ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHANGES TO THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR THE COMBAT ACTION RIBBON

Date Signed: 6/15/2007
ALMARS Active Number: 025/06

R 260729Z JUNE 06
FM CMC WASHINGTON DC(UC)
TO AL ALMAR(UC)
UNCLASSIFIED//
ALMAR 025/06
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC MM MMMA//
SUBJ/ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHANGES TO THE ELIGIBILITY
/CRITERIA FOR THE COMBAT ACTION RIBBON//
REF/A/DOC/SECNAV/07JAN2002//
REF/B/MSG/CMC WASHINGTON DC MM/240022ZFEB2006//
REF/C/MSG/CMC WASHINGTON DC MM/140731ZMAR2006//
REF/D/DOC/CJCS/01DEC1989//
REF/E/MSG/CMC WASHINGTON DC MM/200802ZSEP2000//
REF/F/MSG/CMC WASHINGTON DC MM/130700ZNOV2000//
POC/J. R. TAYLOR/LTCOL/CMC MMMA/-/TEL:703-784-9210
/EMAIL:JAMES.R.TAYLOR2@USMC.MIL//
NARR/REF A IS SECNAVINST 1650.1G, NAVY AND MARINE CORPS AWARDS
MANUAL.  REF B IS ALMAR 010/06, CLARIFICATION OF COMBAT ACTION
RIBBON (CAR) ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA.  REF C IS MARADMIN 118/06,
COORDINATING INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE RETROACTIVE AWARDING OF THE COMBAT
ACTION RIBBON (CAR).  REF D IS JOINT PUB 1-02, DOD DICTIONARY OF
MILITARY AND ASSOCIATED TERMS.  REF E IS MARADMIN 463/00, COMBAT
ACTION RIBBON (CAR) FOR PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS.  REF F IS MARADMIN
547/00, ADMIN INSTRUCTIONS FOR OBTAINING THE COMBAT ACTION RIBBON
FOR PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS.//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1.  SINCE ITS APPROVAL IN 1969, THE COMBAT ACTION
RIBBON (CAR) HAS PROVIDED RECOGNITION TO THOSE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS
PERSONNEL WHO HAVE ACTIVELY PARTICIPATED IN GROUND OR SURFACE
COMBAT.  BASED ON THE EVOLUTION OF WARFARE AND THE REALITIES OF THE
MODERN BATTLEFIELD, THE CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS AND I RECOMMENDED
THAT CAR CRITERIA CONTAINED IN REF A BE UPDATED.  ON 25 MAY 06, THE
SECRETARY OF THE NAVY APPROVED THOSE RECOMMENDATIONS, WHICH
INCORPORATE THE CLARIFICATION ANNOUNCED IN REF B AND THE
RETROACTIVITY ISSUE DETAILED IN REF C. THESE CHANGES ARE EFFECTIVE
IMMEDIATELY.
2.  THE CRITERIA PRESENTED BELOW WILL BE PUBLISHED IN THE NEXT
REVISION OF REF A.
A. ITEM:  ELIGIBLE PERSONNEL
(1) CRITERIA:  AWARDED TO MEMBERS OF THE NAVY, MARINE CORPS AND
COAST GUARD (WHEN THE COAST GUARD OR UNITS THEREOF OPERATE UNDER THE
CONTROL OF THE NAVY) IN THE GRADE OF CAPTAIN/COLONEL AND JUNIOR
THERETO, WHO HAVE ACTIVELY PARTICIPATED IN GROUND OR SURFACE COMBAT.
UPON SUBMISSION OF EVIDENCE TO THEIR COMMANDING OFFICER, PERSONNEL
WHO EARNED THE COMBAT INFANTRYMAN BADGE OR COMBAT MEDICAL BADGE
WHILE A MEMBER OF THE U.S. ARMY MAY BE AUTHORIZED TO WEAR THE CAR.
(2) DISCUSSION.  THIS PARAGRAPH WAS RETAINED.  ALSO, AS CURRENTLY
STATED BY REF A, THE SECNAV RETAINS THE RIGHT TO DESIGNATE ALL NEW
OPERATIONS FOR THE CAR.
B. ITEM:  PRINCIPAL ELIGIBILITY CRITERION
(1) CRITERIA:  THE PRINCIPAL ELIGIBILITY CRITERION IS, REGARDLESS OF
MILITARY OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTY OR RATING, THAT THE INDIVIDUAL MUST
HAVE RENDERED SATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE UNDER ENEMY FIRE WHILE
ACTIVELY PARTICIPATING IN A GROUND OR SURFACE ENGAGEMENT.  SERVICE
IN A COMBAT AREA DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY ENTITLE A SERVICE MEMBER TO
THE CAR.
(2) DISCUSSION:  ALTHOUGH THIS PARAGRAPH WAS REVISED, THE INTENT OF
THE CAR HAS NOT CHANGED.  IT IS INTENDED TO RECOGNIZE THOSE WHO HAVE
MET THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS IN COMBAT.  THE MAIN REQUIREMENTS
ARE:  ACTIVE PARTICIPATION IN A GROUND OR SURFACE ENGAGEMENT,
SATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE, AND ACHIEVEMENT OF BOTH WHILE UNDER ENEMY
FIRE.  THE PHRASE 'COMBAT FIRE-FIGHT OR ACTION' WAS REPLACED WITH
THE TERM ENGAGEMENT, WHICH IS DEFINED BY REF D AS 'A TACTICAL
CONFLICT, USUALLY BETWEEN OPPOSING LOWER ECHELON MANEUVER FORCES.'
THE INTENT OF THIS CHANGE IS TO BROADEN THE CRITERIA TO ALLOW FOR
RECOGNITION OF SITUATIONS ENCOUNTERED IN TODAY'S COMBAT ENVIRONMENT.
C.  ITEM:  IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICES
(1) CRITERIA:  DIRECT EXPOSURE TO THE DETONATION OF AN IMPROVISED
EXPLOSIVE DEVICE (IED) USED BY AN ENEMY, WITH OR WITHOUT THE
IMMEDIATE PRESENCE OF ENEMY FORCES, CONSTITUTES ACTIVE PARTICIPATION
IN A GROUND OR SURFACE ENGAGEMENT.  QUALIFICATION UNDER THIS
CRITERION IS RETROACTIVE TO 7 OCTOBER 2001.
(2) DISCUSSION:  THIS LANGUAGE WAS ADDED TO COINCIDE WITH THE
CLARIFICATION PROVIDED IN REF B.  IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT
THE IED ISSUE IS THE PRIMARY REASON THAT THE PRINCIPAL ELIGIBILITY
CRITERION WAS BROADENED.
D.  ITEM:  UNIQUE SITUATIONS
(1) CRITERIA:  PERSONNEL IN RIVERINE AND COASTAL OPERATIONS,
ASSAULTS, PATROLS, SWEEPS, AMBUSHES, CONVOYS, AMPHIBIOUS LANDINGS,
AND SIMILAR ACTIVITIES WHO HAVE PARTICIPATED IN FIRE-FIGHTS ARE
ELIGIBLE.
(2) DISCUSSION:  THIS PARAGRAPH WAS DELETED AS IT IS UNNECESSARY.
REGARDLESS OF THE TACTICAL SITUATION, IF ELIGIBLE PERSONNEL MEET THE
PRINCIPAL ELIGIBILITY CRITERION DISCUSSED IN PARAGRAPH 2B(1), THEY
ARE ELIGIBLE FOR THE CAR.
E.  ITEM:  SUSTAINED INDIRECT FIRE
(1) CRITERIA:  PERSONNEL ASSIGNED TO AREAS SUBJECTED TO SUSTAINED
MORTAR, MISSILE, AND ARTILLERY ATTACKS ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE IN
RETALIATORY OR OFFENSIVE ACTIONS ARE ELIGIBLE.
(2) DISCUSSION:  THIS PARAGRAPH WAS DELETED AS IT IS UNNECESSARY.
REGARDLESS OF THE TACTICAL SITUATION, IF ELIGIBLE PERSONNEL MEET THE
PRINCIPAL ELIGIBILITY CRITERION DISCUSSED IN PARAGRAPH 2B(1), THEY
ARE ELIGIBLE FOR THE CAR.
F.  ITEM:  SPECIAL OPERATIONS
(1) CRITERIA:  PERSONNEL WHO SERVE IN CLANDESTINE OR SPECIAL
OPERATIONS, WHO BY THE NATURE OF THEIR MISSION, ARE RESTRICTED IN
THE ABILITY TO RETURN FIRE AND WHO ARE OPERATING IN CONDITIONS WHERE
THE RISK OF ENEMY FIRE WAS GREAT AND EXPECTED TO BE ENCOUNTERED ARE
ELIGIBLE FOR THE COMBAT ACTION RIBBON.
(2) DISCUSSION:  THIS LANGUAGE WAS REVISED TO MORE ACCURATELY STATE
THE CRITERIA FOR THOSE INVOLVED IN THESE TYPES OF OPERATIONS.
G.  ITEM:  SHIPS
(1) CRITERIA: PERSONNEL ABOARD A SHIP ARE ELIGIBLE WHEN THE SAFETY
OF THE SHIP AND THE CREW WERE ENDANGERED BY ENEMY ATTACK, SUCH AS A
SHIP HIT BY A MINE OR A SHIP ENGAGED BY SHORE, SURFACE, AIR OR
SUB-SURFACE ELEMENTS.
(2) DISCUSSION:  THIS PARAGRAPH WAS DELETED.
H.  ITEM: PURPLE HEART
(1) CRITERIA:  PERSONNEL ELIGIBLE FOR THE AWARD OF THE PURPLE HEART
WOULD NOT NECESSARILY QUALIFY FOR THE COMBAT ACTION RIBBON.
(2) DISCUSSION:  THIS PARAGRAPH WAS RETAINED AS THERE ARE SITUATIONS
IN WHICH THE PURPLE HEART WOULD BE WARRANTED AND THE CAR WOULD NOT.
I.  ITEM:  PEACEKEEPING
(1) CRITERIA:  PERSONNEL SERVING IN PEACEKEEPING MISSIONS, IF NOT
ELIGIBLE BY THE CRITERIA CITED ABOVE, ARE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE
AWARD WHEN THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA ARE MET:  (A) THE MEMBER WAS
SUBJECT TO HOSTILE, DIRECT FIRE, BASED ON THE MISSION AND THE
TACTICAL SITUATION, NOT RETURNING FIRE WAS THE BEST COURSE OF
ACTION, AND (B) THE MEMBER WAS IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE RULES OF
ENGAGEMENT AND HIS/HER ORDERS BY NOT RETURNING FIRE.
(2) DISCUSSION:  THIS PARAGRAPH WAS DELETED.  REGARDLESS OF THE
TACTICAL SITUATION, IF ELIGIBLE PERSONNEL MEET THE PRINCIPAL
ELIGIBILITY CRITERION DISCUSSED IN PARAGRAPH 2B(1), THEY ARE
ELIGIBLE FOR THE CAR.  AS THIS MODIFIES GUIDANCE PUBLISHED IN REFS E
AND F, THOSE REFS ARE HEREBY CANCELLED.
J.  ITEM:  AIR MEDAL
(1) CRITERIA:  THE CAR WILL NOT BE AWARDED TO PERSONNEL FOR AERIAL
COMBAT SINCE THE STRIKE/FLIGHT AIR MEDAL PROVIDES RECOGNITION FOR
AERIAL COMBAT EXPOSURE; HOWEVER, A PILOT OR CREWMEMBER FORCED TO
ESCAPE OR EVADE AFTER BEING FORCED DOWN COULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE
AWARD.
(2) DISCUSSION:  THIS PARAGRAPH WAS RETAINED.
K.  ITEM:  PUBLIC LAW
(1) CRITERIA:  UNDER PUBLIC LAW 106-65, THE CAR MAY BE AWARDED
RETROACTIVELY TO 7 DEC 41.
(2) DISCUSSION:  THIS PARAGRAPH WAS MODIFIED TO REFLECT THE CORRECT
PUBLIC LAW.
3.  THE REMAINDER OF THE TEXT CONTAINED IN REF A IS RETAINED.  OF
NOTE, PARA 230.14.C. THEREIN, WHICH STATES, 'ONLY ONE AWARD PER
OPERATION IS AUTHORIZED,' REMAINS VALID.  EXISTING POLICY AND
CURRENT PRACTICE ALLOWS A MARINE TO EARN ONE CAR FOR ELIGIBLE
ACTIONS IN OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM AND ONE FOR ELIGIBLE ACTIONS IN
OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM.  HOWEVER, SUBSEQUENT DEPLOYMENTS TO
OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM OR OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM WOULD NOT EARN
AN ADDITIONAL AWARD, EVEN IF A MARINE PARTICIPATED IN ELIGIBLE
COMBAT ACTIONS.
4.  NONE OF THE PRECEDING CHANGES IMPLY THAT PREVIOUSLY AWARDED CARS
WILL BE REVOKED; ALL PREVIOUSLY AWARDED CARS REMAIN VALID.
5.  AWARDS ARE INSTRUMENTAL IN RECOGNIZING THE SERVICE OF MARINES
AND SAILORS TO OUR NATION, AND THE PERSONAL INVOLVEMENT OF
COMMANDERS AT ALL LEVELS IS ABSOLUTELY VITAL TO MAINTAIN THE
INTEGRITY AND HONOR OF THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS AWARDS SYSTEM.
6.  KEEP ATTACKING.  M. W. HAGEE, GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS,
COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS.
//