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ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy is considering an award for individual augmentees serving in the war on terrorism, officials confirmed Monday.

The augmentees are tapped to join other branches of the service, such as the Army and Marine Corps. As the name suggests, they deploy as individuals rather than units.

Among the sailors on the ground in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility, about 8,300 are serving as individual augmentees, according to the Navy.

Navy Times first reported that Navy officials are considering awarding them a ribbon, pin, badge or medal.

As of yet, there is no timeline on when the Navy will decide which award to give individual augmentees, a Navy official said in a Monday e-mail to Stars and Stripes.

“The proposal will be made to the chief of naval personnel who will make a recommendation to the CNO (Chief of Naval Operations),” said Lt. Justin Cole, a spokesman for the Chief of Naval Personnel. “The CNO will make the final decision.”

The Navy is considering what award to give individual augmentees as part of a review of recently rolled out incentives for sailors serving in combat zones, according to NAVADMIN (Navy Administrative Message) 331/06.

The other incentives include giving award points that count toward promotions for individual augmentees serving downrange; allowing augmentees to count their time downrange toward their shore duty; and giving augmentees their choice of which coast in the continental United States they want to serve on upon finishing their tour.

The Navy plans to review how effective these incentives are over the next two months, according to the NAVADMIN, which is dated Nov. 22 and was released Monday.

In an Oct. 6 Navywide message to commemorate the Navy’s birthday, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Mullen praised the individual augmentees and other sailors serving on the ground.

“I note with particular pride that there are more sailors supporting operations on the ground in the Central Command Area of Responsibility (12,500) than we have at sea in the same theater,” Mullen said.


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