195 'Dog Face' Soldiers receive combat badges
July 1, 2013
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LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan (July 1, 2013) -- A total of 195 Soldiers in 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, were awarded combat badges at Forward Operating Base Shank, May 28.
Of the 195 badges awarded, 151 were combat infantry badges, 40 were combat action badges, and four were combat medical badges.
Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Capel, the International Security Assistance Force command sergeant major, gave an encouraging speech to the Soldiers at the award ceremony.
"We are so lucky, over blessed, by having great men and women like you who went to find that recruiter, raise your right hand, swore on the Constitution that you wanted to take and defend," said Capel. "You didn't have to be here. You didn't have to join the Army, but it takes great men and women like you to fight for freedom that so many people back in the United States of America get to enjoy everyday."
To be awarded a combat infantry badge, an infantry Soldier in an infantry unit must engage or be engaged by the enemy during combat operations.
For medical personnel to receive a combat medical badge, he or she must engage or be engaged by the enemy during combat operations.
The combat action badge is for all other Soldiers who personally engage or are engaged by the enemy during combat operations.
Being awarded a combat badge is a significant event for Soldiers.
"The badge signifies everything that myself and my entire battalion is going through day in and day out," said 1st Lt. Gerald Ratchford, the 3rd Bn., 7th Inf.Regt., chemical officer, who earned his badge after being within 40 meters of an indirect fire impact.
"This is justification for them that they [unit Soldiers] are prepared for combat," said Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Dillingham, the battalion's command sergeant major. "They are going to survive and they are going to take care of their friends out there on the battlefield."
Being prepared for combat is critical for the battalion, also known as Task Force Baler, who have a unique mission to respond when needed in Regional Command-East.
"We're the operational ready reserve force for RC-East," said Lt. Col. Gregory Bell, commander of 3rd Bn., 7th Inf. Regt. "Basically, we are the reserve force and when division or another unit needs help with an assignment, they call us and we quickly integrate and fill in to help accomplish their mission."
Capel thanked the Soldiers, who serve selflessly overseas during wartime.
"We can't do what we do without you," he said. "We are very proud, very thankful of you great Soldiers from the 3rd ID."