PDA

View Full Version : Combat Action Ribbon



GolfTwoFive0311
05-25-10, 10:32 PM
I've been out of the Marines since December 2008. Deployed once to Iraq between April 2007 - October 2007. Was in Ramadi for the first month and then Karma for the remaining six months. I was an 0311 team-leader with Golf 2/5.

Anyway, even though I've been out the Marines for over a year now, something still bugs the hell out of me. I was never awarded my CAR, despite having spent 7 months patrolling hundreds of miles, setting up dozens of ambushes, standing hundreds of hours of post, and filling thousands of sandbags in that IED-infested, miserable hellhole.

I feel like I rate it but I never made an issue out of it while I was in because I didn't want to seem like a complainer. My senior Marines made it a point to remind my peers and I every single day how much worse they had it during their first deployment and how little us boots rated. The prospect of asking my certified war-hero platoon commander to enter me in for a CAR was intimidating to say the least.

So, you're probably wondering if I actually rate a CAR but that depends on how you define "combat" I guess.

Is seven months of sustained patrolling through an area infested with IEDs considered "combat"? The enemy is actively trying to kill or maim me, and the actions I take largely determine whether or not he will succeed; one of the Marines in my platoon lost his leg to an IED...the only difference between him and I is that I was able to avoid getting blown up. Was I not in "combat" simply because my squad was highly proficient at locating IEDs before they blew us to smithereens? We probably found several dozen IEDs during the course of our deployment, all of them designed to kill or maim me and my fellow Marines. The only reason they didn't was because our squad was disciplined and professional; we were highly proficient at patrolling and avoiding IEDs. I think that alone is enough to rate a CAR.

I also experienced several mortar attacks, one of which landed about 15-20 meters outside the Alaska barrier my squad was up against. Had it landed on the other side of the barrier, I wouldn't be here today.

Lastly, I was on post during a coordinated attack on our COP. RPG's hit our sandbags and posts, mortars were landing around the COP, sustained small arms fire was directed at our position, and a VB-IED blew up the IP checkpoint about 300 m North of our pos. While all of this was happening, I was coordinating between our posts, the company COC, the Iraqi police, and my platoon's COC. My position on post was as the Iraqi Police Liaison, and my job was to coordinate between the Marines and the IP's via radio; I had to learn a decent amount of Arabic to do this job proficiently, which I did, once during a complex attack on our COP.

So, my question is...do I rate a CAR and, if so, how would I go about getting it now that I'm out of the Marines?

Sorry the post was so long but this is something that's been eating away at me for a while now. I feel ashamed that I don't have my CAR and I still think about it from time to time. It's hard to not have one when it was all you heard about for three and half years straight...

Semper Fi.

DocGreek
05-25-10, 10:44 PM
:evilgrin:.....PLEASE.....fill out your PROFILE....COMPLETELY.....THANK-YOU!.....:evilgrin:

TinDragon
05-25-10, 10:48 PM
http://www.mrfa.org/CAR.criteria.htm are the criteria to get the CAR.

Essentially it looks like you have to take fire and return it.

GolfTwoFive0311
05-25-10, 10:58 PM
http://www.mrfa.org/CAR.criteria.htm are the criteria to get the CAR.

Essentially it looks like you have to take fire and return it.

Yea, I read that but the wording is slightly ambiguous. It says:

The principal eligibility criterion is that the individual must have participated in a bona fide ground or surface combat fire-fight or action during which he/she was under enemy fire and his/her performance while under fire was satisfactory.

I (1) "participated" in a bona fide ground or surface fire-fight or action, (2) was under enemy fire, and (3) performed satisfactorily.

I dunno...guess I should just forget about it. Damn green-weenie strikes again...

GolfTwoFive0311
05-25-10, 11:01 PM
:evilgrin:.....PLEASE.....fill out your PROFILE....COMPLETELY.....THANK-YOU!.....:evilgrin:

Sorry Doc. I'll get right on that.

Sgt Leprechaun
05-26-10, 01:06 AM
Actually, I disagree. Based on what I read from YOUR posting, as well as the criteria (which has been changed since I was in....old days, you had to 'take fire and return it...which is why I don't have one from the Pentagon on 9/11....sure didn't 'return' sheet LOL). Anyway, it sounds to me like you rate it.

You'll need documentation of course. After action reports are best, signed statements from 'higher' (SNCO's, Officers) are next best. You'll have to submit for a change to your DD-214. You'll then get issued a "DD-215", which is a corrected copy.

Do NOT give up. Sounds to me like you rate it. Period.

Vandrel
05-26-10, 07:49 AM
So, my question is...do I rate a CAR and, if so, how would I go about getting it now that I'm out of the Marines?

While I never agreed with the policy that went into effect allowing IED blasts to be a criteria for a CAR, I do recall several years ago when they were handing out CAR's like candy to anyone who was in the "vacinity" of a IED blast, if a vehicle in a convoy was hit then a CAR was awarded to everyone. When I heard about that I was a little upset.

Receive fire, Return fire..... simple as that

These days if you check the box on step 1 and take fire but don't manage to hit step 2 and fire you weapon.... you get a MEDAL.

It sounds like you were in some ****, I don't doubt that at all but when I was there in 2003 during the invasion we even had folks who didn't get a CAR because they were not involved in a Receive fire and Return fire situation during the entire deployment where as the rest of us were and got our CAR's.

Another fine example was when I was in Ramadi in 2008 working the district HQ for the IP's. We took pot shots, random sniper fire and even a nice little fire fight right accross the street busting up the side of our building as well as a huge VBIED right outside our wall. Guess what? No CAR for that deployment.

While it all lays on the OIC's shoulders to make the call on a CAR chances are if you didn't get one it's because it wasn't approved BUT there's always a possibility it's because Lt. Smuckatelly didn't even submit it. As already suggested, you need to get up with your old SNCO's from your deployment as well as whoever your OIC was and beat the dead horse until you get some type of documentation.

The CAR is a big deal in terms of benifits later in life, don't just let it pass

Riven37
05-26-10, 11:19 AM
Example: I was pined down by a sniper in Nam, I had no weapon, after some guys on our hill took out the sniper; that event did not place me with a CAR either but in time I did get mine through other actions.




Yea, I read that but the wording is slightly ambiguous. It says:

The principal eligibility criterion is that the individual must have participated in a bona fide ground or surface combat fire-fight or action during which he/she was under enemy fire and his/her performance while under fire was satisfactory.

I (1) "participated" in a bona fide ground or surface fire-fight or action, (2) was under enemy fire, and (3) performed satisfactorily.

I dunno...guess I should just forget about it. Damn green-weenie strikes again...

Zulu 36
05-26-10, 12:30 PM
I was told that one didn't have to physically return fire themselves. If they were in charge of a unit under fire and was directing the return of fire and performed satisfactory in doing so, one rated the CAR. Leaders are not always expected to return fire personally since their #1 job is to lead and direct.

Lynn2
05-26-10, 12:48 PM
Well I am a VN vet. In a lot of fire fights. Took and returned fire many times. I never was awarded a CAR at the time nor did any of the Marines I served with.

But we sure did not need some records keeper back in the rear to tell us if we had been in bad combat or not.

DocGreek
05-26-10, 06:23 PM
:D.....HE! HE! HE! HE!.....you mean that I was supposed to SHOOT BACK at the enemy who had just wounded, and killed Marines in my Platoon????......OR blown the heads, arms, or legs off some fine young and brave MEN?
ME?...SHOOT BACK...IN A FIRE FIGHT?????.....HA! HA! HA! HA!
Read my DD215, it's in MY PHOTO ALBUM.
ANCHORS AWEIGH!!!!......."GREEK-UP!!!"......Doc Greek....:flag:

GolfTwoFive0311
05-26-10, 09:37 PM
Screw it.

Eat the apple...

William Hardy
05-26-10, 09:50 PM
Plain and simple....
Back when they "invented" the CAR, we had Marines who were wounded by incoming rockets and mortars. They got a Purple Heart, but no CAR..reason....combat action was defined as an exchange of small arms (fire fight) and witnessed by a SNCO or officer. Punji sticks, booby-traps, etc were not counted. So despite the fact that I have been in numerous rocket and mortar attacks and shot at while on courier missions, I never rated a CAR..and that's OK. My service ribbon says I was in country and everyone who was there knows that there was no "safe place". Don't whine about not getting the CAR. Just be proud that you served and you are one of the Few and Proud.

Semper Fi

GolfTwoFive0311
05-26-10, 10:05 PM
Plain and simple....
Back when they "invented" the CAR, we had Marines who were wounded by incoming rockets and mortars. They got a Purple Heart, but no CAR..reason....combat action was defined as an exchange of small arms (fire fight) and witnessed by a SNCO or officer. Punji sticks, booby-traps, etc were not counted. So despite the fact that I have been in numerous rocket and mortar attacks and shot at while on courier missions, I never rated a CAR..and that's OK. My service ribbon says I was in country and everyone who was there knows that there was no "safe place". Don't whine about not getting the CAR. Just be proud that you served and you are one of the Few and Proud.

Semper Fi

Like I said...screw it.

I just think it's stupid to define "combat" so narrowly. Those haji MF'ERS were too pussy to show their faces and give me the chance...there's nothing I would have loved more than to put a 5.56 in their brain-housing group.

William Hardy
05-27-10, 07:41 AM
I know what you mean. At the rip ol' age of 57 I went to Iraq back in 2006. I was the day shift operations Sergeant, but I got to go out on a 4 day mission. I feel like a lot of guys should have gotten a CAR in Nam or that the CAR should never have been issued in the first place. The Army has so many different badges that those guys that went on regular convoy security runs got "drivers badges" rather than combat infantry badges. I guess they just wanted to distinguish those who went out regularly from those who only saw a small part of the war....tell that to the WWII vets who made the landings and whose combat experience lasted from minutes to hours before their combat days ended...I personally think that any arbratrary time limit or type of activity is unfair to many.

So I agree with you...It is stupid to define "combat" so narrowly.

Semper Fi

Sgt Leprechaun
05-28-10, 05:29 PM
Golf Two Five...I disagree with ya. Put in for it and see what happens. In 'my' day the criteria was the same (return/rec'v fire in some manner), but if the current rules say you deserve/rate it, and you DON'T put in, then the onus is on you. The reason the rules were changed wasn't due to some off the wall PC thing, but to recognize that the definition of 'combat', per se, has changed.


Lastly, it WILL make a difference when it comes to later on, with VA benefits. Something else to consider.

jrod02
05-30-10, 06:03 AM
Realistically the definition of "Combat" falls on the shoulders of the SNCO/OIC during this war, especially for the "POG's." Take me for example. My 1st tour I was with IMEF in Fallujah. We were constantly hit by IED's, Mortars, etc. But unless you were physically wounded by any of those, you didn't receive your CAR. During my 2nd tour, it was the same ol thing. I was attached to Regimental Combat Team 8/Combat Logistics Battalion 8 Transportation Support Company and Was on a 6 man Recovery Team. We went out with EOD & on missions for 3/2, 3/1, 2nd Recon, 1st Recon etc. to recover blown up VBIED's, blown up vehicles, shot up vehicles, etc. I was hit by numerous IED's on MSR Tampa, but thankfully enough to the new armor they have on these vehicles, I didn't receive any shrapnel injuries. SO guess what, NO CAR, even thought I have signed letters allowing me to bring some of that shrapnel back to the US from my CC & OIC. I even have pictures from days I got hit.
When I 1st came into the Corps my 1st unit was a TOW Plt. full of grunts that wanted CARs. Now that I look back, I'm glad I don't have a CAR. My 3 rows and 2 tours are my CAR. Your experience is your CAR.

doesitmatter
06-21-10, 08:50 AM
here is what you have to remember. you know what you did and you dont have to prove that to anyone. i have seen people get CARs that dont rate them and i have seen people NOT get CARs that more than rate them. ribbons are just that. little pieces of cloth. trust me the CAR will not get you anymore benefits than your campaign medal. it sucks but that is the nature of the beast.

hussaf
06-21-10, 11:15 AM
Most units put the kibosh on area-IED CARs as well as the mortar CARs. That was big during, and shortly after, the invasion. Any invasion phase is going to net more awards than subsequent sustainment phases as it is a morale issue. Ex., PUC/NUC/JUC, relaxed CAR standards, etc are almost synonymous with an invasion phase. Commanders want to look good during heavy combat phases, and giving their Marines awards allow them to do that. The last couple years in Iraq, before we left that biotch, guys were getting Sea Service and Campaign and thats about it (of course the occasional personal award if someone did a great job or got in a no-**** scrap).

To those thinking of applying for awards after the fact; I just got a NUC from 2003. I didn't know anything about it, until I accidentally butt-dialed a buddy I served with back in the early 2000's and, upon calling me back and talking, discovered we had just been approved for a NUC for a deployment 7 years ago.

Mike326
06-21-10, 03:39 PM
I recently read that all WWII army veterans (roughly service between 1941-1944) who had received the army's equivalent of the CAR, the CIB (combat infantry badge) were also, retroactively awarded the Bronze Star Medal. President Roosevelt, Exec Order 9419, later amended by president Kennedy, Exec Order 11046.

Sgt Leprechaun
06-21-10, 09:31 PM
Mike, you are correct. ALL (Army only) Infantry and Medics who earned the Combat Infantry/Combat Medic badge during WWII, were retroactively awarded the Bronze Star. BUT you had to apply for it.

The thought process behind it was that so many 'acts of valor' went unreported (esp. due to heavy casualties in the European campaign) because officers and SNCO's were killed/wounded, and citations were never written.

I believe, however, it was Truman, not FDR, who pushed the legislation. (And FYI, veterans who have not rec'vd their awards from WWII, who meet the criteria, can still apply and get the BZ).

Troutzilla
06-21-10, 10:24 PM
here is what you have to remember. you know what you did and you dont have to prove that to anyone. i have seen people get CARs that dont rate them and i have seen people NOT get CARs that more than rate them. ribbons are just that. little pieces of cloth. trust me the CAR will not get you anymore benefits than your campaign medal. it sucks but that is the nature of the beast.


A CAR will get you, in some cases, more benefits than your campaign medal.....CAR is a valor award therefore more credence. If a PTSD claim is filed, the stressor is conceded with ANY type of valor award and speeds up the claim process

firedog974
06-21-10, 10:39 PM
A CAR will get you, in some cases, more benefits than your campaign medal.....CAR is a valor award therefore more credence. If a PTSD claim is filed, the stressor is conceded with ANY type of valor award and speeds up the claim process

I joined the army out of high school. I was sent to Somalia for Operation Restore Hope in 1993. I saw some action...sent fire, and received fire (direct and indirect). 2 guys in my unit got purple hearts. We were in a combat support battalion, NOT combat arms. In the army , the only people who rate the equivalent of a CAR is infantry (a combat infantry badge)...it does not matter how much combat you have seen, in the army's eyes you do not receive recognition for combat unless you are infantry. When I went to the Corps, I was told I do not rate a CAR, and I did not argue (I do not feel like I rate one, and probably never will). Since I have gotten out, I was told by the VA I am considered a combat veteran because of what my army DD 214 says about my service in Somalia. All I have from that deployment is a Armed Forces Expeditionary medal, A humanitarian service medal, and a presidential unit citation. I was told I rate the "combat veteran" status due to the fact I drew hostile fire pay. Anyone have any ideas on this?

DocGreek
06-21-10, 10:47 PM
TROUT....you're abso****ingly right! NO CAR.....NO VA PTSD CLAIM!! BUT.....if you've served as a Fire-Rescue Marine, I think that you can get comp, for ptsd.....MAYBE!

firedog974
06-21-10, 10:58 PM
TROUT....you're abso****ingly right! NO CAR.....NO VA PTSD CLAIM!! BUT.....if you've served as a Fire-Rescue Marine, I think that you can get comp, for ptsd.....MAYBE!

Did anyone else smell that.........
It was Doc being a smart azz......
Pretty familiar smell! :D

hussaf
06-21-10, 11:27 PM
So they aren't accepting non-combat related PTSD?

Troutzilla
06-22-10, 09:27 AM
So they aren't accepting non-combat related PTSD?


They certainly accept non-combat claims for PTSD. However, that road is a longer and more difficult one to travel. You will need precise and provable documentation of your stressor...names....dates ....location...buddy letters...a DX for PTSD from your Dr. would certainly fortify your case.

FistFu68
06-22-10, 11:45 AM
:usmc: Uncommon Valor Was A Common Virtue :usmc: :iwo:

DocGreek
06-22-10, 12:44 PM
:D.....I'm giggling, how about you guys??
If someone doesn't know if they rate a CAR, DO NOT ask here!!....go to your local VA, and they'll tell you.....EH?.....PLEASE!.....:iwo:

Sgt Leprechaun
06-22-10, 06:38 PM
Sigh. Certain things are 'automatic' in the VA as 'evidence' of PTSD, such as a CAR, PH, Valor awards, etc.

Others....are not. And, like has been stated, you have to prove further information with dates, times, etc etc. Some are easier than others (9/11 for me, for example).

Non combat PTSD has to be 'proven' with documentation, etc. And it is harder.

Nowadays, the army has somewhat remedied the disparity regarding the CIB and other MOS's, with the introduction of the "Combat Action Badge", to show that not just Infantry are taking/returning fire. No idea what the VA policy is on the award of the CAB vs PTSD, though.

Without a 'Doc's opine, as Trout stated, you'll have an almost impossible road to go down I believe.

hussaf
06-22-10, 11:24 PM
Well I'm still in, so I guess I'm thinking in those terms for non-combat related PTSD. I can see how post IRR guys could have a heck of a time getting non-combat PTSD diagnosed then certified through VA.

This just came to me as two people in my life (cousin, brother in-law) got diagnosed with PTSD (they are civilians) related to medical complications they had.

My cousin had post-partem myopathy...meaning the birth of her child almost killed her and she needed a heart transplant at the age of 28 and almost died on a constant basis for about 1.5 years. She still has fluctuating levels of organ rejection, and was extremely bloated from medicine that fought infection for such a serious operation...it took her a couple years to loose all the weight the medicine caused, if she didn't exercise as much as she did before she gave birth she would be dead.

Brother in-law was hospitalized, in a coma for 11 days, hospital for 3 weeks, serious infection in his lungs...lost part of a lung due to scarring, got extremely sick and doctors can't figure out why. He pulled though and has been released, but has reoccurring symptoms similar to those that hospitalized/almost killed him, which bring on anxiety and was diagnosed as PTSD.

The whole PTSD thing is very new to me, and its something I hadn't really heard of outside military-related activities...and then not heard of at all until probably 2003/2004. PTSD has always been a taboo subject, if not looked down upon, in the Corps in my experience....until your buddy gets it and then everyone understands and becomes really supportive.

Assaultdog0351
07-25-10, 08:36 PM
There are only a few cases of PTSD I have seen that were legitimate, most of them the puple heart recipients. Other than that it's a wast of resources. Anyone that tries to suck off the tit of this nation for having a hurt feeling is a wast of space. Save the help for the ones that rate it! BAS will be standing by with straws for everyone else.

Sgt Leprechaun
07-25-10, 10:49 PM
Good the frack for you. Hopefully you can still say that when you are in your declining years.

I used to think the same way you did, all badazz and whatnot, back when I was young.

Hopefully, you'll never have to deal with the sheet. And I wouldn't wish it on you, either.

egbutler1
07-25-10, 11:06 PM
Its just a ribbon man you know what you did, but in order to get it you someone from your old head shed has to put you in for it.

egbutler1
07-25-10, 11:48 PM
oh forget it

terran1996
07-26-10, 07:07 AM
Good the frack for you. Hopefully you can still say that when you are in your declining years.

I used to think the same way you did, all badazz and whatnot, back when I was young.

Hopefully, you'll never have to deal with the sheet. And I wouldn't wish it on you, either.
:thumbup::thumbup:

Assaultdog0351
07-26-10, 09:39 AM
I think everyone is talking up this whole PTSD thing is partially to blame for it being such a big problem. There's a diference between combat stress, PTSD, and being a b!tch. Of course it may take some time to get used to home upon return and you may have some hard times. What the hell happened to having some self pride and realizing when you sign up to go fight the good fight you may just bring back more than you left with... Be a man (or woman) and suck it up.

GolfTwoFive0311
07-26-10, 05:29 PM
Just to clarify, I don't want a CAR for benefits or PTSD claims. It's just a pride issue...

egbutler1
07-26-10, 07:09 PM
I think everyone is talking up this whole PTSD thing is partially to blame for it being such a big problem. There's a diference between combat stress, PTSD, and being a b!tch. Of course it may take some time to get used to home upon return and you may have some hard times. What the hell happened to having some self pride and realizing when you sign up to go fight the good fight you may just bring back more than you left with... Be a man (or woman) and suck it up.

its not someones choice weather the get it or not. Don't make anyone less hard, try telling all the Nam vets that their ptsd is cause they are a *****. Just cause your one hard ass mother and don't have it (yet) don't make any other Marines a pussy just cause they chose to get help, and your going to sit here and tell me ptsd isn't real when 3 of my Marines i was in charge of in Iraq that killed themselves after the war are pussies cause they had problems? Just my two cents. Oh but on the other hand yes there are people out there milking the system but i'd much rather have a few of them than someone who has a legit problem not go get help and kill themselves just cause of people like you saying this ****.

Assaultdog0351
07-26-10, 07:34 PM
Well it I guess it all comes down to knowing your Marines to be able to tell when it's legit... And as for killing themselves... Don't get me started on that.

fpdesignco
07-26-10, 07:48 PM
http://www.marines.mil/news/messages/Pages/2006/ANNOUNCEMENT%20OF%20CHANGES%20TO%20THE%20ELIGIBILI TY%20CRITERIA%20FOR%20THE%20COMBAT%20ACTION%20RIBB ON.aspx


ITEM: IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICES
(1) CRITERIA: DIRECT EXPOSURE TO THE DETONATION OF AN IMPROVISED
EXPLOSIVE DEVICE (IED) USED BY AN ENEMY, WITH OR WITHOUT THE
IMMEDIATE PRESENCE OF ENEMY FORCES, CONSTITUTES ACTIVE PARTICIPATION
IN A GROUND OR SURFACE ENGAGEMENT. QUALIFICATION UNDER THIS
CRITERION IS RETROACTIVE TO 7 OCTOBER 2001.

AAV Crewchief
07-26-10, 08:02 PM
Yea, I read that but the wording is slightly ambiguous. It says:

The principal eligibility criterion is that the individual must have participated in a bona fide ground or surface combat fire-fight or action during which he/she was under enemy fire and his/her performance while under fire was satisfactory.

I (1) "participated" in a bona fide ground or surface fire-fight or action, (2) was under enemy fire, and (3) performed satisfactorily.

I dunno...guess I should just forget about it. Damn green-weenie strikes again...


It's funny....how the Air Force now has what they call a Combat Action Medal and the criteria that it takes to be earned. I see, more often than not, extraneous amounts of aircrew awarded this medal when they are eligible for everything else in the book and the airmen not actually out engaged in combat cannot earn the award for coming under SAFires, rocket, or even mortar attack, yet if I am sitting on a plane taxiing down the runway and come under fire I am 100% eligible.

I had friends in Lebanon who earned the CAR in the Corps for coming under attack during their deployments there when rockets from the Shouf Mountains were raining down and mortars out the wazoo, yet the AF has now made it to where you have to: 1) be engaged outside the wire looking for the enemy (considering airfields are encircled by the enemy for the most part this is ludicrous) and 2) come under fire from the enemy (guess incoming rockets, mortars, and SAFires). Again, how rocket attacks, mortar attacks, and SAfires don't fit into that category is beyond me. It seems now as if it is harder to get the AF Combat Action Medal than to earn a Marine Combat Action Ribbon. Makes no damn sense to me at all.

I wrote a letter to the AF Times about this. Got called out on it big time by some officers, but when I pointed it out how rockets, mortars and SAFires were indiscriminate about who they killed, it made sense to them.

Sgt Leprechaun
07-27-10, 11:54 AM
Well it I guess it all comes down to knowing your Marines to be able to tell when it's legit... And as for killing themselves... Don't get me started on that.


EG, agree 100 percent.

So, there, killar, you have the training to know who is faking and who isn't?

Impressive to be sure.

Ahh, to be young again and 'know'.

FistFu68
07-27-10, 01:59 PM
:usmc: The most Precious Medal or Ribbon this Mud Marine ever received was seeing the Smile of My Fellow Marines Faces after a Battle :beer: :iwo:

Assaultdog0351
07-27-10, 03:33 PM
Only on the ones that ended with no serious casualties.

USMarine0161Vet
08-07-10, 02:33 AM
One simple and easy way to see if you have rated the CAR.. https://www.manpower.usmc.mil/pls/apex/f?p=102:1:876115574353329:SEARCH_PI:NO:RP:P1_SEARC H_PI_VALUE:YES go to that link and enter your info.. If you are not on there and feel that you should be.. Then contact your command from G/2/5 and someone from the G1 check.. If not you may need to contact HQMC. But I think that your CO from the Unit you participated in a COmbat zone with must send the request up..

Sgt Leprechaun
08-07-10, 07:46 PM
That site is also supposed to work for the Humanitarian Service Medal....but it's not 100 percent. SRB says I have one, DD-214 says the same thing....but I'm not there LOL.

Guess I'm a poser huh :)

hbharrison
08-07-10, 08:32 PM
Well Lep if you are a poser then I guess I'm an obese polecat:D

USMarine0161Vet
08-07-10, 08:59 PM
Sorry Lep,
The PSR got me to that link post Iraq. I used it and my info appeared. After I got out, I attached to a reserve MP Unit and went to Iraq. When I got back and EAS'd again. I didnt recieve a final 214.. My last 214 from "active duty" didnt have any of my awards on it.. Oddly, the reserve unit wanted to push paperwork through for awards, deployment dates, etc post deployment. Nasty Reserve Officers...
So When I went to check into my Current unit, I didn't know until the PSR checked 3270, a database for admin with your SRB info in it..
Long of the short, I thought that this link was solid.. Sorry guys

Sgt Leprechaun
08-07-10, 09:01 PM
No, no! I'm sure it works fine for you younger guys....but some of us older, 'well used' folks, it may not.

I'd consider it a reliable source to check for anyone post 2002 or so for sure. Thanks for posting it up.

Backhaus 1103
08-09-10, 06:04 PM
I think you rate it if your post got lit up with rpgs and saf but...you're telling me none of your posts shot any rounds back..... sh!t.

Lcpl03bellator
08-13-10, 09:39 AM
One of the Female Engineers got one while we took fire for 5 seconds and shooting in the wrong direction i think you rate one.

Backhaus 1103
08-19-10, 07:22 PM
Well, it's the same thing with a purple heart. Someone who gets killed and someone who gets grazed get the same award for sh!t that's not even close the same.

Accord
08-19-10, 07:45 PM
I've been out of the Marines since December 2008. Deployed once to Iraq between April 2007 - October 2007. Was in Ramadi for the first month and then Karma for the remaining six months. I was an 0311 team-leader with Golf 2/5.

Anyway, even though I've been out the Marines for over a year now, something still bugs the hell out of me. I was never awarded my CAR, despite having spent 7 months patrolling hundreds of miles, setting up dozens of ambushes, standing hundreds of hours of post, and filling thousands of sandbags in that IED-infested, miserable hellhole.

I feel like I rate it but I never made an issue out of it while I was in because I didn't want to seem like a complainer. My senior Marines made it a point to remind my peers and I every single day how much worse they had it during their first deployment and how little us boots rated. The prospect of asking my certified war-hero platoon commander to enter me in for a CAR was intimidating to say the least.

So, you're probably wondering if I actually rate a CAR but that depends on how you define "combat" I guess.

Is seven months of sustained patrolling through an area infested with IEDs considered "combat"? The enemy is actively trying to kill or maim me, and the actions I take largely determine whether or not he will succeed; one of the Marines in my platoon lost his leg to an IED...the only difference between him and I is that I was able to avoid getting blown up. Was I not in "combat" simply because my squad was highly proficient at locating IEDs before they blew us to smithereens? We probably found several dozen IEDs during the course of our deployment, all of them designed to kill or maim me and my fellow Marines. The only reason they didn't was because our squad was disciplined and professional; we were highly proficient at patrolling and avoiding IEDs. I think that alone is enough to rate a CAR.

I also experienced several mortar attacks, one of which landed about 15-20 meters outside the Alaska barrier my squad was up against. Had it landed on the other side of the barrier, I wouldn't be here today.

Lastly, I was on post during a coordinated attack on our COP. RPG's hit our sandbags and posts, mortars were landing around the COP, sustained small arms fire was directed at our position, and a VB-IED blew up the IP checkpoint about 300 m North of our pos. While all of this was happening, I was coordinating between our posts, the company COC, the Iraqi police, and my platoon's COC. My position on post was as the Iraqi Police Liaison, and my job was to coordinate between the Marines and the IP's via radio; I had to learn a decent amount of Arabic to do this job proficiently, which I did, once during a complex attack on our COP.

So, my question is...do I rate a CAR and, if so, how would I go about getting it now that I'm out of the Marines?

Sorry the post was so long but this is something that's been eating away at me for a while now. I feel ashamed that I don't have my CAR and I still think about it from time to time. It's hard to not have one when it was all you heard about for three and half years straight...

Semper Fi.
You don't rate a CAR. You were never in combat. You got your OIF campaign medal, be proud of that. But you were never in combat.

Kandahar Airfield gets pelted with mortars and RPG attacks everyday. You think the thousands of pogues and fobbits actually rate a CAR? **** no.

Accord
08-19-10, 07:57 PM
And let me just add, giving the CAR to a guy who never even fired his weapon in anger accomplishes nothing but cheapening the merit of the ribbon for those of us who were in sustained kinetic combat operations for 9+ months. If you wanted it that badly and it was a pride issue, you should have reenlisted and went to Afghanistan where you most likely would have gotten it. Otherwise, don't complain. I was only awarded a NAM with a V but a LT who did the exact same thing I did with an almost identical citation was awarded a bronze star with a V. Why? Because I was a CPL and he was an LT. Is it fair? No. But who cares b/c I know what I did, and I brought my Marines home alive and that is the ONLY thing that matters. When it comes down to pride and someone asks me what i'm proud of, its bringing the Marines in my squad home alive to their families and seeing their families waiting for them with their families when we got off the bus. The CAR or NAM w/V on my chest is an afterthought and just more crap I have to worry about when the ball rolls around.

Backhaus 1103
08-19-10, 08:46 PM
I was at Kandahar Airfield for two days on my way back. That b*tch has a TGI Fridays and a KFC...what...the...****. I don't think anyone there for a deployment knows what a condition 1 weapon is let alone combat. IEDs and IDF suck but its no where near rounds cracking over your head or hiting the wall in front of you. No comment on medals...at least the people who know what happend know the truth...

Zulu 36
08-19-10, 08:57 PM
I was at Kandahar Airfield for two days on my way back. That b*tch has a TGI Fridays and a KFC...what...the...****. I don't think anyone there for a deployment knows what a condition 1 weapon is let alone combat. IEDs and IDF suck but its no where near rounds cracking over your head or hiting the wall in front of you. No comment on medals...at least the people who know what happend know the truth...


Not anymore. Gen McChrystal shut them all down a year or so ago.

Backhaus 1103
08-19-10, 09:14 PM
I was there about two weeks ago...

Zulu 36
08-19-10, 09:22 PM
Petraeus must have let them re-open. A lot of AF and Army people were crying when they closed (my oldest daughter was at Bagram when the closures went down).

390 Mach I
09-21-10, 05:52 PM
Sorry Lep,
The PSR got me to that link post Iraq. I used it and my info appeared. After I got out, I attached to a reserve MP Unit and went to Iraq. When I got back and EAS'd again. I didnt recieve a final 214.. My last 214 from "active duty" didnt have any of my awards on it.. Oddly, the reserve unit wanted to push paperwork through for awards, deployment dates, etc post deployment. Nasty Reserve Officers...
So When I went to check into my Current unit, I didn't know until the PSR checked 3270, a database for admin with your SRB info in it..
Long of the short, I thought that this link was solid.. Sorry guys


No, no! I'm sure it works fine for you younger guys....but some of us older, 'well used' folks, it may not.

I'd consider it a reliable source to check for anyone post 2002 or so for sure. Thanks for posting it up.

Just for the record...

This link accurately shows the CAR I recieved for "Operation: Just Cause" in '89.

Although, I do get a "security warning" from my browser when going to that link.

doesitmatter
09-21-10, 05:56 PM
It also shows my CAR I got in Marjah in '09....over a year before the rest of the Marine corps decided to show up and steal my glory.

Sgt Leprechaun
09-22-10, 05:15 PM
Thanks, Mach 1 & DiM. I'm guessing it's not '100 percent' but still a decent 'first source' to check.

GolfTwoFive0311
10-23-11, 12:52 AM
You don't rate a CAR. You were never in combat. You got your OIF campaign medal, be proud of that. But you were never in combat.

Then what would you call it? My platoon and my squad were engaged directly several times; rounds were cracking over head, mortars were exploding nearby while I was in the kill radius (the only reason I didn't get injured or killed was because of the concrete barriers), a VB-IED blew a CP to smithereens, RPGs were impacting our COP, etc. If that's not "combat", then what the hell is it? And I'm not trying to sound like some badass or anything. I know there's plenty of Marines who've seen a lot more **** than I have, but what I went through rates more than just an OIF campaign medal. Even POGs and fobbits get that.


Kandahar Airfield gets pelted with mortars and RPG attacks everyday. You think the thousands of pogues and fobbits actually rate a CAR? **** no.

You're comparing Kandahar Airfield to my COP in Karma? Those POGS only see or hear mortars and RPGs impacting hundreds of meters away from them on the peripheries of the FOB. I had shrapnel and bullets flying over my head. Was it Iwo Jima? Hell no. But it sure as hell wasn't Kandahar Airfield.

Anyway, I don't want to get into an argument with anyone. I'm pretty much over it by now anyway. The only reason I'm even posting right now is because I got an email for by birthday.

The main point - which, ironically, you brought up - is that, yes, I got my OIF campaign medal, but so do the same pogs and fobbits you just mentioned. If I don't rate a CAR, then shouldn't I at least rate something that sets me apart from Marines who never left the wire and were never in any real danger?

Whatever, I'm rambling now...Semper Fi.

Riven37
10-23-11, 05:51 AM
Unless your company commander puts you in for the CAR you are just out of luck. You can be in some type of combat and never rate the CAR. You can even be wounded and never get the CAR, and then you have guys who were in combat on the light side and gets their CAR itís a toss up all based on that company commander putting you in for one.





Then what would you call it? My platoon and my squad were engaged directly several times; rounds were cracking over head, mortars were exploding nearby while I was in the kill radius (the only reason I didn't get injured or killed was because of the concrete barriers), a VB-IED blew a CP to smithereens, RPGs were impacting our COP, etc. If that's not "combat", then what the hell is it? And I'm not trying to sound like some badass or anything. I know there's plenty of Marines who've seen a lot more **** than I have, but what I went through rates more than just an OIF campaign medal. Even POGs and fobbits get that.



You're comparing Kandahar Airfield to my COP in Karma? Those POGS only see or hear mortars and RPGs impacting hundreds of meters away from them on the peripheries of the FOB. I had shrapnel and bullets flying over my head. Was it Iwo Jima? Hell no. But it sure as hell wasn't Kandahar Airfield.

Anyway, I don't want to get into an argument with anyone. I'm pretty much over it by now anyway. The only reason I'm even posting right now is because I got an email for by birthday.

The main point - which, ironically, you brought up - is that, yes, I got my OIF campaign medal, but so do the same pogs and fobbits you just mentioned. If I don't rate a CAR, then shouldn't I at least rate something that sets me apart from Marines who never left the wire and were never in any real danger?

Whatever, I'm rambling now...Semper Fi.