Combat Medical Badge

Last updated

Combat Medical Badge
Combat Medical Badge, 1st award.svg
Awarded forPerforming medical duties while being engaged by the enemy
Presented by United States Army
EligibilityAn army medic supporting a ground combat arms unit brigade or lower. Restricted to ranks of colonel and below at time of award.
StatusCurrently awarded
EstablishedJanuary 1945
First awarded6 December 1941 (1941-12-06) (retroactive)
Last awardedOngoing
Next (higher) Combat Infantryman Badge
Next (lower) Combat Action Badge [1]
Related Expert Field Medical Badge

The Combat Medical Badge is an award of the United States Army which was first created in January 1945. Any member of the Army Medical Department, at the rank of colonel or below, who is assigned or attached to a ground combat arms unit of brigade or smaller size which provides medical support during any period in which the unit was engaged in ground combat is eligible for the CMB. According to the award criterion, the individual must be performing medical duties while simultaneously being engaged by the enemy; strict adherence to this requirement and its interpretation (e.g., distant mortar rounds vs. direct small arms fire) will vary by unit. As of 3 June 2005, Special Forces medics are no longer eligible for award, but may now receive the Combat Infantryman Badge. [2] A revision has allowed aviation medics to be eligible for the CMB. [3] The non-combat proficiency equivalent is the Expert Field Medical Badge.



The Combat Medical Badge is one inch tall and one and a half inches wide. [4]


The Combat Medical Badge is retroactive to 6 December 1941. The original decoration was considered a one-time decoration, however this directive was rescinded in 1951 allowing for multiple awards of the Combat Medical Badge denoted by stars encircling the decoration. [5] According to the US Army Medical Department Regiment, to date there have been only two soldiers that have earned the Combat Medical Badge with two stars: Henry Jenkins and Wayne Slagel. [6] The directive was again altered in 1969 to specify that only one award of the Combat Medical Badge is authorized for service in the Vietnam Conflict Era, which included service in Vietnam and Laos, the Dominican Republic, and South Korea (subsequent to 4 January 1969). Current regulations have expanded this qualifying period to include service in El Salvador, Grenada, Panama, Southwest Asia, and Somalia, and have added an additional qualifying period (the Global War on Terror Era) covering service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 1947, a policy was implemented that authorized the retroactive award of the Bronze Star to soldiers who had received the Combat Medical badge during the Second World War. The basis for doing this was that the Combat Medical Badge was awarded only to soldiers who had borne combat duties befitting the Bronze Star Medal and also that both awards required a recommendation by the commander and a citation in orders.

Second award
US Army Combat Medical Badge 3rd Award.png
Third award

The CMB is authorized for award for the following qualifying periods: [7] [8]

World War II Era

1. World War II (7 December 1941 to 3 September 1945).

Korean War Era

2. The Korean War (27 June 1950 to 27 July 1953).

Vietnam War Era

3. Republic of Vietnam Conflict (2 March 1961 to 28 March 1973), combined with qualifying service in Laos (19 April 1961 to 6 October 1962).
4. Dominican Republic (28 April 1965 to 1 September 1966).
5. Korea on the DMZ (4 January 1969 to 31 March 1994).
6. El Salvador (1 January 1981 to 1 February 1992).
7. Grenada (23 October to 21 November 1983).
8. Joint Security Area, Panmunjom, Korea (23 November 1984).
9. Panama (20 December 1989 to 31 January 1990).
10. Southwest Asia Conflict (17 January to 11 April 1991).
11. Somalia (5 June 1992 to 31 March 1994).

Global War on Terror Era

12. Afghanistan (Operations Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan and Freedom's Sentinel, 5 December 2001 to 30 August 2021).
13. Iraq (Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, 19 March 2003 to 31 December 2011).

The first female medic to be awarded the CMB was Specialist Erica Marie Galo in Fallujah Iraq in December 2003. (This is incorrect. The first woman awarded the CMB was PFC Claudia Kannel, Task Force 2-3 Field Artillery, on 15 October 2003 in Baghdad, Iraq. 1st Armored Division and Task Force Iron requested a change in regulations regarding the Award of the CMB in September, and it was approved in October after approval by the Department of the Army G1.) As of 2005 the rules for eligibility were changed to allow any medical department soldier in a brigade or lower unit to be eligible so long as they are engaged in actual ground combat and performed medical duties. This now includes Soldiers assigned to aviation units. Additionally, in 2008, IED/VBIEDs can now be considered direct contact with the enemy.

As of June 2011, the badge and its sew-on equivalent may be worn on the Army Combat Uniform (ACU). [9]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bronze Star Medal</span> United States Armed Forces decoration award

The Bronze Star Medal (BSM) is a United States Armed Forces decoration awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for either heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Purple Heart</span> United States military decoration

The Purple Heart (PH) is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those wounded or killed while serving, on or after 5 April 1917, with the U.S. military. With its forerunner, the Badge of Military Merit, which took the form of a heart made of purple cloth, the Purple Heart is the oldest military award still given to U.S. military members. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New Windsor, New York.

The Combat Action Ribbon, is a high precedence United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, and United States Marine Corps military decoration awarded to United States sea service members "who have actively participated in ground or surface combat."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Combat Infantryman Badge</span> United States Army decoration

The Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB) is a United States Army military decoration. The badge is awarded to infantrymen and Special Forces soldiers in the rank of colonel and below, who fought in active ground combat while assigned as members of either an Infantry or Special Forces unit of brigade size or smaller at any time after 6 December 1941. For those soldiers who are not members of an infantry, or Special Forces unit, the Combat Action Badge (CAB) is awarded instead. For soldiers with an MOS in the medical field they would, with the exception of a Special Forces Medical Sergeant (18D), receive the Combat Medical Badge. 18D Special Forces Medics would receive the Combat Infantryman badge instead.

The Achievement Medal is a military decoration of the United States Armed Forces. The Achievement Medal was first proposed as a means to recognize outstanding achievement or meritorious service of military personnel who were not eligible to receive the higher Commendation Medal or the Meritorious Service Medal.

The National Defense Service Medal (NDSM) is a service award of the United States Armed Forces established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953. It is awarded to every member of the U.S. Armed Forces who has served during any one of four specified periods of armed conflict or national emergency from June 27, 1950 through December 31, 2022. Combat or "in theater" service is not a requirement for the award.

The Vietnam Service Medal is a military award of the United States Armed Forces established on 8 July 1965 by order of President Lyndon B. Johnson. The medal is awarded to recognize service during the Vietnam War by all members of the U.S. Armed Forces provided they meet the award requirements.

The Expert Infantryman Badge, or EIB, is a special skills badge of the United States Army.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Special Forces Tab</span> Award

The Special Forces Tab is a service school qualification tab of the United States Army, awarded to any soldier completing the Special Forces Qualification Course at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Soldiers who are awarded the Special Forces Tab are authorized to wear it and the green beret for the remainder of their military careers, even when not serving in a Special Forces command.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Service star</span> Military decoration

A service star is a miniature bronze or silver five-pointed star 316 inch in diameter that is authorized to be worn by members of the eight uniformed services of the United States on medals and ribbons to denote an additional award or service period. The service star may also be referred to as a campaign star or battle star depending on which award the star is authorized for and the manner in which the device is used for the award.

An Overseas Service Ribbon is a service military award of the United States military which recognizes those service members who have performed military tours outside the borders of the United States of America. There are different versions of the Overseas Service Ribbons for the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Space Force, and the U.S. Coast Guard. Both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marines receive the Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon.

The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) is a military award of the United States Armed Forces, which was first created in 1961 by Executive Order of President John Kennedy. The medal is awarded to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who, after July 1, 1958, participated in U.S. military operations, U.S. operations in direct support of the United Nations, or U.S. operations of assistance for friendly foreign nations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Global War on Terrorism Service Medal</span> American service medal

The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal (GWOT-SM) is a military award of the United States Armed Forces which was created through Executive Order 13289 on 12 March 2003, by President George W. Bush. The medal recognizes those military service members who have supported operations to counter terrorism in the War on Terror from 11 September 2001, to a date yet to be determined.

The Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (GWOT-EM) is a United States Armed Forces award created by George W. Bush on 12 March 2003, through Executive Order 13289. The medal recognizes those military service members who have deployed overseas in direct service to the War on Terror from 11 September 2001 to a date to be determined. Prior to 30 April 2005, the medal was awarded for service within Iraq and Afghanistan, but has been replaced with the Iraq Campaign Medal and Afghanistan Campaign Medal and now serves primarily as recognition for personnel who have deployed in support of the War on Terror to locations beyond Iraq and Afghanistan. In a similar fashion the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal is now issued instead for service in the fight against ISIS, with eligibility retroactive to 15 June 2014.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Combat Action Badge</span> United States Army award

The Combat Action Badge (CAB) is a United States military award given to soldiers of the U.S. Army of any rank and who are not members of an infantry or special forces MOS, for being "present and actively engaging or being engaged by the enemy, and performing satisfactorily in accordance with prescribed rules of engagement" at any point in time after 18 September 2001.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Presidential Unit Citation (United States)</span> United States military award

The Presidential Unit Citation (PUC), originally called the Distinguished Unit Citation, is awarded to units of the uniformed services of the United States, and those of allied countries, for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy on or after 7 December 1941. The unit must display such gallantry, determination, and esprit de corps in accomplishing its mission under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions so as to set it apart from and above other units participating in the same campaign.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Unofficial badges of the United States military</span>

Unofficial badges of the United States military are those badges or emblems that do not appear in United States military regulations but that many individuals serving in the United States military wear or display. Unofficial badges may also be bestowed for a one time action or be authorized under the authority of a local commander.

68W is the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) for the United States Army's Combat Medic. 68Ws are primarily responsible for providing emergency medical treatment at point of wounding on the battlefield, limited primary care, and health protection and evacuation from a point of injury or illness. 68W's hold the license of EMT-B through the NREMT, and often serve the role similar to an EMT-B or Medical Assistant. However, 68Ws often have a scope of practice much wider than EMT-B's and Medical Assistants. This specialty is open to males and females with minimum line scores of 107 GT and 101 ST on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division</span>

The 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division is an inactive Airborne Brigade of the United States Army. The brigade was active from 1968-1969, and from 2006-2014. The brigade conducted three rotations to Afghanistan, in 2007 and 2008, 2009 and 2010, and 2012. The brigade's two infantry battalions deployed for a fourth time in 2013-2014, and became part of other BCTs in the division upon their redeployment.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal</span> Award of the United States military

The Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal is a United States Department of Defense service award and campaign medal. The medal was established by Executive Order on 30 March 2016 by U.S. President Barack Obama. The medal may be awarded to members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard, for service in Iraq, Syria, or contiguous waters or airspace retroactively from 15 June 2014 to a date yet to be determined. Service members who were awarded the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal for service that is now covered by the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal may make application to be awarded the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal in lieu of the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. No service member will be entitled to the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal for the same action, time period, or service.


  1. Army Regulation 600-8-22 Military Awards (24 June 2013). Table 8-1, U.S. Army Badges and Tabs: Orders of precedence. p. 120 Archived 17 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  2. "Sec. 578.69 2008 Combat Infantryman Badge".
  3. MILPER MESSAGE NUMBER : 08-190 [ permanent dead link ]
  4. "ASSIST-QuickSearch Document Details". Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  5. "U.S. Army Uniforms".
  6. "Army Medical Department Regiment". Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  7. "Sec. 578.70 Combat Medical Badge 2008".
  8. "HRC Homepage". Archived from the original on 11 September 2015. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  9. Secretary of the Army, Army Directive 2011-11, June 11, 2011 Archived 10 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine