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Army Lt. Gen. David Barno, the Army’s assistant chief of staff for Installation Management, congratulates Army Sgt. Michael Buyas, one of the first five soldiers to receive the new Combat Action Badge on Wednesday at the Pentagon.

Army Lt. Gen. David Barno, the Army’s assistant chief of staff for Installation Management, congratulates Army Sgt. Michael Buyas, one of the first five soldiers to receive the new Combat Action Badge on Wednesday at the Pentagon. (Lisa Burgess / S&S)

ARLINGTON, Va. — The first soldiers to earn the Army’s new Combat Action Badge were decorated Wednesday by Army Chief of Staff Peter Schoomaker and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth Preston.

“These soldiers have earned the right to be Americans,” Schoomaker told the crowd assembled to honor the CAB recipients. “They have paid the price. They have walked the walk. They have served the nation. They stand for what the country stands for.”

Schoomaker approved the CAB on May 2 as a way to recognize any active, Reserve or Guard soldier who engages the enemy while serving in a combat zone.

Until the CAB was approved, only infantry, special forces, or medic soldiers had a special badge showing that they had personal combat experience.

The Combat Action Badge, which is open to all soldiers regardless of their military occupational specialty, “will go down in history as a very, very esteemed representation of the warrior ethos,” Schoomaker said.

The first five recipients are:


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