U.S. Army Symbols and Insignias

Soldiers wear a wide assortment of insignia, ribbons, medals,badges, tabs and patches. To the uninitiated, the variety can be bewildering. Yet, each device represents a Soldier’s accomplishment—or that of his or her unit— and is a great source of pride and accomplishment.

And while each and every device is important, because of uniform guidelines, some many not be as visible as others.

Today we have a guest blog post from MAJ Larry Linville, discussing the guideline and his recommendation for updating the regulation.

For wear of combat and special skills badges, I recommend regrouping the combat and special skills badges in groups one and two. Currently group one badges include the Combat Infantryman badges (CIB), Combat Action badges (CAB), and the Expert Infantryman badge (EIB). Group two includes the Combat Medical badges (CMB) and the Expert Field Medical badge (EFMB).

 A service member may wear only one badge each from groups 1 and 2. The separation of the expert badges into different groups does not allow for some service members (SM) to wear their awards on the uniform. The latest inclusion of the CAB into group one establishes an unfair wear policy for the combat and skill badges. For instance a SM may wear the CIB and the EMFB or he may wear the CAB and the EFMB but he cannot wear the CAB and EIB. The SM with a CAB and EIB must exclude one or the other when selecting which badge to wear. For this reason, the current regulation covering the wear of the combat and skill badges is unfair and needs to be addressed.

I recommend regrouping the combat and special skills badges into respective like groups. Group one will include the three combat badges (CIB, CAB, and CMB) and group two will include the two expert badges (EIB and EFMB). The order of precedence for group one will be CIB, CAB, and CMB. Additionally, in group one a SM may wear one, two, or all three combat badges from group one. The order of precedence for group two will be the EIB then the EFMB. Additionally, a SM may wear one or both badges from group two. The combat badges will take precedence over skill badges i.e. the CIB and the EIB cannot be worn at the same time.

This is not a change from current regulation. The current location and limits to the number of badges worn on the uniform would not change from current regulation. Finally, no changes are needed for groups three, four, or five.

By regrouping one and two in this fashion all personnel may display their combat and expert badges in combinations under a policy that is inclusionary versus exclusionary and retains an order of precedence for wear. Referring to the previous example under this regrouping a SM may now wear the CAB and the EIB.

Resources AR 670-1, 3 February 2005 and AR 600–8–22, 11 December 2006.


MAJ Larry Linville

To learn more about U.S. Army Symbols and Insignias, visit /http://www.army.mil/symbols.