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Combat Action Badge

  • Published
  • By Brig Gen Robert P. Steel
  • 48th Fighter Wing commander


I have been noticing around base there are personnel wearing a different array of functional badges from other branches of service. I do however know the Air Force does send some personnel to Army schools that award the Parachute Badge and Air Assault Badges. I have seen some wearing the Combat Parachute Badge showing they parachuted into a war zone. I personally received the Army Combat Action Badge along with quite a few other Security Forces, LRS, and CE troops here and around the Air Force. When we received these we were told you can't wear this but here you go.

According to AFI 36-2903 Table 5.2 Wear of Badges On The BDU, Service, Service Dress, Mess, Formal, And Semi-Formal Dress Uniforms dated 2 AUGUST 2006 Under Miscellaneous Badges Only wear while permanently assigned to and performing duties with other services.

Is there a Wing exception to policy I am not aware of that allows us to wear these miscellaneous badges? I know this is a hot item in the Air Force and it's in the works to recognize such combat awards with an Air Force device of some kind. Why can't we show what we have accomplished and received from other fellow branches? One Team One Fight right! My deployment peers from Kirtland AFB have told me the Wing Commander has allowed their SF and LRS personnel to wear the CAB.

What is your take on this for RAF Lakenheath?


Unfortunately, there is no authorization for a base supplement or policy to state the Combat Action Badge can be worn, when AFI 36-2903 Table 5.2 states the CAB can only be worn while "permanently assigned to and performing duties with other services."

An AF member is only authorized to wear the badge while permanently assigned to a sister service unit; once the AF member has PCS'd to an Air Force unit, the member is required to remove the badge.

We contacted the military personnel flight at Kirtland AFB and confirmed there is no supplement or policy in place allowing Airmen to where the CAB at Kirkland. It is possible a member may have just returned from those duties or working with a sister service where it was authorized. If so, the member's uniforms should be updated. For individuals in transit from a sister service unit to an Air Force unit, adjustment of the uniform should be made as soon as possible. The Air Force and DoD have worked very hard to recognize it's members for their efforts in the Global War on Terror, thus the establishment of the GWOT-E and GWOT-S medals, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Iraq Campaign Medal. However, the creation of an Air Force-approved CAB is currently in consideration. Guidance on eligibility and wear is forthcoming. If you have any questions please contact our MPF at 226-2467

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