Josh, here's the criteria you asked for concerning the Combat Infantryman's Badge (CIB).
Eligibility: An infantryman or Special Forces soldier
Awarded for: Being personally present, and under hostile fire, while serving in assigned, primary infantry or special forces duty in a unit actively engaging the enemy in ground combat.
Just being in a hostile fire situation did not rate a CIB. You had to be an infantryman to be eligible. For example, a truck driver or some sort of service and support personnel get involved in a fire fight would not receive a CIB. If you remember in the movie "Saving Private Ryan", the translator, Cpl Upham would not receive a CIB for his actions. Neither would the medic. Medics have their own award called the Combat Medic Badge or CMB.
The US Army used the half track extensively in the ETO as an infantry carrier, a weapons platform and tractor. The armored infantry battalions assigned to the armored divisions were half-track'ed into battle, just like the armored personnel carriers are used today. Early on, anti-tank guns were mounted on half tracks (and trucks), but upon later development the motor gun carriages (tank destroyers) made this weapons system obsolete. Also some artillery units in the armored divisions had they guns pulled by half tracks prior to the introduction of self propelled guns.
Also, US Army Cavalry Groups were mechanized and used half tracks in their operations. Cavalry groups conducted
reconnaissance, screening and utility missions, such as the 2nd Cavalry Groups' "rescue" of the famous Lipizzaner Stallions from behind
Soviet lines in Czechoslovakia in 1945.
Edited by A-58, 23 March 2012 - 01:13 AM.
"On the Plains of Hesitation, lies the blackened bones of countless millions who,
at the dawn of victory sat down to rest, and resting died"....
(Adlai Stevenson to Harry Truman on discussing the pros and cons of dropping the big one, or so I'm told)