Reference: AR600-8-22, Military Awards, Para 8-8.
8-8. Combat Action Badge
a. On 2 May 2005, the CSA approved the creation of the CAB to provide special recognition to Soldiers who personally engaged, or are engaged by, the enemy. The CAB is intended to serve as a companion to the CIB and CMB to recognize the greatly expanded role of non-infantry Soldiers in active, ground combat.
b. The requirements for award of the CAB are branch and MOS immaterial. Assignment to a combat arms unit or a unit organized to conduct close or offensive combat operations, or performing offensive combat operations, is not required to qualify for the CAB. However, the CAB is not intended to recognize Soldiers who simply serve in a combat zone or imminent danger area. Battle participation credit alone is not sufficient; the unit must have engaged or been engaged by the enemy.
c. Award of the CAB is not automatic and will not be awarded solely based on award of the PH.
d. Specific eligibility requirements include:
(1) May be awarded to any Soldier.
(2) A Soldier must be personally present and under hostile fire while performing satisfactorily in accordance with the prescribed rules of engagement, in an area where hostile fire pay or imminent danger pay is authorized. For all named conflicts beginning after the effective date of this publication, a Soldier must also be performing in an offensive or defensive act while participating in combat operations, engaging, or being engaged by the enemy. A Soldier must be performing their assigned duties associated with the unit's combat mission in an area where hostile fire pay or imminent danger pay is authorized. The requirement for hostile fire pay or imminent danger pay does not apply to cases determined to be eligible under the conditions described in paragraph 3-8c.
(3) Soldier must not be assigned or attached to a unit that would qualify the Soldier for the CIB and/or CMB. For example, an infantryman (MOS 11B) assigned to Corps staff is eligible for award of the CAB. However, an infantryman assigned to an infantry BN is not eligible for award of the CAB.
e. In addition to Army Soldiers, the CAB may also be awarded to Servicemembers of other U.S. Armed Forces and foreign military personnel assigned to a U.S. Army unit, provided they meet the above criteria (for example, KATUSA in the 2d Infantry Division).
f. Retroactive awards of the CAB are not authorized prior to 18 September 2001. Award of the CAB is authorized for the following operations (award for qualifying service in any previous conflict is not authorized):
(1) Afghanistan (OEF, 18 September 2001 to 31 December 2014; OFS, 1 January 2015 to a date to be determined).
(2) Iraq (OIF, 19 March 2003 to 31 August 2010; OND, 1 September 2010 to 31 December 2011).
(3) OIR, 15 June 2014 to a date to be determined.
g. Subsequent award of the CAB is not authorized for the same qualifying period, as outlined above. The CAB may be awarded as follows:
(1) Wartime awards approval authority. When delegated wartime awards approval authority by the SECARMY (or his or her designee), the following authorities apply:
(a) Brigade commander level for Soldiers assigned to, attached to, or under the operational control of brigade-level or smaller units.
(b) The first general officer in the chain of command for Soldiers assigned to units at echelons above brigade.
(c) The next higher general officer in the chain for award to a general officer.
(d) Authority to award the CAB is also delegated to regional medical center commanders receiving casualties directly from the wartime theater. Medical center commander must ensure the Soldier meets the requirements in paragraph 8-8c.
(e) When no authority applies or has not been delegated, recommendations will be submitted through command channels to HRC, ADB for processing.
(2) Retroactive award processing for the Combat Action Badge. Retroactive award of the CAB is authorized for time periods specified above for fully qualified individuals.
(a) The wartime command retains wartime awards approval authority for 12 months after redeployment, and can approve award of the CAB for Soldiers who deployed with their command, and qualified for, but did not receive the CAB during the deployment.
(b) Soldiers redeployed more than 12 months or reassigned to a command other than their wartime command and qualified for the CAB while deployed may request award through command channels to Commander, U.S. Army Human Resources Command (AHRC-PDP-A), 1600 Spearhead Division Avenue, Fort Knox, KY 40122-5408. Applications for retroactive award to active duty Soldiers and RC Soldiers will be forwarded through command channels to the first general officer (for endorsement) to HRC for processing. The first general officer in the chain of command of the Soldier recommended for award of the CAB may disapprove the recommendation.
(c) All ARNG requests, once endorsed, will be submitted to the Director, (ARNG-HRH-A), 111 South George Mason Drive, Arlington, VA 22204-1373 prior to being submitted to HRC.
(d) Retirees and veterans should address their applications to HRC for processing. The DA Form 4187 with endorsement by the first general officer is not required. All other criteria must be met.
(e) Requests for retroactive award of the CAB will not be made except where evidence of injustice is presented. For requests submitted under paragraph 8-8g(2)(b) through (d) must include justification explaining why the CAB was not awarded in theater.
h. The CAB is categorized as a group 1 badge (see AR 670-1 for specific wear instructions).
i. Soldier may be awarded the CIB, CMB, and CAB for the same qualifying period, provided the criteria for each badge are met. However, subsequent awards of the same badge within the same qualifying period are not authorized.
j. Second and subsequent awards of the CAB are as follows:
(1) Only one CAB may be awarded during a qualifying period.
(2) Second and subsequent award of the CAB will be indicated by superimposing one and two stars respectively, centered at the top of the badge between the points of the oak wreath.
k. The CAB will be announced in POs.