The Army recently announced the Combat Action Badge, a new award intended for any soldier who comes under fire in a combat zone. A similar badge has long been available to infantry and medical team members, but the military found it necessary to create an award for the large numbers of MP’s, supply line soldiers, and base crews being injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s a recognition that these soldiers are now being called upon to do the job that once was the province of infantry.
Soldiers can receive the badge multiple times, but only once for each “qualifying period.” The award is available retroactively from September 16, 2001. The inaugural qualifying period will close, as the authorizing document delicately puts it, at a “date to be determined.