Feel Good Army
I’m pretty sure that I’ve ranted in the past about how the Army had changed while I was in. It went from a place where elite soldiers set them selves apart from the rest of the Army by performing dangerous tasks and also having a uniform that reminded everyone that they volunteered to perform dangerous tasks to a place where everybody wore something that made them feel elite without having to do anything hard. There was a time where black berets were only given to soldiers that made it through RIP (Ranger Indoctrination Program) and to wear any beret you had to be assigned to an airborne unit. Now anybody that makes through basic gets to slap on a beret and feel a little better about themselves. I don’t really care that the whole army is walking around with berets mind you; I was upset that they took a symbol of being a ranger in an elite unit and handed it out to everyone. They could have went with any color but decided to take away the ranger’s identifier and make it worthless. (I'm so glad I left the Army before I had to see a pregnant pack clerk with a black beret on.)
At my unit we had the same problem. One we were the only airborne infantry in Germany. You wouldn’t spot a red beret unless you were in Darmstadt, home of the Long Range Surveillance Company. We also had special PT uniform that consisted of black (catch me; f**k me) shorts and a black t-shirts. They made us stop wearing those because other units complained that they weren’t allowed to wear them; then we shouldn’t wear them either. It was also a real pain when we showed up to pull force protection with other units there in town. The rest of the soldiers from other units looked exactly the same. On their LBE they would have: one canteen on the right, one ammo pouch on the left, one first aid kit on the right suspenders, and their flashlight on their left suspenders. At my unit you were allowed to wear anything you wanted, as long as it was camo or green and served a purpose. Everybody’s equipment looked different. I remember one time where the sergeant of the guard was questioning me and my buddies about our LBE. He asked me why I had a Y harness 2 first aid pouches, 4 ammo pouches, and a butt pack while my buddy had a vest and no butt pack. All I could tell him was that my buddy was on another team and his SOP was different than mine. What a pogue that guy was.
Anyway, on with the point. Not long ago there was a story about non-infantry crying because they weren’t eligible for the Combat Infantry Badge. It’s an award given to infantry soldiers who go to combat. The reason it’s given, is to reward the people who not only volunteered to be in the Army, but also volunteered to combat soldier. In a conflict infantry soldiers will be guaranteed a fight, while other units may only get to see the inside of a camp during a deployment. True, soldiers currently down range are having chances to see combat while going out in convoys and other missions, but their purpose is not to engage the enemy. The Army doesn’t send mechanics out to close with the enemy, if they see combat it’s not because the Army wanted them to.
So, the Army has come up with a way to make these soldiers feel good to. Intelligence reports (a friend sent me an email) show that the army has come up with a different badge to show that non-infantry have been in a fight. Here is the information in full. (It’s also a complete lie, but too funny to pass up)
The attached badge is now authorized for wear by all SERMC staff.
Rumor Control Chief
Subject: Combat Briefing Badge (CBB)
Recognizing the need for an award for troops assigned to headquarters units during combat operations, the Army today announced the approval of the Combat Briefing Badge, or CBB. "People don't realize that being in a major headquarters can be just as stressful as going on patrols or convoys," said MAJ John Remf. "When you're briefing that many General Officers, your career can end in a heartbeat. And it can happen to anyone at any time, not just combat arms soldiers." DOD statistics note that CSS personnel are more likely to suffer career-ending incidents in rear areas than Combat Arms Soldiers. "This just reflects that reality," said Pentagon spokesman LTC Roger Pogue.
The award ranks in precedence below the CIB and CAB, but above the EIB and PowerPoint Ranger tab.
The criteria for the award is still under discussion, but preliminary guidance authorizes the award for 30 days of continuous briefings of officers at least two grades higher than the briefer without incident while serving in a theater of operations in which the awardee is eligible for hostile fire and hazardous duty pay.
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