The Combat Action Ribbon was
established on February 17, 1969, by Secretary of
the Navy John H. Chafee and announced by SECNAVNOTE 1650 of
February 17, 1969. The Annual Defense Authorization Bill (Public Law
106-65) signed into law by President Clinton on October 5, 1999,
authorized the Secretary of the Navy to award the Combat Action Ribbon to
members of the Navy or Marine Corps who participated in combat during any
period after December 6, 1941.
NOTE: this is
the only Navy personal decoration that has no associated medal.
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.
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.
riverine and coastal operations, assaults, patrols, sweeps, ambushes,
convoys, amphibious landings, and similar activities who have participated
in fire fights are eligible.
assigned to areas subjected to sustained mortar, missile, and artillery
attacks actively participate in retaliatory or offensive actions are
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
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.
eligible for the award of the Purple Heart would not necessarily qualify
for the Combat Action Ribbon
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.
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:
1 March 1961 to 15 August 1973.
Dominican Republic. From 28 April 1965 to 21 September 1966. (No ships
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)
COMNAVSPECWAR Task Unit Tango - 22 Sep 1987
USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (FFG 58) - 14 Apr 1988
Operation PRAYING MANTIS - 18 Apr 1988
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
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
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
Iraq - On
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