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The Combat Medical Badge represents the finest in military, medical, and human duty. Those who carry this coin can produce it to show that they are not able to save lives, but have served under direct enemy fire while performing essential medical duties for those defending American freedom and liberty.
The CMB was established in 1945 is awarded to soldiers the rank of Colonel and below – as well as Navy (Captain and below) and Air Force (Colonel and below) medics assigned or attached to the Army – who satisfactorily performed medical duties when their assigned unit was engaged in active ground combat. From 1989-2001, Special Forces personnel with medical occupational specialty were eligible, and since 1991, medical personnel assigned to Armor or Cavalry units are eligible. Since 2005, Special Forces Medical Sergeants may opt for a Combat Infantryman badge in lieu of a Combat Medical Badge.
The requirements were so stringent during the Vietnam War that it was required to document, in six digit co-ordinates where the medical personnel came under fire, as well as the specific time and the intensity of battle.
If you or someone you know can say that they were in harm’s way while saving the soldiers who were defending American freedom, this Combat Medical Badge challenge coin is the ideal coin to carry. The obverse displays the design of the Combat Medical Badge: an aid stretcher (symbolic of medical field service), a caduceus (the Medical Corps insignia of branch), and a Greek cross (suggesting the Geneva Convention), all over an oak wreath. The whole represents the recipient’s skills and expertise. The oak symbolizes steadfastness, strength and loyalty.
The reverse features an area suitable for engraving with the name or related information of the medic to carry the coin, as well as the Army motto, “This we’ll defend.” Minted in nickel, using a special "splash-minting" process and provided an antique finish, this Army challenge coin authentically reproduces the Combat Medical Badge in challenge coin form.
Soldiers receiving the Combat Medical Badge during World War II were subsequently authorized to retroactively receive a Bronze Star.