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Awards and Commendations

Medals, ribbons, citations and badges issued and awarded by the 173rd Airborne Brigade to soldiers for excellence.


Combat Infantryman Badge
History
After the United States' declaration of war in 1941, the War Department had difficulty recruiting infantry branch volunteers, namely due to the fact that "of all Soldiers, it was recognized that the infantryman continuously operated under the worst conditions and performed a mission that was not assigned to any other Soldier or unit ... the infantry, a small portion of the total Armed Forces, was suffering the most casualties while receiving the least public recognition."

On 27 October 1943, the War Department formally established the Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB) and the Expert Infantryman Badge (EIB) awards in Section I, War Department Circular 269 (27 October 1943):

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 the Combat Infantryman badges are established for infantry personnel.

Moreover, War Department Circular 269 stipulated: "…only one of these badges will be worn at one time" and "the Combat Infantryman badge is the highest award"; the awarding of the CIB was officially authorized with an executive order dated 15 November 1943; later, on 10 June 1944, the U.S. Congress approved an extra ten dollars in monthly pay to every infantryman awarded the CIB excepting commissioned officers. The WWII regulations did not formally prescribe a specific combat service period establishing the infantryman’s eligibility for being awarded a Combat Infantryman Badge, thus, in 1947, the U.S. Government implemented a policy authorizing the retroactive awarding of the Bronze Star Medal to World War II veteran soldiers who had been awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, because the CIB was awarded only to soldiers who had borne combat duties befitting the recognition conferred by a Bronze Star Medal. Both awards required a commander’s recommendation and a citation in the pertinent orders. General Marshall initiated this after Medal of Honor-recipient Major Charles W. Davis noted to him that: "It would be wonderful, if someone could design a badge for every infantryman who faces the enemy, every day and every night, with so little recognition".

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, the largest war in which 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.
Prerequisites
Complete one campaign with at least 60% participation.
Combat Infantryman Badge (2nd Award)
History
On 8 February 1952, the Army approved the addition of stars to the CIB indicating the soldier’s having fought in more than one war. The first was the second-award CIB recognizing Korean War combat operations; in that time, the U.S. Army’s Institute of Heraldry also had created eighth-award CIB designs. The second- through fourth-award CIB awards were indicated with silver five-point stars, one to three stars centered, at badge’s top, between the tips of the oak-leaf wreath
Prerequisites
Complete 2 campaigns with at least 60% participation in each.
Combat Infantryman Badge (3rd Award)
History
On 8 February 1952, the Army approved the addition of stars to the CIB indicating the soldier’s having fought in more than one war. The first was the second-award CIB recognizing Korean War combat operations; in that time, the U.S. Army’s Institute of Heraldry also had created eighth-award CIB designs. The second- through fourth-award CIB awards were indicated with silver five-point stars, one to three stars centered, at badge’s top, between the tips of the oak-leaf wreath.

Major General David E. Grange, Jr. was the Commanding General at Fort Benning, Georgia between 1979 and 1981. As a triple CIB recipient himself, Grange understood that being awarded three Combat Infantryman Badges was a very rare achievement and thought a list should be compiled to celebrate the recipients' distinction. With his urging, the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning began collecting names of known 3rd CIB recipients. By 1983 the museum had collected and set to bronze the names of two hundred and thirty men and preparations were made for the unveiling of a memorial to these Soldiers and the recipients yet to be discovered at Fort Benning. An additional 94 names were added to the bronze plaques over the years. After the inauguration of the new NIM, the exhibit showing the list was not redisplayed.

Because the gap between the second (Korea) and fourth (War on Terror) periods of eligibility is more than forty-eight years, longer than any likely career in infantry or special forces units, all known three-time recipients served in the World War II, Korea, and Vietnam eras.
Prerequisites
Complete 3 campaigns with at least 60% participation in each campaign.
Combat Infantryman Badge (4th Award)
History
On 8 February 1952, the Army approved the addition of stars to the CIB indicating the soldier’s having fought in more than one war. The first was the second-award CIB recognizing Korean War combat operations; in that time, the U.S. Army’s Institute of Heraldry also had created eighth-award CIB designs. The second- through fourth-award CIB awards were indicated with silver five-point stars, one to three stars centered, at badge’s top, between the tips of the oak-leaf wreath.
Prerequisites
Complete 4 campaigns with at least 60% participation in each.
Basic Parachutist
History
The original Army Parachutist Badge was designed in 1941 by Captain (later Lieutenant General) William P. Yarborough and approved by the Department of the Army in March of that year. The Parachutist Badge replaced the "Parachutist Patch" which had previously worn as a large patch on the side of a paratrooper's garrison cap. LTG Yarborough also designed the Senior and Master Parachutist Badges and the addition of stars to portray the number of combat jumps.
Prerequisites
Successful Completion of Airborne School
Senior Parachutist
History
The original Army Parachutist Badge was designed in 1941 by Captain (later Lieutenant General) William P. Yarborough and approved by the Department of the Army in March of that year. The Parachutist Badge replaced the "Parachutist Patch" which had previously worn as a large patch on the side of a paratrooper's garrison cap. LTG Yarborough also designed the Senior and Master Parachutist Badges and the addition of stars to portray the number of combat jumps.
Prerequisites
Complete 10 successful jumps between official 173rd Operations and Airborne School(s)
Master Parachutist
History
The original Army Parachutist Badge was designed in 1941 by Captain (later Lieutenant General) William P. Yarborough and approved by the Department of the Army in March of that year. The Parachutist Badge replaced the "Parachutist Patch" which had previously worn as a large patch on the side of a paratrooper's garrison cap. LTG Yarborough also designed the Senior and Master Parachutist Badges and the addition of stars to portray the number of combat jumps.
Prerequisites
Complete 15 successful jumps between Official 173rd operations and Airborne School(s)
Combat Star (1st Award)
History
If a soldier completes an airborne jump into a combat zone, they are authorized to wear a Combat Jump Device on their Parachutist Badge. The device consists of a star or arrangements of stars, indicating the number of combat jumps.
Prerequisites
Successfully complete 1 combat jump during an official 173rd Operation
Combat Star (2nd Award)
History
If a soldier completes an airborne jump into a combat zone, they are authorized to wear a Combat Jump Device on their Parachutist Badge. The device consists of a star or arrangements of stars, indicating the number of combat jumps.
Prerequisites
Successfully complete 2 combat jumps during official 173rd Operations.
Combat Star (3rd Award)
History
If a soldier completes an airborne jump into a combat zone, they are authorized to wear a Combat Jump Device on their Parachutist Badge. The device consists of a star or arrangements of stars, indicating the number of combat jumps.
Prerequisites
Successfully complete 3 combat jumps during official 173rd Operations
Combat Star (4th Award)
History
If a soldier completes an airborne jump into a combat zone, they are authorized to wear a Combat Jump Device on their Parachutist Badge. The device consists of a star or arrangements of stars, indicating the number of combat jumps.
Prerequisites
Successfully complete 4 combat jumps during official 173rd Operations.
Combat Star (5th Award)
History
If a soldier completes an airborne jump into a combat zone, they are authorized to wear a Combat Jump Device on their Parachutist Badge. The device consists of a star or arrangements of stars, indicating the number of combat jumps.
Prerequisites
Successfully complete 5 combat jumps during official 173rd Operations.
Ranger Tab
History
The Ranger tab is a service school military decoration of the United States Army signifying completion of the 61-day-long Ranger School course in small-unit infantry combat tactics in woodland, mountain, and swamp operations. It is currently one of four permanent individual skill/marksmanship tabs authorized for wear by the U.S. Army. In order of seniority, they are the President's Hundred Tab, the Special Forces Tab, the Ranger Tab, and the Sapper Tab. Only three may be worn at one time.
Prerequisites
Pass the 173rd Ranger School
Marksman Qualification Badge
History
Starting in the late 19th century, the U.S. Army began awarding marksmanship qualification badges to their Soldiers that met specific weapon qualification standards. In the early 20th century, the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy began awarding marksmanship qualification badges as well. The Marine Corps began by awarding Army Marksmanship Qualification Badges but eventually developed its own badge design, based on the original Army designs from the early 1900s.
Prerequisites
Score between 40-49 on day 3 of BCT.
Sharpshooter Qualification Badge
History
Starting in the late 19th century, the U.S. Army began awarding marksmanship qualification badges to their Soldiers that met specific weapon qualification standards. In the early 20th century, the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy began awarding marksmanship qualification badges as well. The Marine Corps began by awarding Army Marksmanship Qualification Badges but eventually developed its own badge design, based on the original Army designs from the early 1900s
Prerequisites
Score between 50-57 on day 3 of BCT.
Expert Qualification Badge
History
Starting in the late 19th century, the U.S. Army began awarding marksmanship qualification badges to their Soldiers that met specific weapon qualification standards. In the early 20th century, the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy began awarding marksmanship qualification badges as well. The Marine Corps began by awarding Army Marksmanship Qualification Badges but eventually developed its own badge design, based on the original Army designs from the early 1900s
Prerequisites
Score between 58-60 on day 3 of BCT.
Basic Aviator Badge
History
A United States Aviator Badge refers to three types of aviation badges issued by the United States military, those being for Army, Air Force, and Naval aviation. In the modern military, Army and Air Force Aviator Badges are issued in three ratings: Basic, Senior, and Command/Master/Chief. The higher degrees are denoted by a star or star with wreath above the badge. Air Force regulations state that the basic rating denotes completion of specified training and that the advanced ratings denote experience levels. The Naval Aviator Badge is issued in a single rating for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
Prerequisites
Must be part of 12th Combat Aviation. Be an active member of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade for 1 month.
Senior Aviator Badge
History
A United States Aviator Badge refers to three types of aviation badges issued by the United States military, those being for Army, Air Force, and Naval aviation. In the modern military, Army and Air Force Aviator Badges are issued in three ratings: Basic, Senior, and Command/Master/Chief. The higher degrees are denoted by a star or star with wreath above the badge. Air Force regulations state that the basic rating denotes completion of specified training and that the advanced ratings denote experience levels. The Naval Aviator Badge is issued in a single rating for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
Prerequisites
Must be part of 12th Combat Aviation. Be an active member of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade for 3 months.
Master Aviator Badge
History
A United States Aviator Badge refers to three types of aviation badges issued by the United States military, those being for Army, Air Force, and Naval aviation.

In the modern military, Army and Air Force Aviator Badges are issued in three ratings: Basic, Senior, and Command/Master/Chief. The higher degrees are denoted by a star or star with wreath above the badge. Air Force regulations state that the basic rating denotes completion of specified training and that the advanced ratings denote experience levels. The Naval Aviator Badge is issued in a single rating for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
Prerequisites
Must be part of 12th Combat Aviation.

Be an active member of the 12th Combat Aviation for 6 months.
Air Assault Badge
History
According to the United States Army Institute of Heraldry, "The Air Assault Badge was approved by the Chief of Staff, Army, on 18 January 1978, for Army-wide wear by individuals who successfully completed Air Assault training after 1 April 1974. The badge had previously been approved as the Airmobile Badge authorized for local wear by the Commander of the 101st Airborne Division, effective 1 April 1974." The division had been reorganized from parachute to airmobile in mid-1968 in Vietnam and designated the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile). The parenthetical designation changed to Air Assault on 4 October 1974 and the name of the badge was likewise changed.
Prerequisites
The Air Assault Badge shall be awarded to soldiers who successfully complete Air Assault School.