Paragraph 2-6, Army Regulation 600-8-22 (Military Awards), 25 February 1995.
For Expert Infantryman Badge
Howell's EIB Card
(1) The Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB) was
established by the War Department on 27 October 1943. Lieutenant
General Lesley J. McNair, then the Army Ground Forces commanding
general, was instrumental in its creation. He originally recommended
that it be called the "fighter badge." The CIB was designed to
enhance morale and the prestige of the "Queen of Battle." Then
Secretary of War Henry Stinson said, "It is high time we recognize
in a personal way the skill and heroism of the American infantry."
(2) Originally, the Regimental Commander was the
lowest level at which the CIB could be approved and its award was
retroactive to 7 December 1941. There was a separate provision for
badge holders to receive a $10 per month pay stipend, which was
rescinded in 1948. Several factors led to the creation of the CIB,
some of the most prominent factors are as follows:
(a) The need for large numbers of well-trained
infantry to bring about a successful conclusion to the war and the
already critical shortage of infantrymen.
(b) Of all soldiers, it was recognized that the
infantryman continuously operated under the worst conditions and
performed a mission which was not assigned to any other soldier or
(c) The infantry, a small portion of the total
Armed Forces, was suffering the most casualties while receiving
the least public recognition.
(d) General Marshall's well known affinity for
the ground forces soldier and, in particular, the infantryman. All
these factors led to the establishment of the CIB, an award which
would provide special recognition of the unique role of the Army
infantryman, the only soldier whose daily mission is to close with
and destroy the enemy and to seize and hold terrain. The badge was
intended as an inducement for individuals to join the infantry
while serving as a morale booster for infantrymen serving in every
(3) In developing the CIB, the War Department did
not dismiss out of hand or ignore the contributions of other
branches. Their vital contributions to the overall war effort were
certainly noted, but it was decided that other awards and
decorations were sufficient to recognize their contributions. 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, our largest war in which the 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.
(1) There are basically three requirements for
award of the CIB. The soldier must be an infantryman satisfactorily
performing infantry duties, must be assigned to an infantry unit
during such time as the unit is engaged in active ground combat, and
must actively participate in such ground combat. Campaign or battle
credit alone is not sufficient for award of the CIB.
(2) The definition or requirement to be "engaged
in active ground combat" has generated much dialogue over the years
as to the original intent of the CIB.
(a) The 1943 War Department Circular required
infantrymen to demonstrate "satisfactory performance of duty in
action against the enemy." The operative words "in action"
connoted actual combat.
(b) A War Department determination in October
1944 specified that "action against the enemy" for purposes of
award of the CIB was to be interpreted as "ground combat against
enemy ground forces."
(c) In 1948, the regulation governing badges
stipulated that "battle participation credit is not sufficient;
the unit must have been in contact with the enemy." This clearly
indicated that an exchange of hostile fire or equivalent personal
exposure was the intent of the Army leadership.
(d) In 1963 and 1965 HQDA messages to the senior
Army commander in the Southeast Asia theater of operations
authorized award of the CIB to otherwise qualified personnel
"provided they are personally present and under fire." U.S. Army
Vietnam regulations went so far as to require documentation of the
type and intensity of enemy fire encountered by the soldier. The
intended requirement to be "personally present and under fire" has
C. Specific eligibility requirements
(1) A soldier must be an Army infantry or special
forces Officer (SSI 11 or 18) in the grade of colonel or below, or
an Army enlisted soldier or warrant officer with an infantry or
special forces MOS, who subsequent to 6 December 1941 has
satisfactorily performed duty while assigned or attached as a member
of an infantry, ranger or special forces unit of brigade,
regimental, or smaller size during any period such unit was engaged
in active ground combat. Eligibility for special forces personnel
(less the special forces medical sergeant) accrues from 20 December
1989. Retroactive awards for special forces personnel are not
(2) A recipient must be personally present and
under hostile fire while serving in an assigned infantry or special
forces primary duty, in a unit actively engaged in ground combat
with the enemy. The unit in question can be of any size smaller than
brigade. For example, personnel possessing an infantry MOS in a
rifle squad of a cavalry platoon in a cavalry troop would be
eligible for award of the CIB. Battle or campaign participation
credit alone is not sufficient; the unit must have been in active
ground combat with the enemy during the period.
(3) Personnel with other than an infantry or
special forces MOS are not eligible, regardless of the
circumstances. The infantry or special forces SSI or MOS does not
necessarily have to be the soldier's primary specialty, as long as
the soldier has been properly trained in infantry or special forces
tactics, possesses the appropriate skill code, and is serving in
that specialty when engaged in active ground combat as described
above. Commanders are not authorized to make any exceptions to this
(4) Awards will not be made to general officers
nor to members of headquarters companies of units larger in size
D. Subsequent awards.
(1) To date, a separate award of the CIB has been
authorized for qualified soldiers in any of three conflicts: World
War II (7 December 1941 to 3 September 1945), the Korean Conflict
(27 June 1950 to 27 July 1953), and the Vietnam Conflict. Service in
the Republic of Vietnam conflict (after 1 March 1961) combined with
qualifying service in Laos (19 April 1961 to 6 October 1962), the
Dominican Republic (28 April 1965 to 1 September 1966), Korea on the
DMZ (after 4 January 1969), Grenada (23 October to 21 November 1983)
Panama (20 December 1989 to 31 January 1990), and the Persian Gulf
War (17 January to 11 April 1991) is recognized by one award only
regardless of whether a soldier has served one or multiple tours in
any or all of these areas. If a soldier has been awarded the CIB for
service in any of the Vietnam era areas, that soldier is not
eligible to earn the Combat Medical Badge.
(2) Second and third awards of the CIB are
indicated by superimposing 1 and 2 stars respectively, centered at
the top of the badge between the points of the oak wreath.
E. Special provisions - Republic of Vietnam
(1) Any officer whose basic branch is other than
infantry who, under appropriate orders, has commanded a line
infantry (other than a headquarters unit) unit of brigade,
regimental, or smaller size for at least 30 consecutive days is
deemed to have been detailed in infantry and is eligible for award
of the CIB notwithstanding absence of a written directive detailing
that soldier in the infantry, provided all other requirements for
the award have been met. Orders directing the officer to assume
command will be confirmed in writing at the earliest practicable
(2) In addition, any officer, warrant officer, or
enlisted man whose branch is other than infantry, who under
appropriate orders was assigned to advise a unit listed in (4) and
(5) below or was assigned as a member of a White Star Mobile
Training Team or a member of MAAG-Laos as indicated in f (l) and (2)
below will be eligible for award of the CIB provided all other
requirements have been met.
(3) After 1 December 1967 for service in the
Republic of Vietnam, noncommissioned officers serving as Command
Sergeants Major of infantry battalions and brigades for periods of
at least 30 consecutive days in a combat zone are eligible for award
of the CIB provided all other requirements have been met.
(4) Subsequent to 1 March 1961, a soldier must
(a) Assigned as advisor to an infantry unit,
ranger unit, infantry type unit of the civil guard of regimental
or smaller size, and/or infantry-type unit of the self defense
corps unit of regimental or smaller size of the Vietnamese
government during any period such unit was engaged in actual
(b) Assigned as advisor of an irregular force
comparable to the above infantry units under similar conditions.
(c) Personally present and under fire while
serving in an assigned primary duty as a member of a tactical
advisory team while the unit participated in ground combat.
(5) Subsequent to 24 May 1965, to qualify for the
CIB, personnel serving in U.S. units must meet the requirements of c
(l) above. Individuals who performed liaison duties with the Royal
Thai Army or the Army of the Republic of Korea combat units in
Vietnam are eligible for award of the badge provided they meet all
F. Laos - From 19 April 1961 to 6 October 1962 a
soldier must have been-
(1) Assigned as member of a White Star Mobile
Training Team while the team was attached to or working with a
unit of regimental (groupment mobile) or smaller size of Forces
Armee du Royaume (FAR), or with irregular type forces of
regimental or smaller size.
(2) A member of MAAG-Laos assigned as an advisor
to a region or zone of FAR, or while serving with irregular type
forces of regimental or smaller size.
(3) Personally under hostile fire while assigned
as specified in (1) or (2) above.
G. Dominican Republic - From 28 April 1965 to 21
September 1966, the soldier must have met the criteria prescribed in
b and c above.
H. Korea - Subsequent to 4 January 1969, a soldier
(1) Served in the hostile fire area at least 60
days and been authorized hostile fire pay.
(2) Been assigned to an infantry unit of company
or smaller size and must be an infantry officer in the grade of
captain or lower. Warrant officers and enlisted men must possess
an infantry MOS. In the case of an officer whose basic branch is
other than infantry who, under appropriate orders, has commanded
an infantry company or smaller size infantry unit for at least 30
days, the award may be made provided all the following
requirements are met .
(3) Been engaged with the enemy in the hostile
fire area or in active ground combat involving an exchange of
small arms fire at least 5 times.
(4) Been recommended personally by each
commander in the chain of command and approved at division level.
If killed or wounded as a direct result of overt enemy action, he
must be recommended personally by each commander in the chain of
command and approved at division level. In the case of infantrymen
killed by enemy action, the requirement for at least 5 engagements
((3) above) and the requirement for the incident to have taken
place in the hostile fire area, including the 60-day requirement
((1) above), will be waived. In the case of individuals wounded,
even though outside the hostile fire area, the 5 engagements
requirement and the 60 day requirement may be waived when it can
be clearly established that the wound was a direct result of overt
(5) Been eligible for award of the CIB after 4
January 1969, for service in the Republic of Vietnam, as
noncommissioned officers serving as Command Sergeants Major of
infantry battalions and brigades for periods of at least 30
consecutive days in a combat zone.
I. Grenada (Operation URGENT FURY) - From 22
October 1983 to 21 November 1983, the soldier must have met the
criteria prescribed in b and c above.
J. Panama (Operation JUST CAUSE) - From 20
December 1989 to 31 January 1990, the soldier must have met the
criteria prescribed in b and c above. Special forces personnel (less
the special forces medical sergeant) are eligible for the CIB
effective 20 December 1989.
Retroactive awards are not authorized.
K. Persian Gulf War (Operation DESERT STORM) -
From 17 January 1991 to 11 April 1991, the soldier must have met the
criteria prescribed in b and c above. Retroactive awards are not
L. Who may award.
(1) Current awards. Current awards of the CIB
may be awarded by the Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army, any
commander delegated authority by the Secretary of the Army during
war time, and the Commanding General, PERSCOM.
(2) Retroactive awards. Retroactive awards of
the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Combat Medical Badge may be
made to fully qualified individuals. Such awards will not be made
except where evidence of injustice is presented. Active duty
soldiers will forward their applications through command channels
to Commander PERSCOM, ATTN: TAPC-PDA, Alexandria, VA 22332-0471.
Reserve Component soldiers, retirees, and veterans should address
their application to Commander, ARPERCEN, ATTN; DARP-PAS-EAW, 9700
Page Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63132-5200.
From Gene Burtner comes this: the following is taken
from orders issued by Headquarters 276th Infantry at Camp Adair 20
"Award of the Expert
Infantryman Badge is made under the provisions of Cir.322,WD.11
Dec 1943, to the following, who, in prescribed training and tests
have demonstrated all-around proficiency required by tough, hard,
and aggressive Infantry.
By Order Colonel
The badge is the same as the CIB except it does not have
the silver wreath around it. The EIB paid an extra $5.00 a month
and the CIB paid $10.00.
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