Chief Tango sent us a link to a Washington Post article about a young lieutenant who mistakenly shot a subordinate Pfc. David H. Sharrett II. If there is any truth to the story, he certainly deserves to be investigated. But, it’s clear to me that the Washington Post doesn’t understand the Combat Infantryman Badge. First, look at his headline;
The story goes on to describe how the Army is investigating the award of the CIB to now-CPT Timothy R. Hanson;
Then-Lt. Timothy R. Hanson was given the “combat infantryman badge” specifically for his actions on Jan. 16, 2008, according to a document supplied to Sharrett’s father, David H. Sharrett Sr., last week.
I don’t know how the CIB could have been awarded “specifically for his actions” on a certain day since the CIB is a qualification badge given for a period of service, it not a medal given for specific actions. That’s why it’s called a badge and not called a medal. the Army is fairly specific on that point;
Awarded to personnel in the grade of Colonel or below with an infantry or special forces military occupational specialty who have satisfactorily performed duty while assigned as a member of an infantry/special forces unit, brigade or smaller size, during any period subsequent to 6 December 1941 when the unit was engaged in active ground combat.
Basically, you only have to be assigned to an infantry unit lower than a brigade while they’re being shot at by an enemy. The orders for the award are issued to groups of soldiers who served during the same time period – nothing about it has to do with “specific days”.
The Army compounds the confusion;
Thursday evening, Army spokesman George B. Wright Jr. said that ”the Army takes matters of improper award allegations very seriously. In the case of Lt. Hanson’s Combat Infantryman Badge award order dated March 27, 2008, the Army has directed a formal review of the award. The review is ongoing, and expected to be complete within the next two months.”
I don’t know what the Army could be reviewing. If the Captain served in an infantry unit in combat, he deserves the badge – and the Army should tell the Post that instead of trying to mollify them with false outrage.
I’m not defending Hanson, nor am I trying to make a case for him keeping his CIB, I’m just trying to clarify the award here. Like the Army should have done in the first place.