This is the one you respect.

Old soldiers, and young soldiers too, upon whom fate has smiled, wear the Combat Infantryman Badge proudly, above all their other decorations, on the left breast.

At the urging of Lieutenant General Leslie J. McNair and General George C. Marshall, Army Chief of Staff and himself an old-line infantryman, the award was established by the United States War Department on October 27th, 1943, to recognize in a personal way the skill and heroism of the American Infantryman. More than any other decoration it demands esteem.

A Silver Flintlock Long Rifle, superimposed on a blue background and a wreath of oak leaves, the CIB is irrefutable proof that a man has met the demon. It is awarded solely to an American infantryman who has been under fire in ground combat. It is second only to the Medal of Honor in prestige.

If you see a CIB with a star or even two stars attached, it means the soldier has seen combat in more than one war. Honor him.

On Vietnam:


  1. I was a prisoner in a Mexican Whorehouse
  2. A long time gone
  3. How to brush your teeth in a combat zone
  4. Libber and I go to war
  5. Fate takes a piss
  6. Thanks For the Memory
  7. Back in the Shit
  8. LZ Waterloo
  9. Saturday Night, Numbah Ten


a long commute
Andy X Kirby True
a tale of two Woodstocks
Buy a Gun
Dawn at The Wall
Feat of Clay
Funeral Detail
I was a free man once, in Saigon
The Joint Chiefs of Staff
the shit we ate

Breaking Starch
Combat Infantryman Badge
David Dellinger
Dickey Chapelle
Firebase Mary Ann
Garry Owen
Gloria Emerson
Graves Registration
I Corps
Project 100,000
the 1st Cav
The Highest Traditions
Those Who Forget
Under the Southern Cross
Whither the Phoenix?

A Bright Shining Lie
Apocalypse Now Redux
Hearts and Minds
We Were Soldiers

The Combat Infantryman Badge began life as the Combat Assault Badge on 07OCT43. The awards name was changed to its current title on 27OCT43 in War Department Circular 269.

On 08FEB52 the Army Chief of Staff approved the addition of stars to the badge to indicate involvement in multiple wars. Regulations now exist for the awarding of eight stars although I doubt any one is still alive with that many awards as we haven't had that many eligable conflicts in the last century. The first four awards are silver stars, with one added for every award. The fifth award changes the badge to gold as opposed to silver and has no stars. The sixth through the eighth award adds a gold star for every subsequent award. The CIB supercedes the Expert Infantryman Badge and will replace it on the uniform if the soldier qualifies for both.

The background is a light blue called "Infantry Blue" and is the same shade as the Infantry cords worn from the epaulet of the Class A dress uniforms of Infantry soldiers.

The silver (or gold) musket inlaid on the badge is the 1875 Springfield Arsenal musket adopted as the official insignia of the Infantry in 1924.

The CIB is awarded to "personnel in the grade of Colonel or below with an infantry MOS who have satisfactorily performed duty while assigned as a member of an infantry unit, brigade or smaller size during any period subsequent to 6 December 1941 when the unit was engaged in active ground combat." Although there is no mention of a minimum length of time served in combat, the Army is traditionally very picky about who receives this award. My unit was only deployed to Saudi Arabia for three months and we were told that had we stayed for an additional three months we would have received the CIB, but as such we did not qualify.

The Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel changed the requirements for the CIB on 05APR63 such that "Any officer, warrant officer or enlisted man whose branch is other than infantry who, under appropriate orders, is assigned to advise a unit (South Vietnamese) will be eligible for this award provided all other requirements for such award have been met." This is, as far as I know, the only exclusion for non-Infantry personnel to receive the CIB and the wording would suggest that it only pertains to the Vietnam Conflict.

During WWII and for six months after any enlisted man awarded the CIB was entitled to an extra $10.00 a month of pay.

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