[Civil Affairs] CAB - What's That?
Combat Action Badge - What's That?
Hey! What's that?
This? It's my Combat Action Badge.
Sweet! Did you get it for your actions in combat?
Oh. So what's it for?
The Combat Action Badge is actually a series of awards based on recruitment.
This is my Combat Action Badge 3, usually called CAB3.
Recruitment? What's that got to do with combat... or action!?
It doesn't really, but HQ wanted to find a way to reward recruiters beyond mere weapons passes, whilst maintaining the much-vaunted "Recruiter's Badge" as the highest recruitment honour.
I see, so why do you have CAB3? How high do they go?
They're given for different numbers of lifetime recruits. CAB1 is for 2 recruits, CAB2 is for 5, CAB3 is for 10 and CAB4 is the highest for 20!
That seems to make sense, except...
Except that my squad leader doesn't have one. I've just checked!
Well, how many recruits does he have?
9, so he should have the CAB2, right?
Yes, but the thing is, the criterion were recently changed from recruits per training platoon to lifetime recruits. So it used to be that he had to recruit 5 of those cadets into one single Training Platoon or else he wouldn't have received a CAB2!
Blimey! It was hard to get a CAB back in the old days then!
Yes. Because of the difficulty of earning one, they were rarely awarded, and so they didn't really achieve their goal of rewarding recruitment.
So the new system's better then?
Oh absolutely! We now have a coherent way of rewarding 29thers for their overall recruiting methods.
And what about the real CAB? What was that awarded for?
The question should really be what is.
Hey! Don't copy my voice!
Alright, I'll bite: What is the CAB awarded for?
I'm glad you asked me that. It's actually a very recent addition to US military medals, which has a very interesting history all the way back to the Second World War.
Like the Combat Infantry Badge: the CIB?
More like the long lost sibling of the CIB.
Ooh, sounds juicy...
It is! You see as soon as the CIB was introduced - for those who had closed with and engaged the enemy in combat - there was much disgruntlement amongst most branches of the Army.
Well the CIB was introduced solely for infantrymen! Meaning tankers, artillerymen, logistics personnel and so on received no award.
Even if they engaged with the enemy?
So what did they do about it?
Well some units issued their own unofficial decorations, others lobbied for a more inclusive 'Close Combat Badge' which would have rewarded all troops who fought with personal weapons against the enemy.
I heard about that before! It's mentioned in Apocalypse Now!
Yep, the debate continued for years, being periodically revived during the major engagements of the 20th Century. In Vietnam particularly, second-line troops were regularly engaged but the CIB remained infantry only.
So what changed?
Warfare! Front-lines have blurred, there is basically no distinction between front line combat units and 'line of communication' troops on the modern asymmetric battlefield, at least as far as the enemy are concerned.
So they introduced the medal to recognize that not just infantrymen were engaged in Combat?
I still don't get how this is connected to recruitment.
Well, what is the life-blood of the 29th? What is it that keeps us alive?
Other than CORDS.
Precisely. And so fighting on the public servers in order to gain recruits is fighting to stay alive.
For the 29th it's a life and death struggle!
And if that's not a good definition of Combat, I don't know what is.
Written by: Cpl. Lamb
Edited by: Pvt. Bruce
Approved by: Cpt. Walker