Magazine article VFW Magazine


Magazine article VFW Magazine


Article excerpt

CARs Not Always Accompanied bv Campaign Medals

The Combat Action Ribbon has had a controversial history. It was not authorized until Feb. 17, 1969, so for five years Marines in Vietnam earned it but probably never received it.

Though often thought of as the equivalent of the Army's Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB), military occupational specialty has no bearing on the award of a CAR. Nor has the *under fire" rule been followed consistently.

Most of the 15 wars and operations recognized by the CAR remain obscure. They have ranged the world from Asia to Africa, with the latter continent becoming an increasing hot spot.

Nevertheless, a CAR qualifies veterans for VFW membership. But nearly every time the CAR has been issued, a campaign medal has been awarded as wellwhich also would qualify those veterans for membership. In only two instances was the CAR issued without an accompanying campaign medal: the USS Liberty incident in 1967 and Operation Assured Response in Liberia in 1996.

Two-Hour Series of Attacks

On June 8, 1967-three days after the outbreak of the Six Day War-the USS Liberty was monitoring Israeli and Egyptian communications 15 miles north of the Sinai Peninsula. Suddenly, the Liberty was attacked by Israeli jets and torpedo boats in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The two-hour series of attacks consisting of rockets, machine guns, napalm and torpedoes left a 40-foot hole in the ship-killing 34 Americans and leaving 171 wounded. …

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