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Not Worth Reliving
Not long ago, I talked about the new Combat Action Badge and how I qualified for it. I explained just ONE incident which qualified me among the many. At the time I was told that it was an easy process with the right justification. I presented that justification and supposedly everything was moving along. In preparation for my E8 board, I had to have a DA Photo taken and wore the CAB for that picture, assured that in the four months between then and the board everything would be approved. You’d think I knew better…
For the past few months, I’ve had to submit document after testimony after memorandum after write-up explaining my actions relating to this badge. I’ve emailed, called, and written to numerous people I served with who witnessed those actions at the request of our personnel/awards section. I took in a letter from a CW2 that I served with, but that wasn’t enough. I need a letter from my commander. My commander wasn’t there. I’ve tried to contact him to no avail. All the guys with me at that time are: in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Germany, out of the Army, and who knows where else. So, they are supposed to drop their real missions in theater and type up and send me a letter? Emails to the Army’s awards branch have been ignored as well.
Well, I fought for this piece of crap once, and I’m not going to fight for it again. If two witness statements, an NCOER (job evaluation), and two valorous wartime awards aren’t proof enough, then I don’t need or want it. I don’t have anything to prove to anyone. So, I’m retaking my picture on September 7 WITHOUT the CAB. The Army personnel system needs to get their collective heads out of their fifth point of contact and start taking care of soldiers. I understand that the Army leadership doesn’t want the CAB to be given to just anyone, but if it smells like poop, looks like poop, and feels like poop, IT’S POOP!!!
Someone needs to step up and point these G1 and S1 people in the right direction and get with the act. They need to get some clear guidance from leadership instead of this arbitrary interpretation that is plaguing the current process. The only thing that serves as proof right now is the Purple Heart, with respect to awards. That’s understandable and quite obvious, since you can only get a Purple Heart by enemy contact. You’d think that an impact Bronze Star with V device written by a combatant commander and signed by a General describing your actions under fire would be enough. Nope. This little piece of metal just isn’t worth reliving or fighting for a second time.
One more thing, unrelated. If you’d like to send deployed troops a message of support, you can go HERE and submit a “Message From Home.” This is a 3rd Infantry Division specific site, so if you’d rather send a message to other soldiers, go HERE instead.