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Combat Infantryman's Badge (CIB) (Read 14016 times)
Chris_Schaefer
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Combat Infantryman's Badge (CIB)
Mar 03rd, 2011, 2:19pm
 
Over the past few months Mr. Robert Johnson (user name Robersable) has posted several entries regarding the Combat Infantryman's Badge.  Mr. Johnson indicates that he believes that all veterans of Bataan are eligible to receive both the Combat Infantryman's Badge and the Bronze Star Medal.

The Philippine Scouts Heritage Society is presently researching this claim, as we are concerned that Mr. Johnson’s information may be not be accurate.  Until we make a determination, we recommend that visitors to this website not rely solely on information found here when filing requests or claims to the Defense Department for medals.

In the meantime, we invite anyone who has actual documents (not reference numbers) that support or refute this claim to post them here, or e-mail them to Chris_Schaefer@philippine-scouts.org.
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Raleigh
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Re: Combat Infantryman's Badge (CIB)
Reply #1 - Mar 4th, 2011, 10:11am
 
Chris and members,

The following  information pertains to the Combat Infantryman Badge and what I have learned about it in regards to this issue.  I draw mostly from correspondence with Mr. Gruber of the policy department, US Army Awards and Decorations branch,  scrutiny of cited regulations such as AR 600-8-22, WDC 186 (05-44) and personal experience.
The pertinent  War Department Circulars and Army regulations are: War Department Circular 269 (OCT 43),  rescinded by WDC 105 (MAR 44), and in turn WDC 186 (MAY 44) rescinded those WDCs.  Each WDC merely made more clear the policy for awarding the CIB .  The WDCs defined eligible units and their members as being cohesive Infantry units, and the soldiers and officers in those units were  eligible to be awarded CIBs.  No other branch, or MOS, or whatever  term one uses is eligible for the CIB, even today.   The current US Army regulation AR 600-8-22 (11 DEC 2006) addresses this in chapter 8, paragraph 6h.  The first paragraph of  WDC 186 (and 269) state:

"The present war has demonstrated the importance of highly proficient, tough, hard, and aggressive Infantry, which can be obtained only by developing a high degree of individual all-around proficiency on the part of every infantryman.  As a means of attaining the high standards desired and to foster esprit de corps in infantry units, the Expert Infantryman and Combat Infantryman badges are established for infantry personnel."

That is a direct excerpt from WDC 269 and 186.   WDC 186 rescinded WDC 269 (and WDC 105), and that is the applicable WDC for the veterans of WWII in reference to the CIB. For the vast majority of the defenders of Bataan and Corregidor they would not even know of the existence of these WDCs or the CIB until late 1945. Please note the reference to infantryman and infantry units continually in all three War Department Circulars;  you must not excerpt them, but  take them as a whole.  If anyone would like .pdf copies of these complete War department circulars or the current US Army regulation AR 600-8-22, please email me at:
mailto:ralph.koch@us.army.mil
I have contacted the policy division of the US Army Awards and Decorations branch, and they have confirmed and verified this information.  For questions pertaining to the eligibility of the awarding of the CIB, the point of contact is:

Christopher P. Gruber
Awards and Decorations Branch-Policy
ATTN: AHRC-PDP-A
1600 Spearhead Division Avenue
Fort Knox, Kentucky 40122
(502)613-8543 Office
Visit the Awards Branch homepage at:
https://www.hrc.army.mil/site/active/TAGD/awards/index.htm

I hope that this clarifies the CIB some.  In WWII, if an infantryman serving in an Infantry Brigade  was awarded a CIB, he was automatically eligible for a Bronze Star Medal  from a later regulation created in 1946.  Note the term "eligible".  In both cases, a commander on some level must recommend each of those awards, they are not "automatic".  The highest level of rank that could be awarded a CIB was a Infantry regimental /brigade commander, or in terms of rank, a Colonel.  It's worth noting that the CIB was not the precedent setter in branch oriented awards.  The Air medal was established  nearly two years before the CIB  for Army aviation units.  This was one of the reasons that that GEN Marshall, GEN McNair and the War Department felt that Infantryman and  units should be recognized for their efforts.  Apparently, at some point, CIBs were awarded to non-Infantry personnel in error  until the Secretary of War stepped in and stopped that action.  There was an attempt made to rescind them,  but there were too many.   This accounts for non-Infantry personnel having them;  they were never supposed to have them.  It is not a question of individuals deserving this award, it is an issue of eligibility and the Army then, and now, held/hold the position that only Infantryman in Infantry units are eligible for the CIB.  The CIB is considered a qualification badge, not an award, by the way.  It is important to note that when the US Army makes a retroactive award, they apply whatever the most current regulation is.  That is the Army's policy and only they can change that.  That would make the current applicable regulation the AR 600-8-22 (11 DEC 06) and specifically within that regulation, Chapter 8, paragraph 6h.
Here are some links with information about the CIB and its history, which can be found at:

http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/UniformedServices/Badges/combat_infantryman.as...
http://cibassoc.com/history/history-of-the-combat-infantrymans-badge/

It would be sad to hear that infantryman within the Scout organizations were not awarded CIBs.  On a personal level, I know that the commander of the 57th IN REG (PS) spent his remaining  years after the war ensuring that his soldiers, both American and Filipino, received the recognition they deserved, as I am sure all surviving commanders did.
To summarize,  from the very beginning with the original WDC 269 (10-43) to present, only Infantryman assigned to Infantry brigades (and their subunits) are eligible for the Combat Infantryman Badge.  
For reference,  I am a retired US Army Infantryman (Senior NCO), a member of the National Infantryman's Association, Combat Infantryman Association and have been awarded two Combat Infantryman Badges and an Expert Infantrymans Badge.  

Very Respectfully,
Raleigh Koch
Grandson of
Edmund J. Lilly, Jr.,
57th IN REG (PS)
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Robersabel
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Re: Combat Infantryman's Badge (CIB)
Reply #2 - Oct 9th, 2011, 3:20pm
 
>Apparently, at some point, CIBs were awarded to non-Infantry personnel in error  until the Secretary of War stepped in and stopped that action.  There was an attempt made to rescind them,  but there were too many.   This accounts for non-Infantry personnel having them;  they were never supposed to have them.  It is not a question of individuals deserving this award, it is an issue of eligibility and the Army then, and now, held/hold the position that only Infantryman in Infantry units are eligible for the CIB.  The CIB is considered a qualification badge, not an award, by the way.  It is important to note that when the US Army makes a retroactive award, they apply whatever the most current regulation is.  

You identiify a number of guidelines.  Only two WD Circulars apply to veterans of Bataan and Corregidor.
The period of battles were 7 December 1941 to 10 May 1942.  WD Circular 186 does not apply.  AR 600-8-22 does not apply regarding eligibility of the CIB.
I cannot begin to estimate how many were eligible 10 May 1942, but since the majority of approximately 12,000 participants of the battles were taken prisonen, killed in action or killed in captivity, obviously they were not available to be awarded recognition until 1945 when many were repatriated.
The process works slowly, and most recent  AAF veteran was awarded  the CIB by the U.S. Army, and presented by Congressman Patrick Kennedy (RI) January 2003.

Placed copies of WD Circular 105.  Note:  page 2, para IV.  BADGE.  "any infantryman" is eligible.  Amended WD Circular 269 and retroactive on or after 6 December 1941.

No other circular amends 269 and 105.

The USAR at St. Louis awarded the CIB to members assigned to various units, including pursuit squadrons.

Mistakes...I believe the process worked from 1945 to 2003.  Today, people in certain positions are the ones making mistakes.

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v191/Robersabel/CIB%20Circular%20105/?action=v...

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v191/Robersabel/CIB%20Circular%20105/?action=v...

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v191/Robersabel/CIB%20To%20Airmen%2002/?action...

The most recent:

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v191/Robersabel/CIB%20TO%20Brennan/?action=vie...

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v191/Robersabel/CIB%20TO%20Brennan/?action=vie...

Robert

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Raleigh
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Re: Combat Infantryman's Badge (CIB)
Reply #3 - Dec 3rd, 2011, 4:19pm
 
Editor, Robert and members,

It appears to me that Robert (and possibly others) simply did not read the full text of my six month old message, nor did he follow and read the links I provided. I also do not think that he contacted Mr. Gruber of the policy section of the US Army Awards branch as Mr. Gruber would have supported that information and was in fact the major source for the text and links I provided.

Robert states:


Quote:
The period of battles were 7 December 1941 to 10 May 1942. WD Circular 186 does not apply. AR 600-8-22 does not apply regarding eligibility of the CIB.


In a way, Robert is correct about WDC 186, because it is the current AR 600-8-22 that applies, per US Army regulations concerning current and retroactive awards.  However, as I stated earlier, WDC 186 did in fact rescind WDC 269.

Robert states:

Quote:
Placed copies of WD Circular 105. Note: page 2, para IV. BADGE. "any infantryman" is eligible. Amended WD Circular 269 and retroactive on or after 6 December 1941.


If one continues to read on in any of the WDCs and the current regulation, one can clearly see that that is an excerpt which leaves out the portion that refers to any infantryman in an infantry unit.  Infantryman and units are clearly spelled out as trained infantryman in trained infantry units and that infantry commanders must actually recommend infantryman for the Combat Infantryman Badge.  


Robert then states:

Quote:
No other circular amends 269 and 105.



I am sorry to have to correct Robert (again), but he is in error. I identify War Department Circulars which serve as temporary regulations until the entire regulation can be written; it is so today as well. They are not guidelines, but regulations, a distinct difference. WDC 186 ('44) rescinded both WDC 269 ('43) and the amendment WDC 105 ('44), I cite paragraph 10 from WDC 186:



Quote:
10. Recission of previous instructions.-Section I, Circular No. 269, War Department, 1943, as amended by section IV, Circular No. 105, War Department, 1944, is rescinded.



WDC 186 clearly states that it rescinds 269 and the amendment 105 in this paragraph and also states in paragraph 2 who is eligible:

Quote:
2. Eligibility.-The award of the Expert and Combat Infantryman badges is restricted to officers, warrant officer, and enlisted men assigned to infantry regiments or lower infantry units, except officers, warrant officers, and enlisted men of the Medical Department and the Corps of Chaplains.



Please also note that it states that the CIB is restricted to personnel "assigned to infantry regiments or lower infantry units" and even specifies some individuals within and infantry unit that are not eligible.

What Robert has posted are incomplete documents which do not include eligibility requirements, and do not include the later WDC 186 or the complete text of the earlier WDCs, which I have just shown to rescind Section 1 of WDC 269 and 105, so WDC 186 certainly does apply whether one wishes it to or not. Orders are frequently issued erroneously even today and later rescinded. Rescind means that previous orders or documents are no longer valid, such as the WDCs that you think apply. The time period is irrelevant, if the WDC or order was rescinded, then it means it is no longer in effect before or after, and all actions during that time are cancelled. This is not an interpretation, I am relaying facts in regards to how Army regulations work now and then. Interestingly, the interned veterans of this campaign would not only not have known about the earlier WDC 269, but they would not even have been aware of the later orders either, until they were released from the camps.

But that is all a moot point, in order to gain a retroactive award of the CIB, the current regulation (AR 600-8-22) is indeed the applicable regulation per Army awards policy, and in fact all Army policies and regulations are used in this way; the current regulation is the applicable one. This has been the practice for decades. There is even a paragraph in the AR 600-8-22 which specifies retroactive CIBs for the very time period cited by Robert (chapter 8, paragraph 6h). If someoe can find some change to this current regulation, please post it.  Until then, all must understand that that is the current and applicable regulation which one must base a retroactive award of the CIB.

Regulations are changed over time, and when you apply them, you must use the most current, even if it is years after the event. I provided the contact information for the individual in the awards branch in my original post (which was over six months ago). Please also read the text of my earlier message, and follow the links I provided as I followed the links that Robert provided. With the exception of the CIB association, all of the links I provided are official Army publications or websites which explain this badge and the complete text, not opinions or storytelling, hearsay or non-original documents that are not complete. I gained the applicable WDCs from Mr. Gruber, and the AR 600-8-22 can be downloaded via a US Army website; I can provide the WDCs and the current regulation if anyone is interested. I must mention that the Army Reserve branch must adhere to the Army policies, not the other way around, no matter how strongly a unit may feel about their personnel and besides, only an infantry commander (brigade level being the highest awarding unit) can recommend an infantryman a CIB, so the recommending authority in that case would have had to have been of that branch per the instructions of the WDCs or whatever the regulation was at that time.  The CIB was created solely for the infantry branch, just as the Air medal was created solely for the aviation branch. There are no words that state "fought as infantry" that do not include "in an infantry unit", and there are many references to infantry units and personnel in those units in all the circulars up to today's regulation in regards to eligibility (which, as stated, is the only applicable regulation). Robert states that the first circular (WDC 269) dealt only with those that fought in the Philippines but that is also inaccurate if one realizes the date at which it was published (October, 1943). Infantryman and their units (24th IN DIV, 1st IN DIV, 3rd IN DIV, just to name a few) had already begun island hopping campaigns in the Pacific theater and the invasion of North Africa, Sicily and mainland Italy, and that's documented historical fact. There are lots of non-infantry units in an infantry division, even today.  Only the personnel in the infantry brigades and below were eligible for the CIB, per the WDCs at the time, and the current regulation.  The later WDC's further clarified the original because so many had misunderstood it, even General Marshall. Exceptions are not the policy, and it is exceptions to the rule that Robert cites, even if they were considered valid. The Army awards branch informed me that many CIBs were given out in error, and while some were rescinded, there were too many to track down. So those non-infantry personnel that kept them were fortunate, but nevertheless, still not eligible.  There may be some exceptions to the rule, but those would not be supporting documents for all to be awarded as the regulation then and now is clear.  It would be advisable for non-infantry personnel that were awarded CIBs to keep that information to themselves, as they could easily have been awarded them in error, and there is the possibility, no matter how slight, that they could be rescinded.  Certainly, by strict interpretation of the regulation, then and now, it would be correct to have them removed.

I will add a personal experience to put some perspective on this in a modern sense. In 1991, I was assigned to an infantry unit that participated in the fighting in Iraq. Some personnel in my unit were assigned to non-infantry units during the combat portion of the operation, and after the conflict had ended they were reassigned to their infantry units. CIBs were awarded to all personnel at that time, but when it was realized by commanders that many of their soldiers were not present in their infantry unit during the actual battle(s), those CIBs were rescinded. So in this case, infantry personnel not in an infantry unit were not eligible for the award. End of the story, you must be an infantryman assigned to an infantry unit in the actual operation.  The WDCs and the current regulation clearly state that.

In addition,  please note that in the WDCs and the current regulation, that the CIB must be recommended by an infantry commander, no higher than a regiment (and later, brigade) There was an exception in Vietnam, still covered in the current regulation. There was no exception for WWII, or even Korea. The only eligible personnel and units in the Philippines in May of 1942 would have been those few units that are listed often in this message board that belonged to the Philippines Division; The 31st IN REG, 45th IN REG (PS), 57th IN REG (PS) and I am assuming the Philippine (Army) Infantry units. For the Philippines Division, this would have numbered some (approximately) 6500 infantrymen, and since this message board deals with the Scouts, now we are talking about 4500 infantryman (45th and 57th IN Regiments). These units took enormous losses due to their constant exposure to combat, until the actual surrender; one of the very reasons the CIB was created.  It should be noted that those units would have been eligible for an infantry streamer due to their horrific losses, per the current regulation, and the original WDCs.

I read Roberts postings and followed his links carefully; I would ask for the same courtesy. All of the issues that Robert mentioned in his response were addressed in my earlier post; I merely add more specific information to my original post, since it was challenged.

In summary, let me try to make it simple: The Combat Infantryman Badge was created for Infantryman. The name really says it all, and it was created by General McNair by order of the War Department intended to acknowledge the sacrifices of the infantry branch. An infantryman, as defined in all the circulars and today's regulation , is a soldier that is a trained infantryman, and assigned to an infantry company, battalion or regiment (or later, a brigade as units were restructured during the war). I'm not sure why now, after sixty eight years of policy, that needs to be changed; certainly the Army doesn't feel so, even if some obscure politician disagrees. Any soldier may be called upon to defend themselves, or operate outside of their normal duties, but in this case, that does not make them an infantryman, as defined by the regulation; now or then.  It is very important to understand the history of the CIB to understand it's intent.

My desire here is not to deny veterans, family members and descendants of those who fought during this campaign an award (or in this case, a badge), but to ensure that they understood a policy and intent for a regulation that is in effect and who were and are eligible. If there were members of those infantry units that were never awarded CIBs, then it should be known what the applicable regulation is and how to go about having the award made retroactively, which the current AR 600-8-22 specifies and explains.

I can provide complete copies of the WDCs or the current AR 600-8-22 if anyone desires.  The WDCs were provided to me by Mr. Gruber of the policy section of the Army Awards Branch, and the AR 600-8-22 I downloaded from an official Army publications site.

It is my sincerest hope that this information has helped some of the veterans and their family members of the Scouts.

Anywhere, Anytime!

Regards,
Raleigh
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