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ARLINGTON, Va. — Soldiers who face roadside bomb and car-bomb attacks could now qualify for the Army’s Combat Infantryman Badge, which is for infantry and Special Forces soldiers, according to the Army.

While such attacks do not automatically merit the badge, they should be considered as part of recommendations for the award, the message said.

The move is one of several changes to awards criteria announced in a July 22 servicewide message. The changes are effective immediately and retroactive to Sept. 18, 2001.

The wording of the change to the Combat Infantryman Badge’s criteria is as follows: "Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), vehicle-borne IEDs (VBIEDs) and the like are direct fire weapons. While no fixed qualifying distance from an explosion of these devices can be established, commanders should consider the entirety of the combat situation when considering award of the CIB."

Marines who respond to roadside bomb attacks have been eligible for the Marine Corps’ Combat Action Ribbon since March 2006.

"I consider exposure to a detonated IED as being enemy fire, therefore, Marines who take appropriate actions during such an engagement meet both CAR (Combat Action Ribbon) requirements," then-Commandant Gen. Michael Hagee said.

Another change deals with the Combat Action Badge, established in 2005 for soldiers not directly assigned to an infantry unit.

Right now, a select number of general officers, such as the commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, can authorize the award, said officials at Army Human Resources Command. Now they can delegate that authority to subordinate general officers and colonel-level commanders, officials said.

In a separate change, regional medical center commanders now also have the authority to issue the Combat Action Badge, officials said.

The Army also announced that the badge will not be awarded automatically to soldiers awarded the Purple Heart, the Army message said.

The Army also has broadened the eligibility criteria for the Combat Medical Badge.

The words "not to include aviation" have been deleted from the criteria, to allow medical personnel attached to combat aviation units, the message said. Retroactive awards will not be given for service prior to Sept. 18, 2001.

For more information, go to MilPer Message 08-190 at:

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