Combat Infantryman Badge
Display Recognition

Site Index

      • Example Display Recognition
      • Applicable Combat Missions
      • Display Types
      • Issue Requirements
      • Issue Regulations
      • Who May Apply
      • Administration Processing and Delivery
      • How To Apply For This Display Recognition and/or Medal
      • Mailing Address
      • Questions?
      • Other Display Recognitions
      • Example Display Recognition:
        Actual Size: 8 1/2 x 11
        All Applicable Combat Missions between World War II and now.
        See Operation RetroActive Recognition for Eligibility Extension to Engagements Prior to World War II



        Combat Missions

        All Applicable Combat Missions to include:

      • WW2
      • Korean War
      • Vietnam War
      • Laos, From 19 Apr 61 To 6 Oct 62
      • Dominican Republic, From 28 Apr 65 To 1 Sep 66
      • Korea On The Dmz, After 4 Jan 69, But Before 31 Mar 94
      • Grenada, From 23 Oct To 21 Nov 83
      • Panama, From 20 Dec 89 To 31 Jan 90
      • Persian Gulf War, From 17 Jan 91 To 11 Apr 91
      • Somalia, 5 Jun 93 To 31 Mar 94
      • El Salvador, 1 Jan 81 To 1 Feb 92
      • Kosovo
      • Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom
      • Other eras may be applicable
      • Issue Requirements
        You must submit the followind:

      • An unaltered photocopy of your DD-214 (post WW2), OR unaltered photocopy of WD AGO 53-55 (WW2), OR other military issued document authorizing your CIB award.
      • NOTICE

        This Display Recognition is available ONLY to authorized recipients who possess orders, or authorization form, or release documentation that confirms award eligibility. (See "Issue Requirements"). To obtain either a Display Medal or a Display Recognition for your authorized award you will be required to provide military-issued documentation authorizing your award. There are no exceptions.

        WARNING!
        You must NOT submit a military issued document or photocopy that:

        • has been altered in any way by you after
          the original's official issue
        • contains information or corrections or
          additions that you entered
        • lists awards or training you knowingly did not receive
        • contains highlighting, colorizing or other markings you entered

        Be advised that on request any knowingly fraudulent document sent by you will be released to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that may result in prosecution and/or fine/imprisonment.

        Email Questions, or Phone: 310-532-0634

        Display Types

        You have four display types to choose from:
        Black & White (No Color)
        Heavy Bond Enclosure

        Heavy Bond Enclosure
        Colors: Regal, Black, Navy
        Trimmed in Appearance Gold

        Ready for Mantle or Shelf Display

        Personnel Branch
        Processing and Delivery

        Style Admin Shipping Total
        Full Color .PDF (Printable) $7.50 Emailed $7.50
        Published Document only (Full Color) $14.00 $7.15 $21.15
        Published Document in Heavy Bond Enclosure (Full Color) $19.00 $7.15 $26.15
        Full Color Printable Certificates
        on CD-Rom (minimum 20 Certificates)
        $7.50 $7.50 By Count

      • Total/Shipping fees, above, apply to 50 U.S. states
      • Contact The War Library for international shipping cost
      • How to Apply

        You may apply for your Display Recognition using a...

      • Check Debit card (* Shipped within 1 week)
      • Charge card (* Shipped within 1 week)
      • Personal, Business, Bank or Cashiers Check ( Shipped in 6 weeks)
      • Money Order (* Shipped within 1 week)
      • (* Upon reception of required documentation)

        Complete and MAIL this APPLICATION FORM.
        Don't forget to include an unaltered COPY of your DD-214 or other pre-arranged document(s).

        DISPLAY RECOGNITION and/or MEDAL APPLICATION FORM

        Mailing Address

        Records Chief (REC-AMW)
        The American War Library
        16907 Brighton Avenue
        Gardena CA 90247-5420

        Questions?

        Click here for answers to common questions

        Email: CIB Recognition Inquiry

        Telephone: 1-310-532-0634

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        Issue Regulations

        MOS Eligibility


        Click for larger image

        Period MOS
        WWII Infantry Only
        Korea Infantry Only
        Vietnam Any MOS operating as an Infantryman with an Infantry unit (*)
        Post Vietnam Infantry Only

        Paragraph 2-6, Army Regulation 600-8-22 (Military Awards)
        25 February 1995

        The CIB is worn above the ribbon rack on the Class A uniform, and above the name tag on utility and jungle fatigues.

        a. History

        (1) The Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB) was established by the War Department on 27 October 1943. Lieutenant General Lesley J. McNair, then the Army Ground Forces commanding general, was instrumental in its creation. He originally recommended that it be called the "fighter badge." The CIB was designed to enhance morale and the prestige of the "Queen of Battle." Then Secretary of War Henry Stinson said, "It is high time we recognize in a personal way the skill and heroism of the American infantry."

        (2) Originally, the Regimental Commander was the lowest level at which the CIB could be approved and its award was retroactive to 7 December 1941. There was a separate provision for badge holders to receive a $10 per month pay stipend, which was rescinded in 1948. Several factors led to the creation of the CIB, some of the most prominent factors are as follows:

        (a) The need for large numbers of well-trained infantry to bring about a successful conclusion to the war and the already critical shortage of infantrymen.

        (b) Of all soldiers, it was recognized that the infantryman continuously operated under the worst conditions and performed a mission which was not assigned to any other soldier or unit.

        (c) The infantry, a small portion of the total Armed Forces, was suffering the most casualties while receiving the least public recognition.

        (d) General Marshall's well known affinity for the ground forces soldier and, in particular, the infantryman. All these factors led to the establishment of the CIB, an award which would provide special recognition of the unique role of the Army infantryman, the only soldier whose daily mission is to close with and destroy the enemy and to seize and hold terrain. The badge was intended as an inducement for individuals to join the infantry while serving as a morale booster for infantrymen serving in every theater.

        (3) In developing the CIB, the War Department did not dismiss out of hand or ignore the contributions of other branches. Their vital contributions to the overall war effort were certainly noted, but it was decided that other awards and decorations were sufficient to recognize their contributions. From the beginning, Army leaders have taken care to retain the badge for the unique purpose for which it was established and to prevent the adoption of any other badge which would lower its prestige. At the close of World War II, our largest war in which the armor and artillery played key roles in the ground campaigns, a review was conducted of the CIB criteria with consideration being given to creating either additional badges or authorizing the badge to cavalry and armor units. The review noted that any change in policy would detract from the prestige of the badge.

        b. Intent.

        (1) There are basically three requirements for award of the CIB. The soldier must be an infantryman satisfactorily performing infantry duties, must be assigned to an infantry unit during such time as the unit is engaged in active ground combat, and must actively participate in such ground combat. Campaign or battle credit alone is not sufficient for award of the CIB.

        (2) The definition or requirement to be "engaged in active ground combat" has generated much dialogue over the years as to the original intent of the CIB.

        (a) The 1943 War Department Circular required infantrymen to demonstrate "satisfactory performance of duty in action against the enemy." The operative words "in action" connoted actual combat.

        (b) A War Department determination in October 1944 specified that "action against the enemy" for purposes of award of the CIB was to be interpreted as "ground combat against enemy ground forces."

        (c) In 1948, the regulation governing badges stipulated that "battle participation credit is not sufficient; the unit must have been in contact with the enemy." This clearly indicated that an exchange of hostile fire or equivalent personal exposure was the intent of the Army leadership.

        (d) In 1963 and 1965 HQDA messages to the senior Army commander in the Southeast Asia theater of operations authorized award of the CIB to otherwise qualified personnel "provided they are personally present and under fire." U.S. Army Vietnam regulations went so far as to require documentation of the type and intensity of enemy fire encountered by the soldier. The intended requirement to be "personally present and under fire" has not changed.

        c. Specific eligibility requirements

        (1) A soldier must be an Army infantry or special forces Officer (SSI 11 or 18) in the grade of colonel or below, or an Army enlisted soldier or warrant officer with an infantry or special forces MOS, who subsequent to 6 December 1941 has satisfactorily performed duty while assigned or attached as a member of an infantry, ranger or special forces unit of brigade, regimental, or smaller size during any period such unit was engaged in active ground combat. Eligibility for special forces personnel (less the special forces medical sergeant) accrues from 20 December 1989. Retroactive awards for special forces personnel are not authorized.

        (2) A recipient must be personally present and under hostile fire while serving in an assigned infantry or special forces primary duty, in a unit actively engaged in ground combat with the enemy. The unit in question can be of any size smaller than brigade. For example, personnel possessing an infantry MOS in a rifle squad of a cavalry platoon in a cavalry troop would be eligible for award of the CIB. Battle or campaign participation credit alone is not sufficient; the unit must have been in active ground combat with the enemy during the period.

        (3) Personnel with other than an infantry or special forces MOS are not eligible, regardless of the circumstances. The infantry or special forces SSI or MOS does not necessarily have to be the soldier's primary specialty, as long as the soldier has been properly trained in infantry or special forces tactics, possesses the appropriate skill code, and is serving in that specialty when engaged in active ground combat as described above. Commanders are not authorized to make any exceptions to this policy.

        (4) Awards will not be made to general officers nor to members of headquarters companies of units larger in size than brigade.

        d. Subsequent awards.

        (1) To date, a separate award of the CIB has been authorized for qualified soldiers in any of three conflicts: World War II (7 December 1941 to 3 September 1945), the Korean Conflict (27 June 1950 to 27 July 1953), and the Vietnam Conflict. Service in the Republic of Vietnam conflict (after 1 March 1961) combined with qualifying service in Laos (19 April 1961 to 6 October 1962), the Dominican Republic (28 April 1965 to 1 September 1966), Korea on the DMZ (after 4 January 1969), Grenada (23 October to 21 November 1983) Panama (20 December 1989 to 31 January 1990), and the Persian Gulf War (17 January to 11 April 1991) is recognized by one award only regardless of whether a soldier has served one or multiple tours in any or all of these areas. If a soldier has been awarded the CIB for service in any of the Vietnam era areas, that soldier is not eligible to earn the Combat Medical Badge.

        (2) Second and third awards of the CIB are indicated by superimposing 1 and 2 stars respectively, centered at the top of the badge between the points of the oak wreath.

        e. Special provisions - Republic of Vietnam

        (1) Any officer whose basic branch is other than infantry who, under appropriate orders, has commanded a line infantry (other than a headquarters unit) unit of brigade, regimental, or smaller size for at least 30 consecutive days is deemed to have been detailed in infantry and is eligible for award of the CIB notwithstanding absence of a written directive detailing that soldier in the infantry, provided all other requirements for the award have been met. Orders directing the officer to assume command will be confirmed in writing at the earliest practicable date.

        (2) In addition, any officer, warrant officer, or enlisted man whose branch is other than infantry, who under appropriate orders was assigned to advise a unit listed in (4) and (5) below or was assigned as a member of a White Star Mobile Training Team or a member of MAAG-Laos as indicated in f (l) and (2) below will be eligible for award of the CIB provided all other requirements have been met.

        (3) After 1 December 1967 for service in the Republic of Vietnam, noncommissioned officers serving as Command Sergeants Major of infantry battalions and brigades for periods of at least 30 consecutive days in a combat zone are eligible for award of the CIB provided all other requirements have been met.

        (4) Subsequent to 1 March 1961, a soldier must have been:

        (a) Assigned as advisor to an infantry unit, ranger unit, infantry type unit of the civil guard of regimental or smaller size, and/or infantry-type unit of the self defense corps unit of regimental or smaller size of the Vietnamese government during any period such unit was engaged in actual ground combat.

        (b) Assigned as advisor of an irregular force comparable to the above infantry units under similar conditions.

        (c) Personally present and under fire while serving in an assigned primary duty as a member of a tactical advisory team while the unit participated in ground combat.

        (5) Subsequent to 24 May 1965, to qualify for the CIB, personnel serving in U.S. units must meet the requirements of c (l) above. Individuals who performed liaison duties with the Royal Thai Army or the Army of the Republic of Korea combat units in Vietnam are eligible for award of the badge provided they meet all other requirements.

        f. Laos - From 19 April 1961 to 6 October 1962 a soldier must have been:

        (1) Assigned as member of a White Star Mobile Training Team while the team was attached to or working with a unit of regimental (groupment mobile) or smaller size of Forces Armee du Royaume (FAR), or with irregular type forces of regimental or smaller size.

        (2) A member of MAAG-Laos assigned as an advisor to a region or zone of FAR, or while serving with irregular type forces of regimental or smaller size.

        (3) Personally under hostile fire while assigned as specified in (1) or (2) above.

        g. Dominican Republic - From 28 April 1965 to 21 September 1966, the soldier must have met the criteria prescribed in b and c above.

        h. Korea - Subsequent to 4 January 1969, a soldier must have:

        (1) Served in the hostile fire area at least 60 days and been authorized hostile fire pay.

        (2) Been assigned to an infantry unit of company or smaller size and must be an infantry officer in the grade of captain or lower. Warrant officers and enlisted men must possess an infantry MOS. In the case of an officer whose basic branch is other than infantry who, under appropriate orders, has commanded an infantry company or smaller size infantry unit for at least 30 days, the award may be made provided all the following requirements are met.

        (3) Been engaged with the enemy in the hostile fire area or in active ground combat involving an exchange of small arms fire at least 5 times.

        (4) Been recommended personally by each commander in the chain of command and approved at division level. If killed or wounded as a direct result of overt enemy action, he must be recommended personally by each commander in the chain of command and approved at division level. In the case of infantrymen killed by enemy action, the requirement for at least 5 engagements ((3) above) and the requirement for the incident to have taken place in the hostile fire area, including the 60-day requirement ((1) above), will be waived. In the case of individuals wounded, even though outside the hostile fire area, the 5 engagements requirement and the 60 day requirement may be waived when it can be clearly established that the wound was a direct result of overt hostile action.

        (5) Been eligible for award of the CIB after 4 January 1969, for service in the Republic of Vietnam, as noncommissioned officers serving as Command Sergeants Major of infantry battalions and brigades for periods of at least 30 consecutive days in a combat zone.

        i. Grenada (Operation URGENT FURY) - From 22 October 1983 to 21 November 1983, the soldier must have met the criteria prescribed in b and c above.

        j. Panama (Operation JUST CAUSE) - From 20 December 1989 to 31 January 1990, the soldier must have met the criteria prescribed in b and c above. Special forces personnel (less the special forces medical sergeant) are eligible for the CIB effective 20 December 1989. Retroactive awards are not authorized.

        k. Persian Gulf War (Operation DESERT STORM) - From 17 January 1991 to 11 April 1991, the soldier must have met the criteria prescribed in b and c above. Retroactive awards are not authorized.

        l. Who may award.

        (1) Current awards. Current awards of the CIB may be awarded by the Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army, any commander delegated authority by the Secretary of the Army during war time, and the Commanding General, PERSCOM.

        (2) Retroactive awards. Retroactive awards of the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Combat Medical Badge may be made to fully qualified individuals. Such awards will not be made except where evidence of injustice is presented. Active duty soldiers will forward their applications through command channels to Commander PERSCOM, ATTN: TAPC-PDA, Alexandria, VA 22332-0471. Reserve Component soldiers, retirees, and veterans should address their application to Commander, ARPERCEN, ATTN; DARP-PAS-EAW, 9700 Page Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63132-5200.

        I. DESCRIPTION: A silver and enamel badge 1 inch in height and 3 inches in width, consisting of an infantry musket on a light blue bar with a silver border, on and over an elliptical oak wreath. Stars are added at the top of the wreath to indicate subsequent awards; one star for the second award, two stars for the third award and three stars for the fourth award.

        II. SYMBOLISM: The bar is blue, the color associated with the Infantry branch. The musket is adapted from the Infantry insignia of branch and represents the first official U.S. shoulder arm, the 1795 model Springfield Arsenal musket. It was adopted as the official Infantry branch insignia in 1924. The oak symbolizes steadfastness, strength and loyalty.

        III. AWARD ELIGIBILITY: Awarded to personnel in the grade of Colonel or below with an infantry military occupational specialty 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. The policy was expanded to permit award to Command Sergeants Major of infantry battalions or brigades, effective 1 January 1967. Specific criteria for each conflict was also established. Only one award is authorized for service in Vietnam, Laos, Dominican Republic, Korea (subsequent to 27 July 1954), Grenada, Panama, and Southwest Asia. The complete criteria for each area and inclusive dates are listed in Army Regulation 600-8-22.

        IV. DATE APPROVED: The Combat Infantryman Badge was approved by the Secretary of War on 7 October 1943 and announced in War Department Circular 269 dated 27 October 1943. On 8 February 1952, the Chief of Staff, Army, approved a proposal to add stars to the Combat Infantry Badge to indicate award of the badge in separate wars. Under this change in policy, the badge was no longer limited to a one-time award, but may now be awarded to eligible individuals for each war in which they participated.

        The two badges have a combined interesting evolution. The Combat Infantryman Badge was approved by the Secretary of War on 7 October 1943 and was initially referred to as the Combat Assault Badge; however, the name was changed to Combat Infantryman Badge as announced in War Department Circular 269 dated 27 October 1943. On 8 February 1952, the Chief of Staff, Army, approved a proposal to add stars to the Badge to indicate award of the Badge in separate wars. Regulations are now in place that provide for eight such awards. The first four prescribe the Badge to be silver with an additional star attached for each award subsequent to the first award. The fifth award is gold without stars and gold stars added for subsequent awards. The Badge is one inch in height (without stars) and three inches in width. The bar is blue, the color associated with the infantry branch. The musket is adapted from the infantry insignia of branch and represents the first official U.S. shoulder arm, the Springfield Arsenal musket. It was adopted as the official infantry branch insignia in 1924. The Oak wreath symbolizes steadfastness, strength and loyalty.

        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." There is absolutely no mention of length of time such engagement has to be.

        On 5 April 1963 the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, in message no. DA333969, advised that "the newly established criteria in DA327892 for award of the CIB would be printed as a change to AR672-5-1 Awards." The message said in part ". . . 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." Public Law 393, 78th Congress as reflected in War Department circular no. 271 dated 3 July 1944 provides that "During the present war (WWII) and for 6 months thereafter any enlisted man of the Combat Ground Forces of the Army who is entitled, under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of War to wear the Expert Infantryman Badge or the Combat Infantryman Badge shall be paid additional compensation at the rate of $5.95 per month for the EIB and at the rate of $10.00 per month when entitled to wear the CIB provided that compensation for both may not be paid at the same time." Combat Ground Forces is described as "Infantry, Cavalry, Field Artillery, Coast Artillery, Armored and Tank Destroyer units and Combat Engineers."

        The Expert Infantryman Badge is described as being 7/16" in height and 3 inches in width. It is the same as the CIB except that there is no oak wreath. It was approved concurrent with the CIB.

        Currently, for award eligibility, "personnel must meet Department of the Army established testing requirements and must possess a military occupational specialty within Career Management Field 11 (Infantry)."

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