued during WW2. My Dad was in the 1st Cav, 5th regt. and was awarded the CIB in October '44 for the combat in Leyte. This is confirmed on his discharge papers from Oct. '45.

Steve

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Steve,

 

I appreciate the info, I had never seen a CIB on a 1st Cav. uniform from WWII before I picked up one at a show. I'm glad to learn it was on his seperation papers, you can read in a lot of sources that Cav. did not recieve CIB's. I'm glad to be corrected, it's good to learn new things and I appreciate every thing people write and say. In a lot of ways we need to ask these questions of vets now. There is not much time left in the to talk to all the vets. The difference in age of WWII and Korean War vets is very short, and we need to increase our knowledge. Now I have never seen a Cav. Group uniform with a CIB, I've never seen one fron a Cav. Recon unit either. I assume the divisional level recon units were awarded CIB's mainly because they were infantrymen. I have an officer's grouping in the Pacific, he was an infantry officer, a Company. Commander. He ended up as a CO in a tank battalion on New Giunea. He has two battle stars, infantry insignia, and CIB, none on his seperation papers either. I have a lot of his stuff also, but all infantry insignia. I guess he was an infantry company commander in the tank battalion.

 

 

Jon

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Steve,

 

I appreciate the info, I had never seen a CIB on a 1st Cav. uniform from WWII before I picked up one at a show. I'm glad to learn it was on his seperation papers, you can read in a lot of sources that Cav. did not recieve CIB's. I'm glad to be corrected, it's good to learn new things and I appreciate every thing people write and say. In a lot of ways we need to ask these questions of vets now. There is not much time left in the to talk to all the vets. The difference in age of WWII and Korean War vets is very short, and we need to increase our knowledge. Now I have never seen a Cav. Group uniform with a CIB, I've never seen one fron a Cav. Recon unit either. I assume the divisional level recon units were awarded CIB's mainly because they were infantrymen. I have an officer's grouping in the Pacific, he was an infantry officer, a Company. Commander. He ended up as a CO in a tank battalion on New Giunea. He has two battle stars, infantry insignia, and CIB, none on his seperation papers either. I have a lot of his stuff also, but all infantry insignia. I guess he was an infantry company commander in the tank battalion.

Jon

 

Jon,

The main reason you will see them on 1st Cav. uniforms is because they were reorganized as an dismounted cavalry unit (infantry) prior to being sent to the Pacific in '43. Here is their organic organization:

 

1st Cavalry Brigade

 

Headquarters and Headquarters Troop

5th Cavalry Regiment

12th Cavalry Regiment

2d Cavalry Brigade

 

Headquarters and Headquarters Troop

7th Cavalry Regiment

8th Cavalry Regiment

 

Headquarters Troop

Military Police Platoon*

1st Signal Troop

27th Ordnance MM Company

1st Medical Squadron

8th Engineer Squadron

603d Medium Tank Company **

302d Reconnaissance Troop, Mechanized ***

 

Division Artillery

Headquarters and Headquarters Battery

61st Field Artillery Battalion (105-mm How)

82d Field Artillery Battalion (105-mm How)

99th Field Artillery Battalion (105-mm How)

271st Field Artillery Battalion (105-mm How)

 

Agree with you comments about talking to vets. My Dad died when I was a kid and he wouldn't talk about the war, even to my Mom. I think he was like most of the guys who saw combat, just wanted to get home, get their life started, and forget about it. However, he would talk to other vets and the little I know about what he did was from overhearing their conversations.

Steve

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