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Walt's Daughter

CIB's being awarded to com engs

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John sent the letter below to me regarding the latest news on the CIB. If you've read anything on my site, you will know that this is a hot topic for those who didn't receive their Combat Infantry Badges. Some vets like my dad DID receive his and some combat engineers who were attached and used as infantry units didn't. Some even within the same units did, while others were denied. We are trying to rectify this injustice.

 

To read more about it, please visit these forum links:

 

CIB

 

CIB Links

 

Read this page too. Scroll down towards the bottom. You will see a letter from a congressman and the army.

 

Memories of David Wagner

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I don't know if you heard that the Defense Department has approved a combat badge for those other than Infantry . As of today it is authorized only for those in Iraq but my Congressman is trying to get it made retroactive. It will apply to Armor, Cavalry, Engineers, and Artillery who had the same exposure to combat as Infantry. Of course, as we know, some had more exposure. If you have contacs with a Congressman I think it might be a good idea to contact him for your father.

 

 

36 Engineers are rugged......John Fallon II. Capt. USA Ret.

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At present time the army is looking to see if the 157 combat engineer battalion member Harold Whiting is qual. for the badge i sent them a copy of being attached to the 100th infrinty div in the taking of Bitchie France and many other times we were with the infrinty .will check with my congressman. thanks Hwhiting 157©eng bn.

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Good luck Harold. I want to make sure that every combat engineer who fought as INFANTRY UNDER FIRE, will get this CIB. My father and John Fallon got theirs, and you should too my dear. Let me know if I can be of assistance.

 

I think this word would be very appropriate right now,

 

ESSAYONS!! :pdt34:

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Dave from the 39th Combat Engineers sent me this today. This is what he found in print.

 

I am very disappointed in the army's decision. It's not only unfair to the guys like combat engineers who were actually used for periods as infantry and were UNDER FIRE, but why some of the guys like my dad and several other got theirs (Amen to that), but why some other who fought under the same exact conditions did not. Inconsistencies are really hard to live with. :pdt33:

-------------------

 

Non-Infantry Soldiers Get Combat Badge

Associated Press ^ | February 19, 2005 | Associated Press

Posted on 02/21/2005 12:40:53 AM PST by Former Military Chick

 

WASHINGTON - The Army is creating a combat badge for soldiers who come under fire in close combat in Iraq and Afghanistan but who are not otherwise eligible for special recognition because they are from armor, artillery or other non-infantry units.

 

Soldiers from foreign armies, such as the Iraqi army, who are assigned to U.S. Army units in close combat, also will be eligible for the special recognition, officials said Friday.

 

The new badge, called the Close Combat Badge, will settle an emotional debate that has raged within the Army and was settled only last week by the service's most senior generals.

 

The disparity at issue is that infantrymen and non-infantry soldiers who face the same risks in the same gun battle at close range are treated differently by the Army in terms of badges.

 

Until now, only infantrymen who participated in direct combat missions and came under fire were given the Combat Infantryman Badge, a coveted distinction that counts in their favor when eligible for promotions. There is no equivalent recognition for artillerymen or others who came under fire.

 

Since the wars began in Afghanistan and Iraq, the inequity became increasingly controversial within the Army - particularly in the case of Iraq, where some cavalry scouts and other non-infantry soldiers have been reorganized into infantry-like units to perform infantry-like close combat missions.

 

Several of the most senior Army commanders in Iraq had written to Lt. Gen. Franklin Hagenbeck, the deputy chief of staff for personnel, asking that he grant exceptions to the limited eligibility rules for the Combat Infantryman Badge, in order to recognize the other soldiers.

 

Instead, Hagenbeck said in an interview Friday, the Army decided to preserve the rules for the Combat Infantryman Badge but also create the Close Combat Badge so that infantrymen would still have their own and others who performed infantry-like missions under fire would get special recognition, too.

 

"It's for the artilleryman who has been made a de facto infantryman," Hagenbeck said. The same applies to other ground combat soldiers like those in armor, combat engineering and cavalry, who have been called upon to do infantry missions and are personally present under fire.

 

It will be given, retroactive to Sept. 11, 2001, to eligible soldiers below the rank of colonel.

 

The badges are not awards for valor, like the Bronze Star. The precise eligibility rules are to be published by the Army in March, and senior officers then can issue the badges, Hagenbeck said.

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Marion I had no idea until the other day that the veterans who arent infantry were not "qualified " for this badge. It is indeed a badge of courage, and it just amazes me that they would not be given to the others who fought along side of the infantry. I wonder if my Dad knows this? He was infantry and has his He actually has more than one.. This also means Taylor wouldnt qualify either since he is Quartermaster? I see the news about the new one so maybe he will fit that category. I just think its a shame that the Veterans that arent infantry dont qualify.. but the Army is like that at times. Here is an odd one My Dad has a Naval Presidential Citation from time in Korea. He still has some confusion over that one but he qualified for it for . He has 4 of those little bars... I sure am proud of him if you didnt already know. But thats for another place Cindy

 

"The badges are not awards for valor, like the Bronze Star."

 

In my little opinion they are all awards for valor....

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Nicely said. You are correct that not many people at all know about this. In fact when I wrote to several of "my" engineers, they were not aware of it either. So my hope is to get everyone on the same page. We may not "win", but at least we will all be educated to the facts past and present.

 

I will keep posting any info I get from the vets involved and any articles I read pertaining to this matter.

 

Ah the army regulations... :direct:

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The CIB was originated in 1943 and was awarded only for Ifantryman that were actually

in combat with the enemy. Even its name disignates Infantry. During ww 2 two thirds

of all KIA were Infantrymen, yet they were only about 15 percent of the total soldiers..

Also, their living conditions (existing conditions) were the poorest. The CMB also was

awarded for ACTUAL COMBAT MEDICS who were part of a Infantry company. Granted, some other support units did, at times fight as infantry, but not as a usual

thing and not for extended periods. The "jobs" of these units were not of the Infantry

type most of the time. This brings to mind, why didnt the paratroopers recieve the

Air Force Air Medal ? Many of the pilots recieved it that dropped the paratroopers. And

yes, we also recieved a extra $10.00 per month when awarded it.

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Here is the latest news. This was sent to me by Al Kincer.

 

http://www4.army.mil/ocpa/read.php?story_id_key=7394

 

And more from Al...

 

I got this from Thorpe Mealing, President of The Eng.OCS Association. Only for post 9-11 action. Maybe some day others deserving more that a little will be rewarded. AL Kincer

 

The new Combat Action Badge will be available in clothing sales stores later this summer.

 

 

Army announces new Combat Action Badge design

May 27, 2005

 

 

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, May 27, 2005) -- The Army announced today the design for the Combat Action Badge.

 

The design was approved by Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, Army chief of staff.

 

The CAB, featuring both a bayonet and grenade, may be awarded to any Soldier performing assigned duties in an area where hostile fire pay or imminent danger pay is authorized, who is personally present and actively engaging or being engaged by the enemy, and performing satisfactorily in accordance with the prescribed rules of engagement, according to its authorizing language. Award is not limited by one’s branch or military occupational specialty.

 

“Warfare is still a human endeavor,†Schoomaker said. “Our intent is to recognize Soldiers who demonstrate and live the Warrior Ethos.â€

 

"The Global War on Terrorism and its associated operations will be the first era of conflict considered for this award," said Lt. Col. Bill Johnson, Human Resources Command chief of military awards. "September 18, 2001, is the effective date for the new award. That is when President Bush signed Senate Joint Resolution 23, authorizing the use of military force against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States."

 

The CAB will go into immediate production and should be available late this summer or early fall through unit supply and military clothing sales stores.

 

For more information, visit U.S. Army Badges, The Institute of Heraldry (TIOH) Homepage, http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/badges/U...sArmyBadges.htm.

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Related , yet somewhat off topic. regarding soldiers getting the CIB or not;

 

On my site I have Capt. Robert Woodhall. He was an Artillery Forward Controller who was often in the thick of the fighting between the American and German lines. I wrote with a buddy of his who said he regretted he was never awarded the CIB, while he had been in more fighting than many a infantry soldier....And while rear echelon units of infantry units did get the CIB while they never fired a shot in anger.

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The Combat Infantry Badge

 

I am a WWII combat infantryman who served in the Third Infantry Division through 6 campaigns in Europe in WWII in Italy, France and Germany. The decoration of which I am most proud is the CIB. It's an honorable award and I still wear a miniature in the lapel of my jacket at age 84.

 

It was intended to reward those Infantryman who risked their lives for their country daily, without reservation, and endured the hardships of an Infantryman's life. And for having faced the high probablility of instant death day after day after day with no end of the War in sight. Thirty four thousand of those men who served in the Third Infantry Division were killed in action by War's end. Thus it's a highly respected decoration. But now others who did not undergo those dangers and hardships that we did 60 years ago, demand the same award.

 

Today's Army appears to me to be somewhat receptive to cheapening awards as a means of encouraging enlistments. I think it would be a grave injustice to those of us who gave so much and ask for nothing.

 

3_7_I_Recon

Russ Cloer

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Well I think the Army may be reflecting the low values of our public school system in this day and age. Why not give everybody a passing grade and tell them they're all great? What do you think that attitude breeds?

 

I had a mom come in my store last year after school got out. She went to the awards ceremony and said, "You know, I think that they should stop these ceremonies. The same kids get the awards all the time and it's really hard on the others."

 

Oh my God. I wanted to throw up. No let's do away with awards for people who show talent and skill and want to better themeselves. Let's make everyone the same and tell all these kids that why bother trying. Let's encourage complacency and lie to them. Guess what happens when these kids get out in the real world? They find reality, they hate it, they make lousy workers and bitter people.

 

Aren't we already seeing this? These people get out in reality and think that life should be FAIR. They want pats on the back when they do nothing and they do nothing. They can't deal with life and relationships and if the next guy gets something, they want it to. They enter the workforce and get fired and wind up quitting. They can't hack it because in school they got an A when they didn't deserve it.

 

You know I want to ask people like the lady who wanted to dispense with awards, how would you feel if you worked your butt off at work, put in overtime, never missed a day, were an exemplary employee, got a big raise, then found out that the raise you got and worked so hard for was also given to your co-worker who takes 15 cigarette breaks a day, is always late and has missed four days in the last 6 weeks. Come on lady, how would you feel? Would that be FAIR?

 

Yes, your right, these kind of things occuring cheapen the worth of life and it's trials and tribulations. The CIB, like other things in life has value and meaning and shouldn't be cheapened. It's stands for something and should remain that way. Let's keep our values. :pdt34:

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Yes, unlike in Amadeus the movie when Antonio Salieri uttered, "bless you all mediciocrity!"

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Combat Infantry Badge

 

I was browsing other headings on this site and found a letter under "VI Corp Combat Engineers" signed by the "Chief, Military Award Board" regarding eligibility for the CIB. I recommend that those who have posted on the CIB site read this letter. It appears to be an old reply to a Congressman who was trying to get a CIB for a non-infantry vet. I seems pertinent to me and I see no good reason to broaden the eligibility 60 years after it was defined.

 

3_7_I_INF - Russ Cloer

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Seems like a lot of people dont realize that the CIB was awarded to Infantrymen who

CONTINUALLY served in combat conditions. Not for others that OCCASIONALLY SERVED

in Infantry combat conditions of fighting and existing. One BIG difference of a once in

a while fight and continual fighting in these conditions. So give them the "combat Patch"

as now done, not a CIB. But please, why the grenade and bayonet on the patch when

most of these people never saw (or used) a grenade or bayonet in use. And probably

never carried either or used them in combat. Our usual "day to day" tasks were not

like a "occaisional" conflict. But what was expected of us as "normal" duty. One BIG

DIFFERENCE. and why did the Infantry have two thirds of the casualties in ww 2 and

being a small percentage of troops. Something like under 10 percent were Infantry.

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Give 'em hell Joe. They will never understand. Because they "haven't been there".

 

It makes me sick to hear about "cheapening the CIB" after what we went through to earn it.

 

But I guess we old timers are not up to speed on current thinking. My "take" is that our country has become the world's police. And our soldiers are dying to make a democracy for people who want no part of it. This means more emphasis on recruiting. The possibility of one day being able to wear the CIB is an attractive tool. It helps enlistments. Why is it attractive? Because of what we had to go through to earn it!

 

3_7_I_Recon

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I just cant figure why so many non-infantrymen want the C.I.B.. It was quite easy to get. Just ask for a transfer to the Infantry and go into combat continually. Your only job is just to take ground and keep ground day in and day out. Nothing else. Also living

under conditions continually no one else wants. Not to mention, having two thirds of

all casualties in ww 2. Just maybe , thats why it is for INFANTRYMEN that did this type

of work as a STEADY DIET, day in day out. Not as a occasional thing for a short period

of time. In doubt?? Check casualty reports as a whole.. The Regs. were simple. You

had to be Infantry to start with.

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3-7-1 Recon and my combat buddy j3rdinf, I will add my two cents worth.

You both are absolutely RIGHT. I think the C.I.B. has lost a lot of its

meaning. I got mine in '43 and after over 600 days combat with other medals

I cherish my C.I.B. as my most prized possesion. How about you Joe and

371 Recon? Of course we are from another era. Guys keep 'em straight.

This 83 yr. old+ said it. Roque J. Riojas Adios Amigos!!!!

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This is very, very important. As you know I have been painstakingly going through over 2000 pages of documents from the National Archives regarding my father's unit, the 540th Combat Engineers. Today I have spent another 4 hours continuing the process of sorting and filing by month and year during the war.

 

Within the last hour I uncovered something that caught my eye and I think it will be very good news for those combat engineers WHO WERE ELIGIBLE and who WERE SUPPOSED TO BE AWARDED THE CIB!

 

As many of you know, it has been argued that combat engineers were not supposed to be eligible to receive the CIB, even though many of them did including my father. If a combat engineer fought as infantryman as many of they certainly did, then they should have been awarded one.

 

Well I found PROOF that they were issued to combat engineers who were met the criteria, and am presenting that proof to everyone today.

 

I have already contacted Captain John Fallon of the 36th Engineers, who by the way, did get one, and informed him of the good news. Many of the men who fought alongside him as infantrymen did not get it, while he did. We plan send this info to Washington as proof and to continue fighting for the cause.

 

I am very excited that I stumbled upon this discovery today and can't wait to share it with others. After all they can't dispute THEIR OWN ORDERS! :pdt34::pdt34::pdt34:

 

08-07-08 Please see updated link for this post. The other one became inoperable

CIBsAwarded540thOct44.pdf

Edited by Walt's Daughter
updated old link

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:pdt34: Way to go Marion!!!!

 

I had just promised my new good friend Joe Medina to not give up this fight!!!I cant wait to tell him. I just made copies to forward to him and will be sending copies to my congressman. :drinkin:

Chris

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Dear Chris:

 

That makes my heart sing and I really needed to hear that tonight. It seems like a Godsend and I hope it can truly help their cause.

 

I know you will keep me posted if anything at all turns up. Please send my best to your friend. I am rooting for all of these great men.

 

:pdt34:

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Great work Marion!!!!!

 

:pdt34::pdt34:

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Marion; I'll add my two cents.... I wish I knew why the COMBAT ENGINEERS didn't get the C.I.B. We (34th Divn.) crossed the Rapido river and crossed the Volturno river three times and who was there with us??? COMBAT ENGINEERS. Who had the mine sweepers to clear mines so we could advance?? Marion with your expertice in writing ,maybe you could sent a letter to the proper people and rattle your saber!!! We used the 109th Combat Engineers at Salerno, Italy and like I said, I didn't get my feet wet crossing the river, maybe damp and muddy. Rocky

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It's great to hear that from a infantryman from WWII. We need more votes like yours.

 

Trust me anyone disputing the fact that many and most of the engineers WERE NOT UNDER DIRECT FIRE, needs to read the few thousand pages of the S-1 through S-4 reports, etc, from 1942-1945. Many of the engineers were wounded and/or killed in action on the FRONT LINES.

 

Many shot rifles, machine guns and sidearms, threw grenades, and put their put their lives in danger same as anyone in the Infantry Divs, and were fired at.

 

After all, people need to realize that combat engineers are infantrymen with ADDITIONAL/SPECIAL TRAINING.

 

I am hoping that this site and my book will clarify this.

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Great find! Do you have anything for Enlisted men?

 

I have always heard it argued that the soldier had to have an infantry classification in order to earn the CIB. I wonder if the officers some how got around that?? Maybe they were transferred from the infantry and retained some of their earlier rating. I'm sure many of the officers entered OCS and went directly into Corps of Engineers and never was trained purely as infantrymen.

 

I was one of those skeptical ones.

 

Steve

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