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Combat Action Badge
Well, it’s here and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. After much whining and complaining that soldiers in non-infantry MOS didn’t qualify for the Combat Infrantryman Badge, the Army has created the CAB. I know this is old news, but the point on this isn’t the fact that it’s a reality now.
I am now eligible for the CAB. I was with the 3/15 Infantry Battalion in Baghdad and Fallujah. I went on patrols, I went on raids, I went on cordons and searches, I got shot at, I shot back (I made it home, some bad guys didn’t). And so did my soldiers. Unfortunately, during these firefights I didn’t have the foresight to take pictures, write historical references, or tape record these incidents. It is now MY job to hunt down people who can vouch for the fact that I was “personally present and actively engaging or being engaged by the enemy, and performing satisfactorily in accordance with the prescribed rules of engagement.” Much like the hunt for Bin Laden, this should prove quite the manhunt. Hopefully, it will more accurately reflect the hunt for Saddam in that it will take a long time, but a glance into a small spider hole will bring success in finding that person who can vouch for us.
It shouldn’t be that hard. I was presented with a Bronze Star with V device for my actions in leading a counterambush south of Al Hillah during the war. I’m hoping that my write-up alone will be proof enough, but I doubt it. But, even if it is, there’s still the matter of my soldiers. They were awarded ARCOM with V devices. You don’t just get a “V” device for having shiny boots and close cut hair. Something valorous has to have taken place. Saving the last cold bottle of water for your NCO or chief isn’t valorous either, though it’s deserving. The enemy must be involved. It is worn “to denote participation in acts of heroism involving conflict with an armed enemy.” I’ve written them a memorandum for record so that they can present it to their commanders for acceptance (which reminds me that I need to scan it and email it). It just all seems so frivolous. I was perfectly happy. There’s a reason I never went to airborne, air assault, diver, or any other school that requires that I sew more crap onto my uniform. I’d be content just to wear my son’s camouflage pajamas without ANY patches.