When the rapid-action revision of Army Regulation 600-8-22 takes effect July 25, Soldiers whose awards have been lost in processing can go through their current units to have them awarded.
The regulation, which covers the Army awards program, includes 25 other changes.The regulation clears up some discrepancies, making it easier for Soldiers to get medals they think they earned, said Sgt. Maj. Katrina M. Herzfeld, senior enlisted leader at Fort Jackson's personnel office."A few years ago, if a Soldier's wartime award got lost or didn't get processed, the Soldier would have to get in contact with their wartime command," Herzfeld said. "They would sometimes have to track down their brigade commander only to find they are not in the Army anymore."Now the regulation allows for the Soldier's current command to request the award.If a Soldier feels he never received an award he was due, he must talk to his chain of command she said.He would need to write up DA Form 638, award recommendation, and send it up with all supporting paperwork.But Herzfeld cautioned that Soldiers must know that the award request must be submitted within two years after determining the recommendation paperwork was lost.Paragraph 1-15 states that the secretary of the Army or his designee can award a decoration within two years after it has been determined the recommendation was lost or the recommendation was not acted on because a statement was lost or inadvertently not acted on. The initial recommendation must have been made within the two-year time limit."There is no time limit for the awarding of badges," she said.A Soldier who feels he was wrongly kept from receiving a badge can apply for a retroactive award. However, AR 600-8-22 states that "such awards will not be made except where evidence of injustice is presented."The awards may be approved by the commander of the U.S. Army Human Resources Command, Awards and Decorations Branch (AHRC--PDP--A), 1600 Spearhead Division Avenue, Fort Knox, KY 40122--5408.Active-duty and Reserve Soldiers wishing to apply for retroactive awarding of the Combat Infantryman Badge, Combat Medical Badge or the Combat Action Badge must submit their requests through command channels to the first general officer for endorsement before sending them to the Army Human Resources Command.Retirees and veterans should address their applications to National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138--1002.All National Guard requests, once endorsed, must be submitted to the Director, (ARNG--HRH--A), 111 S. George Mason Drive, Arlington, VA 22204--1373 before being submitted to HRC.Among other changes, the regulation clarifies guidance for duplication of awards, flagged Soldiers and Purple Heart entitlements, and criteria for awarding of the Humanitarian Service Medal.The updates to the regulation came from the multitude of Military Personnel messages during the past nine years, Herzfeld said, allowing the Army to publish the regulation rapidly without going through the standard process. That process can take years.