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Theater Awards for IA Sailors

The awards for IA Sailors serving in Navy commands (with appropriate awarding authority) are processed in accordance with normal Navy award procedures.  However, many IAs are serving in/for joint commands and the processing of these awards is performed differently.  IA sailor awards always originate with the IA's theater command (e.g. Army) and are routed up the appropriate theater chain-of-command for final approval.  For Meritorious Service Medals and higher or any award with a "V" device, the approval of the award must also receive Navy "concurrence".  The Navy concurrence process occurs at a CNO Awards board with the goal of maintaining the "integrity" of the issued awards over time. 

The Navy concurrence process historically has been a source of dissatisfaction for some Navy IAs due to perception of Award inequity between Navy IAs and Soldiers/Airman of other services.  Further information concerning the IA awards process is available on the Navy Awards website or Navy IA Award FAQs webpage.   

 (see also Training Focus Area (TFA) #8 of The CIAC Paddle, 11th edition).

The Bronze Star

For award of the Bronze Star, the Navy requires both meritorious service and personal exposure to hostile action or exposure to risk of hostile action (or heroic action without the meritorious service) unlike other services which only require meritorious service in a combat zone. The Navy's requirement for meritorious service and exposure to hostile action has been consistently reaffirmed as policy (DNS VADM Church in 2005, DNS VADM Fitzgerald in 2007, and by CNO Admiral Roughead in 2011).

The Combat Action Ribbon (CAR)

Per references SECNAVINST 1650.1H, ALNAV 068/12, and COMUSNAVCENT 081426Z MAY 08, the following criteria must be met to be considered eligible for the CAR:
  • 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 (e.g. returning fire, spotting etc.).
  • Per references ALNAV 068/12 and COMUSNAVCENT 081426Z MAY 08, if the member was personally impacted by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and shows proximity to the blast center and effects on the individual such as shrapnel hitting own vehicle, the member would qualify for the CAR.

Other IA Awards

Additional information concerning other IA awards (campaign medals, Combat Action Badge, etc.) can be found on the Navy IA Award FAQs webpage.