USMC Combat Action Ribbon Criteria
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  1. #1

    Thumbs up USMC Combat Action Ribbon Criteria

    Combat Action Ribbon

    The Combat Action Ribbon of the Navy and Marine Corps was instituted in 1969. Awarded for active participation in ground or air combat during specifically listed military operations.
    NOTE: this is the only Navy personal decoration that has no associated medal.


    Eligibility Requirements
    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.

    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 was under enemy fire and his performance while under fire was satisfactory. The following amplifying remarks are furnished as guidance.

    Personnel in riverine and coastal operations, assaults, patrols, sweeps, ambushes, convoys, amphibious landings, and similar activities who have participated in fire fights are eligible.
    Personnel assigned to areas subjected to sustained mortar, missile, and artillery attacks actively participate in retaliatory or offensive actions are eligible.

    Personnel in clandestine or special operations such as reconnaissance and SEAL teams are eligible when the risk of enemy fire was great and was expected to be encountered.
    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 subsurface elements.

    Personnel eligible for the award of the Purple Heart would not necessarily qualify for the Combat Action Ribbon
    The Combat Action Ribbon will not be awarded to personnel for aerial combat since the Strike/Flight Air Medal provides recognition for aerial combat exposure; however, a pilot or crewmember forced to escape or evade after being forced down could be eligible for the award.

    Operations. An individual, whose eligibility has been established in combat in any of the following listed operations, is authorized the award of the Combat Action Ribbon. Only one award per operation is authorized. Subsequent awards will be indicated by the use of a Gold Star on the ribbon:

    Southeast Asia. From 1 March 1961 to 15 August 1973.
    Dominican Republic. From 28 April 1965 to 21 September 1966.
    (No ships qualified)

    USS LIBERTY (AGTR 5). 8 and 9 June 1967.
    USS PUEBLO (AGER 2). 23 January 1968.
    Operation FREQUENT WIND. (Evacuation operations, Saigon) 29 and 30 April 1975. (No ships qualified)
    Operation MAYAGUEZ. 15 May 1975. (No ships qualified)
    Grenada. 24 October 1983 - 2 November 1983. (No ships qualified)
    Lebanon. 20 August 1982 to I August 1984. (No ships qualified)
    Persian Gulf
    COMNAVSPECWAR Task Unit Tango - 22 Sep 1987
    USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (FFG 58) - 14 Apr 1988
    Operation PRAYING MANTIS - 18 Apr 1988
    SAG BRAVO
    COMDESRON NINE STAFF EMBARKED ON USS MERRILL (DD 976)
    USS MERRILL (DD 976)
    HSL-35 DET I
    USS LYNDE MCCORMICK (DDG 8)
    USS TRENTON (LPD 14)
    CONTINGENCY MAGTF 2-88
    HSL 44, DET 5
    SAG CHARLIE
    USS WAINWRIGHT (CG 28)
    USS BAGLEY (FF 1069)
    HSL-35, DET 7
    USS SIMPSON (FFG 56)
    HSL-42, DET 10
    COMMANDER, NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE TASK GROUP MIDDLE EAST FORCE
    SEAL TEAM TWO, THIRD PLATOON
    SAG DELTA
    COMDESRON TWENTY-TWO
    USS JACK WILLIAMS (FFG 24)
    HSL-3 2, DET 2
    USS JOSEPH STRAUSS (DDG 16)
    USS O'BRIEN (DD 975)
    HSL-33, DET 2
    CO, SPEC BOAT UNIT TWELVE
    SEAL TEAM 5, PLATOON C
    USS ELMER MONTGOMERY (FF 1082) AND USS VINCENNES (CG 49) -3 Jul 1988
    Operation JUST CAUSE (Panama). 20 December 1989 - 31 January 1990.

    Operation DESERT STORM. 17 January 1991 - TBD
    Administrative Procedures. SECNAV determines which operations meet the criteria for this award. Requests for determination of eligibility of individuals for operations subsequent to 1975 should be sent to SECNAV via the chain of command, CNO or CMC, as appropriate.


    Thought that some of you may like to know

    Semper Fi
    Bob


  2. #2
    Marine Free Member mrbsox's Avatar
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    Thumbs up ... gimme more ....

    ...info on where to find such criteria. I am trying to find out if I rate any overseas ribbons for Operations or floats I was on.

    I have seen some ribbons listed for 'Sea Service' etc... but no one I have spoken with can give me specifics. Found out by accident that I can boast the Navy Mertiorus Unit Citation fro GetMo in '79.

    Anything may help, me or others !!

    Thanks... SF

    Terry
    mrbsox@aol.com


  3. #3

    Thumbs up CAR

    Great post! thanks for the info. Thats what i like about LeatherNeck.com there are Marines out there w/ very good and accurate info. thanks again........\Semper FI

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  4. #4

    Re: ... gimme more ....

    Originally posted by mrbsox
    ...info on where to find such criteria. I am trying to find out if I rate any overseas ribbons for Operations or floats I was on.

    I have seen some ribbons listed for 'Sea Service' etc... but no one I have spoken with can give me specifics. Found out by accident that I can boast the Navy Mertiorus Unit Citation fro GetMo in '79.

    Anything may help, me or others !!

    Thanks... SF

    Terry
    mrbsox@aol.com
    Here Ya Go Bro!!
    http://www.navalhelicopterassn.org/medsribs/medals.htm
    SF


  5. #5

    Re: USMC Combat Action Ribbon Criteria

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by badbob
    [B]Combat Action Ribbon

    The Combat Action Ribbon of the Navy and Marine Corps was instituted in 1969. Awarded for active participation in ground or air combat during specifically listed military operations.
    NOTE: this is the only Navy personal decoration that has no associated medal.


    Eligibility Requirements ....etc, etc....

    That gives me three full rows....Whoopeeeeee....those ribbons & a buck fifty will get me a cup of coffee.


  6. #6

    Thumbs up CAR Update

    As you know, this award was authorized in 1969 and issued retroactive to Nam Vets who served in combat prior to 1969.

    Basically, if you were shot at or returned fire in combat and the ” after-action” report indicates that you and or your unit were actually under fire and returned fire, you qualify.

    Simple hit & run sniper incidents usually do not qualify. Only recorded firefights and designated combat operations qualify.

    Many of us participated in several combat firefights and or Combat Operations and qualify for multiple awards.

    To update your DD-214 and validate your Combat Action Ribbon awards contact:

    Marine Corps veterans:
    HQMC Manpower & Reserve Affairs
    Code MMMA
    3280 Russell Road
    Quantico, VA 22134-5103

    To ensure a timely response the following information should be provided:

    Standard Form 180 or cover letter with the following information: full name, service number, specific TO/FROM dates associated with ship/combat assignments, unit assignment at the time, and current mailing address. Copy of Naval Personnel Form 553 or Defense Department (DD) Form 214; DD-215 (if applicable).

    Additional substantiating documentation: copies of combat awards; copies of evaluations; muster sheet or orders showing assignment to the unit for the period requested. All documents should be legible. Request should be only based on ground or surface combat. Air combat does not qualify for the CAR. A complete legible return address should be on your correspondence, not just on the envelope.

    The envelope for your request should be marked "CAR."

    Form 180 is the best way to go because you will also get updates to your DD-214 with any other awards that you may be entitled to.

    I have a Form 180 on my web site, that you can fill in online, then print and mail. http://www.3rdmarines.net/ go to the War Stories section

    To use the online Form 180, you must have Acrobat Reader installed on your pc. If you do not have Acrobat Reader installed, there is a free install button at the bottom of the War Stories Page, just click and follow the simple directions.

    Semper Fi
    Bob


  7. #7

    Air America, Southern Air

    My father was a corpsman assigned to the 1st MAR in Iwakuni, Japan during the Vietnam War. He flew to southeast asia: Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand on board a USMC C-130 which were piloted by enlisted USMC pilots. Does this make him elgible for this ribbon decoration? Is there any way to confirm that he flew with Southern Air?


  8. #8
    If you're awarded a CAR retroactively for service in Vietnam, can you find out how they determined you were eligible for the award? This is very important. Thanks


  9. #9
    Wow - I get another ribbon - Makes my Day.


  10. #10
    Bertha, why? Generally speaking to get that you'd need personal statements, OR records showing you were basically shot at, then returned fire. Most Infantry Marines got the CAR for Vietnam.

    This is an OOOOLLLDD posting. Didn't realize that until I looked at it LOL


  11. #11
    I'm helping a friend who has a PTSD disability claim pending. He received a CAR in Vietnam but doesn't remember what he got it for. I've been told that the CAR is very important in determining a disability claim and I want to include it in his statement of stressful incidents. Is there any listing that explains when and why CARs were awarded? Thank you!


  12. #12
    Just google "Combat Action Ribbon". There are no specific unit listings, it's a "personal" award. The CAR is considered 'de-facto' evidence for his claim, however. You shouldn't need much more than that. As long as it's on his DD-214 he should be good.


  13. #13

    Combat Action Ribbon

    The Combat Action Ribbon is now authorized for eligible combat service dating back to December 7th, 1941 (Pearl Harbor Day).

    Pass the word to your fathers, grandfather's, uncles and friends of the family.

    Semper Fi to all.


  14. #14
    Hey Marines,

    I am looking for some examples of write-ups for a CAR.

    For who you say?-Me and other Marines of American Embassy Brazzaville.

    We were under fire for 2 weeks (Arty, small arms, RPG's) and we employed tear gas to keep the bad guys away.

    We did not get put in for a CAR because, well, it was a different time in 1997-a different Corps.

    Rules: SECNAV 1650.1H (August 22nd 2006)

    (2) The principal eligibility criterion is,
    regardless of military occupational specialty or rating, the
    individual must have rendered satisfactory performance under
    enemy fire while actively participating in a ground or surface
    engagement.

    We were in a ground engagement for 2 weeks, keeping them out, keeping watch over our positions.

    The Marine Corps does not deny I was under fire. My NAM from the action has an opening line of:

    "While under small arms fire".

    I have gathered the logbook entries detailing the action and have uncovered some Special Operations periodicals that detail the actions from the point of view of joint Special Forces Team that assisted us.

    This CAR would have to go to under Secretary of the Navyfor approval so the bar is extremely high.

    I have to write it up, but I am looking for some help-not to inflate the action, but to get a start. I have to write up a narrative, but do not know how to open.

    This is will not be some cheesy CAR submission.

    Like I said, the bar of approval is high.

    I just want the Marine Corps to tell me "NOPE", not an internet forum of Marines.

    Thanks for all of your help.


  15. #15
    Hmmmm.....I'd say, then, to look for 'historical' writeups from THAT time period, since you are working from a different criteria than today. Not a lot of CAR's awarded in the late 90's, but you might try the 26th MEU, Kosovo, May of 99. Bunch of Marines got one for that.

    First place I'd start searching would be awards branch at HQMC, see if they have anything 'on file' that you can get to over the 'net. Remember also this is an individual award....so while you are looking for a 'format/template', it'll have to be for each Marine and adaptable to that.

    Not spitballing, I wish you good luck, likely you rate it...but you just never know how it's going to look. Your citation is a good start though.


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