I. DESCRIPTION: An oxidized silver badge 1 inch in height and 1 ˝ inches in width, consisting of a stretcher crossed by a caduceus surmounted at top by a Greek cross, all on and over an elliptical oak wreath. Stars are added to indicate subsequent awards; one star at top for the second award, one star at top and one at bottom for the third award, one star at top and one at each side for the fourth award.
II. SYMBOLISM: The Medical Corps insignia of branch, modified by the addition of a Greek cross suggesting the Geneva Convention between the wings and the entwined serpents, signifies the recipient’s skills and expertise. It is superimposed upon a stretcher alluding to medical field service. The oak symbolizes steadfastness, strength and loyalty.
III. AWARD ELIGIBILITY: The following medical personnel, assigned or attached by appropriate orders to an infantry unit of brigade, regimental, or smaller size, or to a medical unit of company or smaller size, organic to an infantry unit of brigade or smaller size, during any period the infantry unit is engaged in actual ground combat are eligible for award of the badge, provided they are personally present and under fire during such ground combat:
(1) Subsequent to 6 December 1941 – Army Medical Department (Colonels and below), the Navy Medical Department (Captains and below), the Air Force Medical Service (Colonels and below), assigned or attached to the Army, who have satisfactorily performed medical duties.
(2) Subsequent to 19 December 1989 – Special Forces personnel possessing military occupational specialty 18D (Special Operations Medical Sergeant) who satisfactorily performed medical duties while assigned or attached to a Special Forces unit during any period the unit is engaged in actual ground combat, provided they are personally present and under fire. Retroactive awards are not authorized.
(3) Subsequent to 16 January 1991 – Personnel outlined in (1) above, assigned or attached to Armor or ground Cavalry units of brigade or smaller size, who satisfactorily performed medical duties while the unit is engaged in actual ground combat, provided they are personally present and under fire. Retroactive awards are not authorized.
(4) Subsequent to 18 September 2001 – Medical personnel assigned or attached to or under operational control of any ground Combat Arms units (not to include members assigned or attached to Aviation units) of brigade or smaller size, who satisfactorily performed medical duties while the unit is engaged in active ground combat, provided they are personally present and under fire. Retroactive awards are not authorized for service prior to 18 September 2001.
(5) Effective 3 June 2005, soldiers possessing MOS of 18D are no longer eligible for award of the CMB.
Awards will not be made to general or flag officers. Specific eligibility requirements by geographic area are listed in Army Regulation 600-8-22.
IV. DATE APPROVED: The Combat Medical Badge was approved on 29 January 1945. In February 1951, the proposal to designate the badge as a one-time award was rescinded and it was approved for subsequent award during specified periods. The addition of stars to indicate subsequent awards was also approved. Policy changes were approved on 12 May 2004, by the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1. On 11 February 2005, the Chief of Staff, Army, approved changes to the CMB policy.
V. SUBDUED BADGES: Subdued badges are authorized in metal and cloth. The metal badge is black. The cloth badge has an olive green base cloth with the stretcher, caduceus, cross, wreath and stars embroidered in black.
VI. MINIATURE BADGES: A dress miniature badge, 19/32 inch in height is authorized.
Army Times - June 27, 2005
Special Forces medics now eligible for the CIB
Trading up from Combat Medical Badge
By Sean D. Naylor
Times staff writer
Erasing a long-standing frustration for Special Forces medics, the Army announced June 3 that they will now be awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge rather than the Combat Medical Badge, so long as they meet the criteria.
In addition, SF medics who were awarded the CMB between Sept. 18, 2001, and June 3, 2005, will be allowed to swap their CMB for a CIB.
Historically, only infantrymen and SF soldiers have been eligible for the CIB, but SF medics were excluded and awarded the CMB instead. The SF medics, whose military occupational specialty is 18D, have long complained of being treated like second-class citizens because they received the CMB when everyone else on a 12-man SF A team received the CIB.
Although SF medics are skilled in a variety of medical, dental and veterinary tasks, they also are considered combatants. the two 18Ds on a fully manned A team typically play a full role in engaging enemy forces in combat.
“There’s been a lot of 18 Deltas for many years that have been pushing to be awarded the CIB versus the CMB,” said Col. Gary Longhany, the personnel chief for U.S. Army Special Operations Command. “They felt that they’re operators first and medics second.”
USASOC commander Lt. Gen. Philip Kensinger decided to press for the change after receiving feedback from his subordinate commanders and from SF men in the field.
“The vast majority of our 18 Deltas would have much preferred wearing the CIB instead of the CMB,” Longhany said. “That’s no reflection on the importance of either award. Both awards are worn with honor and pride, but they felt that as a member of an A detachment — our lowest operational detachment — that they wanted to have the CIB first.”
USASOC requested a change in the awards policy from the Department of the Army.
The request was reviewed by the Army G-1, Lt. Gen. Franklin Hagenbeck, and the Army Surgeon General’s Office. “There were some laws that had to be checked,” Longhany said. “There were many different offices within the Pentagon that reviewed this action.”
The approval process was also delayed because of the requests from other Army communities for non-infantry soldiers to be awarded the CIB for infantrylike combat they were experiencing in Iraq. Those discussions resulted in the Army establishing the Combat Action Badge.
The language authorizing the CIB for SF medics is contained in HQDA Letter 600-05-1. The relevant paragraph states:
“Soldiers possessing MOS of 18D (Special Forces Medical Sergeant) who satisfactorily perform special forces duties while assigned or attached to a special forces unit of brigade, regimental, or smaller size during any period such unit is engaged in active ground combat may be awarded the CIB. These soldiers must have been personally present and engaged in active ground combat, to close with and destroy the enemy with direct fires. Retroactive awards under these criteria are not authorized for service prior to 18 September 2001.”
Frank Antenori, an SF medic who retired in July 2004 as a sergeant first class, said he was delighted with the policy change. Antenori, who received a CMB for his actions in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, had been awarded a second CMB for service in Afghanistan in 2002. However, after serving as an acting A-team sergeant during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Antenori had his second CMB revoked in the hope of being awarded a CIB. (A soldier cannot receive the CIB or the CMB twice during the same period of conflict. For awards purposes, the Army treats the entire period since Sept. 18, 2001, as the one period.)
However, although Antenori had destroyed a moving Iraqi MTLB armored personnel carrier and immobilized a T-55 tank with Javelin missiles during the Battle of Debecka Pass in northern Iraq, the Army had turned down his CIB submission on the grounds that he was still an 18 Delta.
Antenori was incensed. His attitude was: “I’m a trigger puller. Every other trigger-puller is getting a CIB. Why can’t I get one?” He pointed out that SF medics were exempted from the Geneva Convention protections that applied to other medics.
“This [was] so hypocritical it’s not even funny. You say that we don’t have Geneva Convention protections because we’re considered combatants because we kill people, but then you say we can’t get the CIB because we’re medics.”