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Combat Navy

SECNAVIST 1650.1F
08 August 1991
14. Combat Action Ribbon
a. Eligibility Requirements
(1) Awarded to members of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard: (When the Coast Guard or units thereof operate under the control of the Navy) in the grade of captain/colonel and junior thereto, who have actively participated in ground or surface combat. Upon submission of evidence to their commanding officer, personnel who earned the Combat Infantryman Badge or Combat Medical Badge while a member of the U.S. Army may be authorized to wear the Combat Action Ribbon.
(2) The principal eligibility criterion is that the individual must have participated in a bona fide ground or surface combat fire or action during which he was under enemy fire and his performance while under fire was satisfactory. The following amplifying remarks are furnished as guidance.
(a) Personnel in riverine and coastal operations, assaults, patrols, sweeps, ambushes, convoys, amphibious landings, and similar activities who have participated in fire fights are eligible.
(b) Personnel assigned to areas subjected to sustained mortar, missile, and artillery attacks actively participate in retaliatory or offensive actions are eligible.
(c) Personnel in clandestine of special operations such as reconnaissance and SEAL teams are eligible when the risk of enemy fire was great and was expected to be encountered.
(d) Personnel aboard a ship are eligible when the safety of the ship and the crew were endangered by enemy attack, such as a ship hit by a mine or a ship engaged by shore, surface, air or sub-surface elements.
(e) Personnel eligible for the award of the Purple Heart would not necessarily qualify for the Combat Action Ribbon.

Location: BOOTS ON GROUND
Veterans: 15
Latest Activity: Sep 23

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Comment by Douglas James Riley on July 13, 2013 at 8:58pm
Never knew about those 2 points! Guess that helped me also!
Comment by william c. mitchell on July 12, 2013 at 3:48pm

I got mine while serving with MCB Forty at Phu Bai 1968-1969. I did not know until six months after returning to the states.  I liked getting two extra pts on the exam for advancement when you had the Combat Action Ribbon.  I know it help me make first class.

Comment by Bob Coombs on April 22, 2013 at 3:54pm

Yes, they liked to keep us mushrooms in the dark! If it didn't get posted on the bulletin board or talked about in the bars, I didn't know about it. Thanks to the internet, we sure are catching up on info now.

Comment by Douglas James Riley on April 22, 2013 at 7:40am
Yeah, it always amazes me how little I knew of the bigger picture! Never paid any attention to campaigns, battles outside our area, or any news from home.
It was like we in a cocoon, only that which was touching us at the moment had any reality.
Example; I was talking to a ex sub officer in late 90's and he said, "oh, you were on Yankee Station?" - I had never even heard of that term!
Only in the last decade have I started researching where and what was going on around me during the VN war.
Comment by Bob Coombs on April 22, 2013 at 2:06am

March of 68 while the Tet Offense was winding down, for me. The CAR hadn't even been created yet, but was made retroactive to the beginning of the war when first awarded. We were attached to the Mobile Riverine Force near Dong Tam where weekly mortar and rocket attacks were the norm.

Funny thing was I had no clue what the Tet Offense was until I got back to "the world" a couple of years later and heard Walter Cronkite talking about its anniversary on the news. I had arrived in Saigon just after the beginning of Tet, and just thought all the action was normal.

Comment by Douglas James Riley on April 21, 2013 at 1:49am
Got mine in Feb 72, Assault Craft Unit 1. During Vietnam consolidation II campaign. Took and returned fire off coast of Quang Tri (battle of Quang Tri)
 

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