U.S. Army Combat Badges – Official and non-approved
The images at the top of this page are of the Combat Infantryman’s Badge CIB), the Combat Artilleryman’s Badge, and the Combat Tanker’s Badge (note the green, the former branch color for armor). There was also a Combat Cavalryman’s Badge (crossed sabers on a yellow background). The CIB is awarded to infantrymen for combat infantry service. Generally speaking, you must have held an infantry or special forces military occupational specialty (MOS) and served for 30 consecutive days under fire to be awarded the CIB. There are specific exceptions and waivers to this, but we will not go into the particulars of the regulation here. The history of the CIB goes back to the World War II. At that time, soldiers affialiated with the U.S. Army artillery, cavalry, and armor developed the three variants of the CIB. We created the images of the two variants based on the photograph below and picture/text references from two books on badges of the U.S. Army. We used Adobe Photoshop to edit the image of the CIB, and then superimposed the different branch insignia. The two book references note that the badges were unofficial, but at least the Artillery version was manufactured and worn at one time. Is there anyone out there who can tell me more about these badges? Who manufactured them? We understand that N.S. Meyer manufactured at least some of these. We also found information on these badges from a two-part article in Militaria Magazine (Issue #9 of October 1994 and Issue #12 of February 1995). We obtained the early variant pictured below from B & L Collectibles. Note the rifle of the CIB remains on the badge. According to the Militaria Magazine article, the CAB may have originally been “awarded” to artillery observers with infantry units and artillery runners. The article also notes that the badge may have been been first been developed by a Captain John Daniel Henry McDonough of the 38th Field Artillery Battalion of the 2d Infantry Division during the Korean War c.1950. Captain McDonough was a 1946 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He received the Silver Star Medal and two Purple Hearts during the Korean War, and went on to serve with Headquarters, Military Advisory Command, Vietnam during the Vietnam War. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1973.
The photograph below is of an 11th Airborne Division Veteran marching in the “50th Anniversary of the Airborne” Parade (note also the “Artillery” red cord around his right shoulder).