RAO Davao City

United States Military Retiree Activities Office Davao City, Philippines

COMBAT ACTION MEDAL UPDATE August 29, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on August 29th, 2008

If a nationwide veterans’ group gets its way, sailors and Marines who see combat would be decorated with a new Combat Action Medal, instead of the Combat Action Ribbon for which they’re currently eligible. The members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars adapted a resolution 17 AUG at their national convention in Orlando FL calling for Congress and Navy Secretary Donald Winter to create a Combat Action Medal to augment the existing ribbon. Retired Florida attorney Patrick Guarnieri, a former Seabee who served in Vietnam, drafted the resolution this winter after he realized that, of all the military services, the Navy Department’s was the only personal combat decoration without a medal or badge. He pointed to a decision by senior Air Force officials in early 2007 to create a Combat Action Medal, designed to recognize the growing numbers of airmen seeing action on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, as opposed to in the skies above. If the Pentagon is interested in keeping awards consistent across the military services — to the point that commanders changed the wording on four medals earlier this year and changed the size of eight others — it’s only fair that sailors and Marines be eligible for a combat medal, Guarnieri said. The VFW resolution calls on Congress to pass a law directing Winter to create a Combat Action Medal that would be retroactive to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Every sailor or Marine who had received a Combat Action Ribbon would be authorized to wear the medal — including Guarnieri, who said he received the CAR for action in Vietnam. [Source: NavyTimes Philip Ewing article 19 Aug 08 ++]

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