The Combat Infantryman Badge
Paragraph 2-6, Army Regulation
600-8-22 (Military Awards)
25 February 1995
(2) Originally, the Regimental Commander was the lowest level at which the CIB could be approved and its award was retroactive to 7 December 1941. There was a separate provision for badge holders to receive a $10 per month pay stipend, which was rescinded in 1948. Several factors led to the creation of the CIB, some of the most prominent factors are as follows:
(b) Of all soldiers, it was recognized that the infantryman continuously operated under the worst conditions and performed a mission which was not assigned to any other soldier or unit.
(c) The infantry, a small portion of the total Armed Forces, was suffering the most casualties while receiving the least public recognition.
(d) General Marshall's well known affinity for the ground forces soldier and, in particular, the infantryman. All these factors led to the establishment of the CIB, an award which would provide special recognition of the unique role of the Army infantryman, the only soldier whose daily mission is to close with and destroy the enemy and to seize and hold terrain. The badge was intended as an inducement for individuals to join the infantry while serving as a morale booster for infantrymen serving in every theater.
(3) In developing the CIB, the War Department did not dismiss out of hand or ignore the contributions of other branches. Their vital contributions to the overall war effort were certainly noted, but it was decided that other awards and decorations were sufficient to recognize their contributions. From the beginning, Army leaders have taken care to retain the badge for the unique purpose for which it was established and to prevent the adoption of any other badge which would lower its prestige. At the close of World War II, our largest war in which the armor and artillery played key roles in the ground campaigns, a review was conducted of the CIB criteria with consideration being given to creating either additional badges or authorizing the badge to cavalry and armor units. The review noted that any change in policy would detract from the prestige of the badge.
(2) The definition or requirement to be "engaged in active ground combat" has generated much dialogue over the years as to the original intent of the CIB.
(b) A War Department determination in October 1944 specified that "action against the enemy" for purposes of award of the CIB was to be interpreted as "ground combat against enemy ground forces."
(c) In 1948, the regulation governing badges stipulated that "battle participation credit is not sufficient; the unit must have been in contact with the enemy." This clearly indicated that an exchange of hostile fire or equivalent personal exposure was the intent of the Army leadership.
(d) In 1963 and 1965 HQDA messages to the senior Army commander in the Southeast Asia theater of operations authorized award of the CIB to otherwise qualified personnel "provided they are personally present and under fire." U.S. Army Vietnam regulations went so far as to require documentation of the type and intensity of enemy fire encountered by the soldier. The intended requirement to be "personally present and under fire" has not changed.
c. Specific eligibility requirements
(2) A recipient must be personally present and under hostile fire while serving in an assigned infantry or special forces primary duty, in a unit actively engaged in ground combat with the enemy. The unit in question can be of any size smaller than brigade. For example, personnel possessing an infantry MOS in a rifle squad of a cavalry platoon in a cavalry troop would be eligible for award of the CIB. Battle or campaign participation credit alone is not sufficient; the unit must have been in active ground combat with the enemy during the period.
(3) Personnel with other than an infantry or special forces MOS are not eligible, regardless of the circumstances. The infantry or special forces SSI or MOS does not necessarily have to be the soldier's primary specialty, as long as the soldier has been properly trained in infantry or special forces tactics, possesses the appropriate skill code, and is serving in that specialty when engaged in active ground combat as described above. Commanders are not authorized to make any exceptions to this policy.
(4) Awards will not be made to general officers nor to members of headquarters companies of units larger in size than brigade.
d. Subsequent awards.
(2) Second and third awards of the CIB are indicated by superimposing 1 and 2 stars respectively, centered at the top of the badge between the points of the oak wreath.
e. Special provisions - Republic of Vietnam
(2) In addition, any officer, warrant officer, or enlisted man whose branch is other than infantry, who under appropriate orders was assigned to advise a unit listed in (4) and (5) below or was assigned as a member of a White Star Mobile Training Team or a member of MAAG-Laos as indicated in f (l) and (2) below will be eligible for award of the CIB provided all other requirements have been met.
(3) After 1 December 1967 for service in the Republic of Vietnam, noncommissioned officers serving as Command Sergeants Major of infantry battalions and brigades for periods of at least 30 consecutive days in a combat zone are eligible for award of the CIB provided all other requirements have been met.
(4) Subsequent to 1 March 1961, a soldier must have been-
(b) Assigned as advisor of an irregular force comparable to the above infantry units under similar conditions.
(c) Personally present and under fire while serving in an assigned primary duty as a member of a tactical advisory team while the unit participated in ground combat
(5) Subsequent to 24 May 1965, to qualify for the CIB, personnel serving in U.S. units must meet the requirements of c (l) above. Individuals who performed liaison duties with the Royal Thai Army or the Army of the Republic of Korea combat units in Vietnam are eligible for award of the badge provided they meet all other requirements.
f. Laos - From 19 April 1961 to 6 October 1962 a soldier must have been- '
(2) A member of MAAG-Laos assigned as an advisor to a region or zone of FAR, or while serving with irregular type forces of regimental or smaller size.
(3) Personally under hostile fire while assigned as specified in (1) or (2) above.
g. Dominican Republic - From 28 April 1965 to 21 September 1966, the soldier must have met the criteria prescribed in b and c above.
h. Korea - Subsequent to 4 January 1969, a soldier must have-
(2) Been assigned to an infantry unit of company or smaller size and must be an infantry officer in the grade of captain or lower. Warrant officers and enlisted men must possess an infantry MOS. In the case of an officer whose basic branch is other than infantry who, under appropriate orders, has commanded an infantry company or smaller size infantry unit for at least 30 days, the award may be made provided all the following requirements are met .
(3) Been engaged with the enemy in the hostile fire area or in active ground combat involving an exchange of small arms fire at least 5 times.
(4) Been recommended personally by each commander in the chain of command and approved at division level. If killed or wounded as a direct result of overt enemy action, he must be recommended personally by each commander in the chain of command and approved at division level. In the case of infantrymen killed by enemy action, the requirement for at least 5 engagements ((3) above) and the requirement for the incident to have taken place in the hostile fire area, including the 60-day requirement ((1) above), will be waived. In the case of individuals wounded, even though outside the hostile fire area, the 5 engagements requirement and the 60 day requirement may be waived when it can be clearly established that the wound was a direct result of overt hostile action.
(5) Been eligible for award of the CIB after 4 January 1969, for service in the Republic of Vietnam, as noncommissioned officers serving as Command Sergeants Major of infantry battalions and brigades for periods of at least 30 consecutive days in a combat zone.
i. Grenada (Operation URGENT FURY) - From 22 October 1983 to 21 November 1983, the soldier must have met the criteria prescribed in b and c above.
j. Panama (Operation JUST CAUSE) - From 20 December 1989 to 31 January 1990, the soldier must have met the criteria prescribed in b and c above. Special forces personnel (less the special forces medical sergeant) are eligible for the CIB effective 20 December 1989. Retroactive awards are not authorized.
k. Persian Gulf War (Operation DESERT STORM) - From 17 January 1991 to 11 April 1991, the soldier must have met the criteria prescribed in b and c above. Retroactive awards are not authorized.
l. Who may award.
(2) Retroactive awards. Retroactive awards of the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Combat Medical Badge may be made to fully qualified individuals. Such awards will not be made except where evidence of injustice is presented. Active duty soldiers will forward their applications through command channels to Commander PERSCOM, ATTN: TAPC-PDA, Alexandria, VA 22332-0471. Reserve Component soldiers, retirees, and veterans should address their application to Commander, ARPERCEN, ATTN; DARP-PAS-EAW, 9700 Page Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63132-5200.