The Combat Infantry Badge (CIB) was the brainchild of Lieutenant General Lesley J. McNair during World War 2. He had intended that the CIB would be called a “fighter badge” to “increase the morale and prestige” of Infantry line troops. When the award was made official, Secretary of War Henry Stinson proclaimed “it is high time we recognize in a personal way the skill and heroism of the American infantry”. The award became retroactive to 7 December 1941 for infantrymen who were engaged in combat. This award intended to encourage young men to join the infantry during World War 2.
According to Human Resources Command, the “initial award of the CIB is authorized for Soldiers who meet all eligibility criteria for qualifying wars, conflicts, and operations listed in AR 600-8-22, paragraph 8-6.”
If we dig deeper into Army Regulations, Line 5 of AR 600-8-22 covers the Global War on Terrorism to include the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and also Operation Inherent Resolve (which includes fighting against ISIS in Iraq and Syria). Line and contingency operations clause in AR 600-8-22, the regulations there is the
To date, a separate award of the CIB has been authorized for qualified Soldiers in the following qualifying periods:
(5) Global War on Terrorism (18 September 2001 to a date to be determined).
(a) Afghanistan (18 September 2001 to 31 December 2014; OFS, 1 January 2015 to a date to be determined).
(b) Iraq (OIF, 19 March 2003 to 31 August 2010; OND, 1 September 2010 to 31 December 2011).
(c) OIR (15 June 2014 to a date to be determined).
Line 6 of AR 600-8-22 covers contingency operations which are “military actions requiring rapid deployment of the full spectrum of military forces in support of national policy short of war.” according to FM 5-71-100 in Chapter 7.
(6) Contingency operations other than war, not specifically included in the above specified qualifying periods, will be aligned to an appropriate qualifying period.
If we want to measure the “full spectrum of military forces in support of national policy short of war”, the brunt of riot control has mostly been borne by the Army National Guard so far. National Guard Soldiers have been assisting Police Officers in cities all over the United States the past week.
Successful contingency operations in the past include Urgent Fury, Golden Pheasant, Just Cause, Desert Shield/Storm and Restore Hope and implies the intensive planning and use of the full spectrum of military forces.
We know that the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 prohibits Active Duty forces from enforcing domestic law and policies. There would need to be a change in the Constitution or Act of Congress to enable the use of Active Duty military at the home front.
Does calling upon only the National Guard to enforce riots in the United States constitute “full-spectrum”? That is a question we would have to ask Human Resources Command (HRC) for interpretation.
If the inevitable were to happen where a National Guard Soldier is seriously injured or shot by a protestor, we would have to question if an American on domestic territory could be considered an enemy combatant. The victims of the Fort Hood shooting, which resulted in 13 killed and more than 30 injured, did not receive purple hearts until nearly six years after the incident occurred. Still, the awarding of the Purple Heart for these Soldiers required a serious, lengthy and disputable process.
Our National Guard troops served it’s intended purpose to restore peace and order in America. They were called upon at a minute’s notice, volunteered willingly, and are now positioned all across the United States to enforce rioting control. These Citizen Soldiers, men, and women of diversity who serve, are asked to be in harm’s way tonight among the people that they call neighbors. Combat Infantry Badge, or no badge; we must pray for the protection of these Soldiers and a safe return home to their families.