Retroactive Combat Action badges pushed
Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla., recently introduced legislation to retroactively award the Army Combat Action Badge to those members of the U.S. Army who were engaged by the enemy from Dec. 7, 1941, to the present day.
In 2005, the Department of the Army authorized the creation of the Combat Action Badge to recognize U.S. soldiers who engage the enemy in battle. This important badge applies to the brave men and women in our armed forces who might not qualify for awards such as the Combat Infantry or Combat Medical Badge, which are limited to those individuals serving with infantry or medical units.
There is no doubt that the Combat Action Badge is a great idea; in Iraq and Afghanistan we are seeing soldiers from every military occupational specialty distinguish themselves in battle. However, the Army's current policy limits eligibility to those individuals who meet its criteria after Sept. 18, 2001.
While the Combat Action Badge recognizes those who have served their country bravely in the 21st century, it overlooks the thousands of veterans who made similar sacrifices in previous wars. This amendment, which has 25 cosponsors so far, expands the eligibility for the award to those soldiers who served from Dec. 7, 1941, to Sept. 18, 2001.
The text of Brown-Waite's bill, H.R.2267, reads, "To expand retroactive eligibility of the Army Combat Action Badge to include members of the Army who participated in combat during which they personally engaged, or were personally engaged by, the enemy at any time on or after Dec. 7, 1941."