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ARLINGTON, Va. — Veterans of Foreign Wars has proposed that all sailors and Marines who have been awarded a Combat Action Ribbon since Pearl Harbor should receive a medal.

"The level of sacrifice required to qualify for the Combat Action Ribbon, by engaging the enemy in combat, should warrant the issuance of a corresponding medal," a resolution passed by the veterans group said.

The group also noted that while the Combat Action Ribbon has no corresponding medal, other awards that "require no exceptional performance, sacrifice or engagement of the enemy" do, such as the National Service Medal.

The VFW has proposed that the Navy secretary create the Combat Action Medal for sailors and Marines awarded the Combat Action Ribbon. The award would be retroactive to Dec. 7, 1941.

The Navy is not considering a change to the Combat Action Ribbon, Navy spokeswoman Lt. Karen Eifert said.

"We have awards in place that recognize combat action — such as the Bronze Star and the combat "V" — in addition to the Combat Action Ribbon," Eifert said Wednesday. "We constantly review our awards process but do not feel a change of this nature is warranted at this time."

One young sailor with six years in the Navy said he agreed with the notion of issuing a medal for sailors and Marines who have been awarded the Combat Action Ribbon.

"That’s an important one. That’s one that means ‘been there, done that,’ " said the 24-year-old sailor, who asked that his name not be used for fear of retribution.

But the sailor, a petty officer 2nd class based in Naples Italy, also said the military needs to streamline its awards system because many awards are given to servicemembers who do not deserve them.

"The Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Navy Commendation Medal, those used to mean something. Not anymore. Now, it just means you didn’t catch a social disease while you were here. Or you’re an E-7 who just showed up for work," the sailor said.


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