Morale: Pilot Generals Reluctant to Honor Ground Combat


September 18, 2006: The U.S. Air Force is still trying to decide whether it should have a "Combat Action Badge" for officer and enlisted personnel who experience combat on the ground. All the other services have such an award, and polls of air force personnel indicate that 80 percent of them are in favor of the idea. To make matters more embarrassing, the air force has ordered its personnel, who served with marine units, and received the Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon, not to wear it on their air force uniforms. But these personnel were allowed to wear the less prestigious Marine Corps Achievement Medal. All this makes no sense to the airmen involved, who faced a lot more danger in three months on the ground in Iraq, than do air force pilots flying jets 10,000 feet overhead. The air force generals are expected to decide soon, and give their combat experienced ground troops the recognition they deserve.


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