June, 25

US Army Combat Badge: The Ultimate Symbol of Courage and Bravery

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US Army Combat Badge, a symbol of valor and bravery, is an iconic emblem that proudly adorns the uniforms of many active-duty military personnel. This badge serves as a testament to the courage and dedication exhibited by these individuals during their time in service. The history behind this badge runs deep within the annals of US military history, with its origins dating back to World War II.

The US Army Combat Badge represents the exceptional commitment shown by soldiers on the front lines – those who have actively engaged enemy forces or have been targeted in hostile actions such as IED explosions. These brave men and women are awarded this prestigious badge to signify their unwavering courage under fire and willingness to put themselves in harm's way for their country.

In this article, we will dive deeper into what makes up an exemplary soldier who has earned one or multiple US Army Combat Badges throughout his/her career. We will explore its significance for both active-duty personnel and veterans alike while delving into its rich history that spans across decades of American wars fought around the world. So buckle up your boots before we delve straight into understanding what sets apart a true hero from others!

US Army Combat Badge: An Insignia of Honor and Distinction

The US Army Combat Badge is a decoration that was created in 2005 to recognize the valor and courage displayed by soldiers in combat. Also known as the Combat Action Badge (CAB), it is awarded to soldiers who have actively engaged or been engaged by enemy forces during ground combat operations.

In this article, we will explore the history, eligibility requirements, benefits, and tips for wearing this prestigious badge.

History of the US Army Combat Badge

Before its creation in 2005, soldiers had to rely on other awards such as the Purple Heart or Bronze Star Medal to recognize their service during ground combat. However, many felt that these awards did not fully capture their experiences. The idea for a new badge was first proposed by Colonel John W. McBroom Jr., who believed that there should be a specific award for those who served in direct contact with enemy forces.

After much debate within military circles and Congress itself, the award was finally approved on May 2nd, 2005. Since then it has been awarded thousands of times to deserving recipients across all branches of service.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for this prestigious honor one must meet certain criteria:

  • Must be currently serving or retired from active duty status
  • Must have served after September 18th ,2001
  • Must have participated in direct ground engagement with an enemy force
  • Or were physically attacked while performing peacekeeping duties

Service members can submit requests through their chain-of-command upon meeting any one or more than one criteria stated above along with evidence supporting engagement with hostile forces while conducting military operations.

Different qualifications may apply depending on type warfare such as Infantryman's identification badge(IIB) may take precedence over CAB if they serve at least ninety days instead of thirty consecutive days under imminent danger pay area.


The benefits associated with receiving the US Army Combat Badge are many, and they include:

  • Recognition of one's bravery and valor during combat
  • Increased respect from peers and superiors alike
  • A tangible reminder of one's service to their country

The badge is also a great conversation starter, allowing veterans to share their stories with others who may not know about their experiences.

Tips for Wearing the US Army Combat Badge

There are certain protocols that must be followed when wearing any military insignia, including the US Army Combat Badge. Some tips for proper wear include:

  • The badge should always be worn centered on the left breast pocket of a soldier’s uniform.
  • The badge should never be placed above medals or ribbons that were awarded for exceptional performance in operations.
  • Only those who have earned this decoration can wear it.

It is important to remember that this is an honor bestowed upon only those who have demonstrated courage under fire; therefore displaying it with honor will show respect towards its legacy.


The US Army Combat Badge serves as both an acknowledgment and recognition of brave acts performed by soldiers during ground combat. Eligible individuals must meet specific criteria laid out by department regulations before being considered eligible for receiving such badges however once received along with other decorations it showcases remarkable efforts put into defending our nations' freedom. It’s a symbol representing tradition, courage, perseverance amongst countless other values representational within men/women in uniform today.


What is the US Army Combat Badge?

The US Army Combat Badge, also known as the Combat Action Badge (CAB), is a military badge awarded to members of the United States Army who have actively participated in ground combat. The badge was introduced in 2005 and is awarded to soldiers who serve in combat zones after September 18, 2001.

The U.S. Department of Defense describes this badge as a "combat recognition emblem" that serves as an acknowledgement for soldiers who have been involved in active ground combat operations. It recognizes their bravery and service to the country.

To be eligible for this award, soldiers must meet specific criteria such as being under hostile fire while performing duties that require them to engage with or defeat enemy forces. The CAB can be awarded retroactively going back to September 11th, 2001 when service members entered into active warfare against terrorists.

Who is eligible for the US Army Combat Badge?

Eligibility criteria includes serving honorably on or after September 18th, 2001 during one of these conflicts: Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and/or Operation New Dawn (OND).

Soldiers are required to meet certain requirements before being considered for eligibility; they must have served under direct hostile fire while performing assigned tasks which required engaging with an enemy force whether it was through offensive or defensive measures.

Additionally if any soldier has sustained injuries due directly from participating in any qualifying duty they may submit documentation supporting their claim towards consideration of awarding them a Purple Heart Medal among other awards deemed appropriate by their chain-of-command.

How do I apply for my US Army Combat Badge?

Your unit administration will initiate your request based on your deployment records but you should discuss it first with your immediate supervisor once you return from deployment since prior coordination may speed up processing time.

If you are unsure about whether you qualify then speak with someone at your post's personnel office or contact the awards and decorations branch of the Army Human Resources Command (HRC) for assistance.

If you have already been discharged, then you should request for military records online through the National Archives.

What is the difference between a Combat Action Badge (CAB) and Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB)?

The CIB was established in 1943 to recognize soldiers who served in infantry combat units during World War II, followed by wars going forward. It is only awarded to those with an infantry MOS who actively engage in ground combat operations.

The CAB was introduced much later after September 11th, 2001 as more non-infantry jobs started engaging directly with enemy forces. The CAB awards service members who aren't necessarily part of an infantry unit but still participate in active ground combat.

While both badges indicate that their recipients have seen action on a battlefield, there are differences between them; most notably that eligibility for one requires being assigned specifically to Infantry while eligibility for another hinges on participation under direct hostile fire.

Can I wear my US Army Combat Badge with other medals?

Yes! You may wear this badge alongside any other earned military honors or decorations that were also awarded from your service; however there are specific guidelines regarding order of precedence when displaying multiple medals together.

For example: if you received both Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart Medal along with a CAB then they must be displayed following specific regulations such as placing certain medals before others based off their level of importance

In conclusion, The US Army Combat Badge holds great significance since it recognizes brave troops who have put themselves at risk while serving our country. If you believe yourself eligible but haven’t been recognized yet please speak up so we can help get clarification on how best your efforts may be rewarded officially!

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