Why the Combat Infantryman Badge Counts

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Cory Isaacs

No one cares about the Combat Infantryman Badge, a three-inch piece of black plastic some Army infantrymen wear on their uniforms.

Everyone should care that the infantrymen who wear it risked breaking their mothers’ hearts.

They went to war and knocked on death’s door.

But by denying the deserving and awarding the undeserving, the Army tells them their sacrifice means nothing.

On paper, the Army is supposed to award the CIB to Infantry soldiers who engage the enemy or are engaged by the enemy, front-liners under hostile fire in combat zones.

On paper.

On four separate occasions, a friend of mine was in a vehicle that struck an IED. Although he walked away on each occasion, seemingly none the worse for wear, after the fourth time a 30,000-pound, up-armored, hull-bottomed truck disintegrated around him, he was MEDEVAC-ed to ensure he hadn’t suffered a traumatic brain injury.

He did not receive a CIB.

Another friend’s vehicle hit an IED once. Although he too was uninjured, he was so homesick that three months after the IED attack, he used the attack as an excuse to try to get back home to see his family.

He received a CIB.

Still another friend spent our deployment in tennis shoes, gimping around camp on bad feet. One night he was in his room sleeping, when an RPG screamed into camp. The explosion awoke him, and no more.

He received a CIB.

During the same RPG attack, another friend was standing outside his room, no more than seven or eight meters from the RPG’s point of impact. The blast knocked him off his feet and covered him with debris, but he escaped injury.

He did not receive a CIB.

Another friend was involved in several firefights during our deployment. Not the kind of, quote, firefights in which fleeing insurgents fire a shot or drop a mortar from a mile away on their way into the mountains. I mean actual battles, firefights in which you’re on your stomach, keeping your head down, wishing you could burrow under ground, because bullets are snapping in the air above you and mortars are falling all around you; firefights in which you shoot at enemies you can actually see, enemies who are shooting at you, enemies who are trying to kill you.

He did not receive a CIB.

Another friend was involved in only one firefight, and in that one firefight he fired his machine gun not at insurgents, but at our allies, Afghanistan National Army soldiers he mistook for insurgents. As he reported later, by way of explanation, “Hey, they looked like Taliban to me.”

He received a CIB.

Another acquaintance, left back in camp on one of our deployment’s early missions, heard over the radio that the guys out on the mission were taking contact, i.e., involved in a firefight. Mortified, he ran to his room, curled up on the floor, relieved himself in his pants, and rocked himself to sleep. Hours later, the guys who went on the mission returned to find him still curled up in his room, still rocking, still sleeping, his pants still taking contact.

He received a CIB.

Other acquaintances received CIBs because other vehicles in the convoys in which they were traveling struck an IED. Not their vehicle; someone else’s vehicle. For example, the sixth vehicle in a 12-vehicle convoy hits an IED. Someone in the first vehicle, dozens of meters in front of the blast, receives a CIB; someone in the twelfth vehicle, dozens of meters behind the blast, receives a CIB; but someone in the sixth vehicle—the blown-up vehicle—may or may not receive a CIB.

Still others received CIBs because an insurgent-fired mortar landed just inside the perimeter of a rear-echelon base at which they were staying on their way back to their own front-line camp. They weren’t hurt—no one was hurt—and the awardees were not even aware anything had happened until weeks later, when, back at their own camp, they received CIBs for being personally present at and actively participating in an engagement.

Analogies are difficult here, but this is akin to getting a CIB for being in the Bronx when somebody throws a firecracker in Brooklyn, or to getting a Tony for playing King Lear on Broadway when you deserve an Olivier for playing Richard III in the West End.

Some infantrymen even received CIBs because someone in their brigade engaged the enemy. They didn’t engage the enemy; someone in their brigade engaged the enemy.

Not someone on their fire team, three to four people; or in their squad, seven to eight people; or in their platoon, 35 to 40 people; or in their company, 150 to 170 people; or even in their battalion, maybe 600 to 700 people; someone in their brigade, usually between 2,000 and 3,000 people.

That is a CIB by six degrees of separation.

When you see a CIB on an infantryman’s chest, you should know he has seen combat. When you do not see a CIB on an infantryman’s chest, you should know he has not seen combat.

The fact that you do not know cheapens the CIB and weakens morale.

The last 10 years have taught us that although many are not willing to fight for this country, a few are willing. I wish the last 10 years would have taught us that if we mistreat those who volunteer for our all-volunteer military force, we risk that they will stop volunteering. If enough of the few stop volunteering, we will be left with only the many.

Army Specialist Cory Isaacs is a Texas lawyer and an infantryman who earned, but did not receive, his CIB. He is a member of the 2nd Infantry Division’s 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team. He recently returned from a year-long deployment to Afghanistan, and is stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The views expressed here are his own.

41 comments
Cpl_J
Cpl_J

  First of all it's not made of plastic. It's cold and steely, just like my heart. If most folks looked up the requirements of the badge most of this conversation would be useless. A lot of non infantry types want this badge. I say why? It's a badge made for infantryman. No one gives two ships about it except other grunts. It was made because every other MOS was being awarded in the same manner as those who were on the front line. In WWII when the badge was made, if you were an infantryman you were canon fodder, easily forgotten and not envied at all. There was nothing glorious about being an infantryman then and there isn't anything glorious about being an infantryman now. Just because you went to basic and they tell you everyone in the army is an infantryman doesn't really make it so. 

You have to experience the suck of being an infantryman. Infantry is often thought of as the majority of an army. It isn't. In WWII infantryman made up about 10% of total troop numbers. Just because you belonged to an infantry division doesn't make you an infantryman just as much as belonging to a special forces unit doesn't make you a special forces soldier. While the army is not the infantryman alone, we are a brotherhood that transcends the rest of the army. 


I was however in a very unique situation that had made me question the awards process of the CIB. I was in FOB Junction City and while I was an infantryman assigned to an infantry battalion, I worked with Air Defense Artillery personnel who were assigned to the battalion as infantryman. We had fought side by side as brothers doing the same duty. We were a platoon made up of a mix of infantryman and artilleryman. We were the QRF. We had participated in the first battles of Ramadi and Fallujah. When it was all said and done they were hoping to get their CIBs. While they didn't receive a CIB they had earned a Combat Action Badge. In my opinion they rated a CIB and according to the old regulation did indeed deserve it. They did still get their recognition but in all honesty the CIB is the most prestigious badge and they were deserving of it. 

I don't know what came over you but you came off as whiny and undignified. I wasn't very convinced. As a veteran I know as well as most soldiers do that you don't always get what you deserve. My father was in Nam had received lots of wounds that were common from the enemy. He didn't ask for nor did he want the Purple Heart. 

As you said no one cares if I have a CIB. No one cares if you have a CIB.  If you feel that strongly about it go out buy one and pin it on. There is no law now that prohibits that. It was struck down. To be honest if anyone came to me and told me they were a front line soldier, we'd have a lot to talk about. The last thing I would talk about is any awards I might or might not have received. 

Whatever the award, it isn't sufficient enough to recognize those who gave their life. Just be happy you're still alive and mostly functional because it's petty and unbecoming for a combat veteran to complain about awards.



ne1up
ne1up

Would anyone be able to point me in the right direction on where I would find out how many Bronze Stars WITH VALOR were given out during my unit's deployment to Afghanistan? I can be reached here or on Twitter @ne1up - appreciated!

TrueBlue85
TrueBlue85

First of all, the Combat "INFANTRYMAN'S" Badge is only reserved for Infantry and Special Forces soldiers.

If you don't like it then join the Infantry. When I joined the Infantry I had no idea what awards or badges were available, I just wanted to fight side by side against America's enemies. I just wanted to be surrounded by Hero's. Even when I was deployed I wasn't hounding my squad leader about what awards I have earned. When I got pinned my CIB I was proud, but even happier after my platoon got done beating it into my chest.

But our job wasn't over we still had work to do. I also didn't get my other awards until we redeployed home. I didn't ask for awards. I was proud enough being a Grunt, just as any Grunt should be. I didn't know anyone who didn't take the award seriously and they were slightly offended that I opted to wear my Expert Infantry Badge. I think the author is full of s#**. If you had a problem with your awards you should have brought it up to your commander and if there's serious abuse on behalf of the awards you should have called Inspector General to resolve your issues, who knows, you might have been flagged, then thus exempting you from any awards. I was in Iraq from 04-05 Task Force 2-2 1st ID. We fought all over the place including Operation Phantom Fury, Najaf, Baqubah, Muqdadiyah, Dali Abbas, Al Nasiriyah and Mosul just to name a few. My guy's would be disgusted by your inflammatory rant and disservice against all Infantrymen past and present. It is a prestige only granted to the Infantry and SF. I'm tired of hearing non-Infantry crying that they didn't get a CIB, big difference is we Infantrymen volunteered from the start to be in harms way, to close with and engage the enemy. We know and volunteer for that chosen profession. Be happy the military now offers a CAB and leave our Infantry identity alone. INFANTRY LEADS THE WAY, FOLLOW ME! 

WHY IS THE SKY BLUE?! BECAUSE GOD LOVES THE INFANTRY!     WHAT MAKES THE GREEN GRASS GROW?! BLOOD!

maybe I should ask my Scout buddies if I can wear their spur's and Stetson ? J/K SCOUT'S ! STILL LOVE YAH

KyleShelton
KyleShelton

This post should be removed for the lies it holds inside and the obvious fact that the "author" is writing this because he did not earn his CIB like the majority of real Infantrymen who engaged in combat did. If any IED struck a vehicle in 2005-2006 no one in our BRIGADE received this award.....even those INSIDE the vehicle. Only those who were on the ground sharing sweat, blood, and tears kicking doors down in the mayhem that is combat firing their weapons received this award. The drivers sitting inside the Stryker or the Vehicle Commander inside did not receive their CIB for what the guys on the ground were doing. Now, the Vehicle Commander's who had rounds hitting all around them and proceeded to engage the enemy with the .50 caliber machine gun to provide cover for those of us on the ground to maneuver and close on the enemy received this award.

To an Infantryman who earned his CIB it is coveted and also something we make sure is not just given out to anyone. Sometimes people are given awards that aren't earned, but that is just how the cookie crumbles. I know E-5's and E-6's who worked harder than any E-7/E-8 out there but only those of higher rank received a Bronze Star after the deployment. But to claim that CIB's are given out like candy is a lie and this E-4, who is probably a fat "talk rat" (sits on the FOB and does admin work because the line guys don't want him out with them) and is completely bitter he didn't earn what others did. I feel sorry for him, but would happily show him why I have earned my 3 CIB's and he has none. You know you are a lying, worthless, bitter E-4 that should be punished for questioning the integrity of the award. I earned mine and those around me earned their awards. So go tell my friends who are in wheelchairs from taking a bullet to the spine or can't use their right arm because a sniper shot him near the neck almost killing him that he doesn't deserve his award and that the CIB is worthless. You're worthless.

GeorgeMcFlurry
GeorgeMcFlurry

What I have learned about the CIB. A soldier has 3 requirements: to be assigned to an infantry unit, classified in an infantry job skill, and has passed an infantry related AIT. Units I have belonged to:

1) 6th ID, 205th BDE, 1/410 INF CO A (1979-80)(1983-89)(USAR)

2) 25th ID 45th SPTGRP USACH 84th ENGR BN (1980-83)(SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, HI)

3) The 445th TC was activated for Combat under 89th ID and assigned as support to documented 1st ID, 2nd ID, 25th ID.

4) The 445th TC was also assigned to the 18th Airbourne and upon conpletion of OIF (2004-05) reassigned to 103rd ID.

Note: For a complete list of units which the 445th TC assisted check Divisional Units locations during Oct 2004-Sep 05. Assigned to the 445th TC from Dec 2003-July 08 (USAR)

I have 5 job skills 11B, 11C, 76Y, 94B, and 88M. Instead of a CIB I was awarded a CAB, because I was in a TC unit.

RichardEllis
RichardEllis

In casual coversation I was astounded to learn that the man I was conversing with had been stationed at Schofield Barracks on on Dec. 7, 1941, served in infantry through the war in the Pacific and was awarded the CIB.  He stayed in the Army through Korea and Vietnam, and had the 2nd and 3rd awards of the CIB.

As an Army Reserve major I was walking through a garrison area of Ft. Ord and was passed, without acknowledgement or salute, by two enlisted soldiers of the 7th Infantry Division both wearing the CIB (apparently for Grenada or Panama).  I let it go as I didn't feel the need to either confront the soldiers to explain, or go to their unit to complain, that the CIB does not give the priviledge of disregarding military courtesy. (it was clear they saw me and had a conversation regarding the fact I was not wearing a CIB)

In my opinion the award of the CIB to those two, for operations that lasted less than 30 days, and their subsequent action in my presence cheapened the CIB beyond redemption, and dishonored all the veterans that truely earned this prestigious award.

RossSwinton
RossSwinton

As a Brit, I was part of US SF led counter sniper unit clearing out 'Sniper Alleys' in a 'Troubled Land'.  Obviously it was a ...get in,do the job, get out ... kind of operation.  We were assigned to various locations in this 'Troubled Land' wherever Sniper Alleys were causing bad press in the media, and for the local community.  So, on the subject if CIBs, all members of the teams were awarded CIBs regardless if nationality.  I was Infantry, I was shot at with alarming regularity, BUT because I'm not American, should I have been awarded the CIB.  Regrettably, I have lost the full size CIB but have a minuature that I wear with pride every occasion I'm required to attend an event where medals are to be worn.  I have others and am I correct tha they should be worn - from the bottom up - Air Assault; Parachutist; Bomb Disposal with CIB on the top?  Or, because I'm no American, I shouldn't wear any? But, in my defence, I did earn them and got the scars to prove it.  I do wear them on the right side along with my other non Brit awards.

CapnBill
CapnBill

Sorry but I must disagree with williwill82.  The CIB is an individual award ... and yes, sometimes maligned and not handled properly ..but never the less... it is an individual award.

I earned mine during two tours in Viet Nam.  There was never any doubt in my mind about the circumstances causing the award.  I never had any doubt or wonderment about whether or not I would receive it.  My only question was why didn't I get at least a dozen of them.  Our combat was up close and personal and required personal involvement of the highest order.  I feel that exemplifies what the CIB is all about.

I sympathize with those who didn't receive one .... perhaps the commanders with the responsibility of handling it failed in their duties.  But the CIB is not simply a handout for groups of wanna-bees.  Why spoil it for thousands because of the failures of a few.

williwill82
williwill82

Got my CIB in A-stan '09 and I was very happy (and relieved) that I got it. But my personal feeling is that the US Army needs to either name it the Infantry Badge and issue it after earning the MOS or make awarding of the CIB based on unit combat operations. The bottom line is that we have to get rid of handing out badges for being in combat based on individual incidents. I understood the reasoning behind the creation of the CIB and EIB during WWII, but it has led to folks not having their heads in the game during a deployment because many infantrymen are hell bent on getting a CIB, especially with the sporadic fighting that happens in the conflicts today, so a bunch of shenanigans go on in a number of infantry and special operations units .

The CIB is the one badge that ALL infantrymen covet because it means that you have taken your fighting skills and used it against our nation's enemies, the ultimate right of passage. Now, some people get them in various ways and some do not get them due to bureaucracy. Doing all the witness statements and waiting for someone in a office to decide whether or not to award you the badge is silly to me. Getting into a firefight is part of the job. Killing the enemy is part of the job. Getting shot at by the enemy is part of the job. Once you become an infantryman, you are a designated warfighter and nothing can change that.

Like I said, I believe in two options for getting a CIB. 1) Be a graduate of the infantry course and service as a infantryman; or 2) Award the CIB based on a unit's actual combat service (it would be an individual award for all assigned infantrymen, but it would be based on an actual operational deployment where the unit has performed combat operations). 


noncrybaby
noncrybaby

sounds like a bunch of crap he did and he got and this happen to him noting about old Cory other than he is butt hurt because he didn't get his CIB I got my Cib for getting in a fire fight in a apartment complex in Iraq no place to hide in there also just because your in a infantry unit doesn't mean your infantry after all there is always support mos's in infantry units medics cooks paper boy toilet cleaners bet old Cory was a toilet cleaner or coffee boy

Baja206
Baja206

This business with the CIB is a bunch of crap, I am a Vietnam vet 1966-1967, I was in the 272nd "COMBAT MPs" assigned to Nah Trang, I spent most of my tour in the field on TDY assignments with the 101st and 1st Air Cav. We were a support combat MP unit and engaged in combat while on security patrol on hwy 1, I have certificates from my old unit stating exemplary service while under actual combat conditions etc. (it's all worthless because even though all Military Police are actually 111b we are not allowed to wear the CIB because our MOS designation was 95b. When I applied for my VA benefits, PTSD and Tinnitus (resulting from fire fight) the VA gave me a ration of crap because I didn't have a CIB.

When is the government going to get off their buts and do the right thing and award us what we earned, I also did not receive my PH or Army Commendation because we had no medic in our unit and there fore there was no medical treatment or record.

4 of us engaged the enemy to rescue 3 others soldiers that had been ambushed and wounded, we were on mine sweep detail. at the time,  2 of the guys I was with were awarded the AC with the V, myself and  the other guy got nothing because the Sgt. in charge of the patrol who was a good half mile away at the time, decided not to put us in for it. (he however was awarded the Bronze Star with V yet he never fired a shot or got close to the action)

MitchNihart
MitchNihart

Many Soldiers suffer the pain and wounds of war and never receive the Purple Heart...

BillFerguson
BillFerguson

The CIB must  be awarded by a full bird and signed by so said combatant commander. Every situation in war  is unique; I earned my CIB in 2003 from a three star as an E-2.  I cannot stand passively mute while the award is degenerated. No matter the circumstances by which you served we respect your service particulary those who served or serve in the combat arms.

You cannot say you "earned " the award when it doesn't appear on your records. You may feel it is diminished or has significantly less value by the merits of the combat situation you were in . Judging the reaction objectively by the author he is singling out one award out of jealousy Obviously the events didn't warrant them or the soldiers would have recieved it. By your logic the same could be for any award.

I could feel that I earned a bronze star,but it is ultimately up to the senior officers to decide if it warrants it. Im sorry you feel you earned something you didn't recieve but your bias opinion actually lowers moral than the incidents you proclaim that these soldiers were not awarded.

All in all your command felt it was warranted, as we say in the grunts "sucks to be you" and drive on. I also know several former grunts with Juris Doctorates. Implying that a grunt becoming a practicioner of law is a phenomenon is a complete fallacy. Come visit DC and I will show you 20.

SATX1994
SATX1994

Well, it seems as though this article has prompted a lot of interest. As I said earlier, I enjoyed reading the article, and during the last week or so, I've enjoyed reading the comments. I've learned something...

Since I've tried to read everything carefully, I do think it reasonable to point out that the author's bio says he is a lawyer and an infantryman, and that those two claims aren't mutually exclusive. For example, I am an engineer, and if I chose to join the military as an infantryman (or a cook or a tanker or a military police officer or a sailor or whatever), I'd still be an engineer--whether or not I'm doing an engineer's job in the military. In other words, isn't it possible that the author is a lawyer who joined the Army to become an infantryman rather than a JAG officer?

In terms of specific criteria, I take it that the point of the article isn't an exhaustive study of the CIB's administrative and regulatory intricacies. Instead, the suggestion is that sometimes people who qualify for CIBs do not get them...Once again, I take it that the author and the people to whom he refers met the prerequisites for getting the CIB but did not receive the CIB.

Either way, I'm very interested in the interest this article has caused. It tells me that the CIB, perhaps the military awards system in general, is controversial.

donsipe
donsipe

The author is an absolute idiot, spouting a bunch of BS.

I attached a picture of a real CIB. It is not made of plastic, even the black version that is worn on the BDU uniform. It is made of a medal alloy. The idiot couldn't even get that right.

He tells a lot of tales and does not try to explain the criteria for being awarded the CIB.

1. To be awarded the CIB a soldier must carry the Military Occupation Speciality (MOS) of Infantry: 11A, 11B, 11C, etc. All jobs in the Army have different MOSs, everyone from the cook to a brain surgeon.

2. The individual must be an LTC, or lower in rank. 

3. The individual must be assigned to battalion sized unit or smaller. 

4. His unit of assignment must be engaged in combat situations for a minimum of 30 days. 

5. The 30 days is waived if the individual is wounded as a result of enemy action.

Without knowing the rank, MOS, unit of assignment, and timing of the individuals cited, his claims are meaningless. In his bio he claims to be a lawyer, wrong MOS, he is not entitled to the CIB, even if he had been wounded.

BTW: I proudly wear my CIB.

Don of Indy 


EliFreeman
EliFreeman

I agree that there are some who should have been awarded who weren't, but considering that only 44,000 were awarded CIB's in Iraq (that's 2% of soldiers who were there), its hard to make the case that they were giving them out indiscriminately.

StevenSwisher
StevenSwisher

I don't know what unit you've been in but it takes 2 sworn statements and a SIGACT to receive your CIB ensuring that the awardee is actually deserving in the several different unit's I've been in.  Something tells me this article is a bit off...  By the way I have 11 years in the infantry and haven't seen any of that BS the writer spewed.  Either that or he was in just one F**cked up unit. 

CorbinChesley
CorbinChesley

I recieved my CIB in an IED attack that didnt hit my vehicle in iraq. But then later on in my second deployment to Afghanistan i was in all kinds of different firefights, i always wanted to feel like i earned mine and im one of the few, one of the lucky ones that actually did. My 1SG however was about 300m behind a VBIED blast. He put himself in for a CIB but none of the other infantrymen on that convoy including the ones in his truck. The awards system in the army is most definitely corrupt

Sir_Sisyphus
Sir_Sisyphus

Nothing surprising here. Its entirely up to your Command and how corrupt they are / arent. Ours was pretty good about the CIB. There were some here or theres with the Purple Hearts, but...

AngéliqueMichelle
AngéliqueMichelle

This illustrates an obvious problem in the military, stemming not from one infantryman to another on account of whether or not he received a CIB, but rather an issue of leadership.  I would hazard to guess that there are many others who have strong opinions about the entire Awards system, let alone the countless other ineffective work processes that so many in uniform of forced to deal with on a day to day basis (while overseas on deployment or here at home on base). I applaud any individual who has the courage to write openly, & comment freely on this topic, as it's about time that Military Leadship takes a good look at its self, decides to clean house and get rid of the useless many among them and really stand up for it's people to make a true difference. Remaining silent on this issue will only continue to feed the systemic problem that needs to be addressed here. SHAME ON YOU... SHAME ON YOU! Tax payers should be all over this... 

Cb1031
Cb1031

It seems like the army is no different than any other bureaucracy. It rewards those who talk the loudest about minor achievements and overlooks those who do their job day in and day out at a higher than average performance level. It is too bad that these awards are the basis for promotion. Something definitely needs to change with this process.

Deerwood
Deerwood

I am absolutely appaled to read this. how long has this been an issue in the military? Is this an issue with the Army? this is positively shameful!

blackmamba
blackmamba

I too served next to these guys mentioned in the article. I was lucky to receive my CIB without problems from higher authority. But I will not wear it until my fellow friends get there much deserving CIB. I'm thankful that Corey has the audacity to stick up for us. I can at least say he will do more than our leadership could. Arrow head always on point. I think not.

itiswhatitis
itiswhatitis

I find this very inspiring. One person making s choice to do something that is less than what they should be doing takes a tremendous amount of courage and will. I personally in his situation never would have joined the armed forces no matter what branch. If I had it made doing something else I would choose that over anything else. But then again, I happen to be with this guy doing the same thing. I can't say that I am happy but I have to do what I signed my life away to do. Sooner or later we will both be doing what we want and be happier not having to deal with the nonsense the army brings us.

BethWoods
BethWoods

This is something I have thought about quite often. The men and women that fight for our country I feel are treated unfair. Stop and look around at many of the homeless men on the streets... Many of them fought for our country! What has our country done for them? It goes way beyond a medal and those who deserve the medal. We all have heard nothing is fair in love and war this just goes to show how much truth there is to that.

MerandaConnor
MerandaConnor

As an outsider looking in at a chest full of awards and badges or one sporting only a few, their meanings and significances are mostly lost upon me. But as for a someone’s comrade in arms each should hold an honor for some action that requires praise and mention. So many of us go through life with little to no recognition of our actions, we are left to pat ourselves on the back and be satisfied with that as our “Job well done.” However the military is set up to show other solders and officers just who among them excels, succeeds, and fights. And when such accolades are mistreated and given to those undeserving, all praise is starts to be held with little regard. Unfortunately no system is perfect, and as much as we wish every person deserving of a specific honor is rewarded with it, and often the ones that deserve this credit fall through the cracks, it becomes up to us to show a person we support and cherish their achievements whether they get to wear them on their chest or not.

SATX1994
SATX1994

In many ways I agree with seandec. If one's concern for medals or awards or recognition or whatever overshadows concern for doing one's job, then there is a huge problem.

On the other hand, the CIB exists, and if it exists, it ought to be awarded to those who earn it--and not awarded to those who do not. Some of the incidents in the article are very troubling. I wonder if this comes from incompetence, inefficiency, nepotism, favoritism, or just random luck?

Which brings me back to seamdec's point. Maybe the Army--maybe all of the military--should just do away with all medals? That just seems like a better outcome...

ThomasJ.Robbins
ThomasJ.Robbins

Very well written and accurate article. Not to mention a huge injustice to those who have earned such a small piece of metal for such a huge sacrifice. Infantry leads the way.

seandec
seandec

Sorry man, I completely disagree with you.  We need to kill off the CIB, CAB, and all the other crap.  You know how many *#&@% "mission CIB" or $&#(* stupid "mission OER"s I went on in Iraq?  In all honesty, at one point everyone in my unit simply quit reporting contact because we wanted to sleep instead of fill out paperwork for awards when we got back to base.  

And then of course, you get the whole "my badge is better" arguments and nonsense.  I remember, an NCO telling me, in all seriousness, that he was a badge defender and pointing at his CIB while he said it, arguing that mine must be fake because I got into it with him and several other NCO's over detainee and prisoner treatment in a very heated manner.  We were honestly heading for a "woodline solution" until he said that and I started laughing so hard I had trouble standing up.

I quit wearing all of my scare badges until I realized it made it a lot easier to argue for more humane treatment of random locals if I had a bunch of pretty crap on my chest.  This needs to stop.  Medal inflation needs to stop.  And the entire culture of "he deserved it, he didn't deserve it" really, really needs to stop.  If you've got a problem with someones award, go talk to the person who issued it, otherwise, the problem is more with you than the person you're pointing at.

NamGrunt
NamGrunt

@RossSwinton

Mr Swinton the only medal that goes above the CIB is the MOH!  I do not know if you are qualified to were it, but I would say you earned it!

KyleShelton
KyleShelton

@RossSwintonI can send you one of my CIB's......let me know. I can send the one you earned and need, is it the colored dress medal or the black subdued one you need?
 

KyleShelton
KyleShelton

@williwill82Absolutely not. Those who fight get their CIB, the rest get the privilege of wearing their "Unit Combat Patch". Problem solved.

itiswhatitis
itiswhatitis

This guy who did this technological stuff did not deserve his CIB. I do not understand what would you live in... You find the award worthy for a useless tool that woke up to an RPG attack? Also the same guy everyone didn't trust to go outside the wire because he showed time and time again that he wasn't competent enough to do his job that he signed up for... @Adarrah100223

retiredSOF
retiredSOF

@seandec As a combat vet with decades in the Army I TOTALLY agree with you.  I've seen so much abuse with the medal and badge system.  People with zero trigger time getting the BSM while same unit has Soldiers WITH serious trigger time getting the MSM.  WTF?  

Totally agree on the whole prima donna "my badge is better" nonsense too.  I used to hear 11Bs denigrating the service of the truck drivers who had just driven fuel tankers up IED alley.  I'm a senior NCO and I used to lecture these self centered children that it is ONE TEAM, ONE FIGHT but self worshiping a**wipes will always think somehow their blood is more precious than the next guys.  

In WWII when we had clearly defined front lines, there was a drastic level of difference in risks taken by the 11B and front line troops vs. the combat support troops.  Not in Iraq or A-stan.  



NamGrunt
NamGrunt

@RichardEllis Major, I agree with you, while I was attending the dedication in DC of the 3 Man Statue there were present an 82nd Airborne unit. I noticed that most were wearing a CIB, thinking these young troopers looked extremely young to be wearing a CIB one I asked were they had served, he replyed Granada, I asked him how many received the award and he said every Infantryman that was on the island, I was amazed, for my understanding was 30 days in the combat zone, or in actual combat with the enemy. I did not think that Granada would qualify for everyone who served to be awarded that prestiges award. I felt it was a slap in the face to all Grunts from the previous wars. When I was back I asked a General who was from my hometown, that was still in, and he said he would inquiry about it, his response was that the military needed to build its moral and that the American Population needed heroes, it was disgusting to all my fellow VFW members, some who were not Infantry but had been in combat that an award that was so hard to earn in previous wars would be handed out so easily, once again the US Army does disservice to one of its most coveted awards, unbelievable, but hey I am not surprised!

I served with C/3rd 187th INF, I Corps Vietnam in the Aschau Valley, you earned your CIB there!!!!

AngéliqueMichelle
AngéliqueMichelle

@MichaelBlount @AngéliqueMichelle. While off topic and onto a whole other one I will say this: the issue isn't that women are working in a field that has often been dominated by men... The issue is the poor standards, and also the differing standards that the army has based on gender, age, etc. Gender is only an issue when the army lowers the physical standards for women just so they can fill quotas regarding recruitment. I wont entertain archaic arguments about whether women should be in the army or not. I know fit women who are more than capable of physically performing much better and much more strongly than half of the fat, out of shape, uncoordinated frumpy men that some units happen to employ. The problem is with the standards of recruitment... Not an issue of gender. But back to the CIB...


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