a. Authorization. SECNAVNOTE 1650 of 17 February
b. Combat Action Ribbon Eligibility Requirements
(1) Combat Action Ribbon is awarded to members of the Navy, Marine Corps,
and Coast Guard (when the Coast Guard, or units thereof, operate
under the control of the Navy) in the grade of captain/colonel
and junior thereto, who have actively participated in ground or
(2) The principal eligibility criterion is,
regardless of military occupational specialty or rating, the
individual must have rendered satisfactory performance under
enemy fire while actively participating in a ground or surface
engagement. Neither service in a combat area nor being awarded
the Purple Heart Medal automatically makes a service member
eligible for the Combat Action Ribbon (CR). The following
amplifying guidance is provided:
(a) Direct exposure to the detonation of an
Improvised Explosive Device (IED) used by an enemy, with or
without the immediate presence of enemy forces, constitutes
active participation in a ground or surface engagement.
Eligibility under this criterion is retroactive to 7 October
(b) Personnel who serve in clandestine or
special operations, who by the nature of their mission, are
restricted in their ability to return fire, and who are
operating in conditions where the risk of enemy fire was great
and expected to be encountered, may be eligible for the Combat Action Ribbon (CR).
(c) The Combat Action Ribbon (CR) will not be awarded to personnel for
aerial combat, since the Strike/flight
Air Medal provides
recognition for aerial combat exposure; however, a pilot or
crewmember forced to escape or evade, after being forced down,
may be eligible for the award.
(d) Current DON personnel who were formerly in
the U.S. Army and earned the Combat Infantryman Badge or Combat
Medical Badge, upon submission of official military
documentation to their commanding officer, may be authorized to
wear the Combat Action Ribbon (CR).
(e) Under Public Law 106-65, the CR may be
awarded retroactively to 7 December 1941. See Chapter 8 for
information regarding retroactive eligibility determinations.
c. Eligible Operations. SECNAV, or his designee,
determines which operations meet the criteria for this award.
Appendix E to this chapter lists the operations for which award
of the Combat Action Ribbon (CR) has been authorized. An individual, whose eligibility
has been established in combat in any of the operations listed
in Appendix E, may be awarded the Combat Action Ribbon (CR). Only one award per
operation is authorized. The listing is not all inclusive, as
the Combat Action Ribbon (CR) has been awarded in minor operations, as well as for
An individual whose eligibility has been established in combat
in any of the following listed operations may be authorized
award of the Combat Action Ribbon. Only one award per operation
is authorized. This listing is not all-inclusive, as the Combat
Action Ribbon has been awarded in minor operations, as well as
for specific actions.
1. Southeast Asia: 1 Mar 61 to 15 Aug 73.
2. Dominican Republic: 28 Apr 65 to 21 Sep 66. (No ships
3. USS LIBERTY (AGTR 5): 8 Jun 67 to 9 Jun 67.
4. USS PUEBLO (AGTR 2): 23 Jan 68.
5. Operation FREQUENT WIND (Saigon evacuation): 29 to 30
Apr 75. (No ships qualified.
6. Operation MAYAGUEZ: 15 May 75. (No ships qualified.)
7. Grenada: 240ct83 to 2 Nov 83. (No ships qualified.)
8. Lebanon: 20Aug82 to 1 Aug 84. (No ships qualified.)
9. Persian Gulf
(a) COMNAVSPECWAR Task Unit Tango: 22 Sep 87.
(b) USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (FFG 58) : 14 Apr 88.
(c) Operation PRAYING MANTIS: 18 Apr 88.
COMDESRON NINE STAFF embarked on (DD 976)
USS MERRILL (DD 976)
HSL-35 DET 1
USS LYNDE MCCORMICK (DDG 8)
USS TRENTON (LPD 14)
CONTINGENCY MAGTF 2-88
HSL 44, DET 5
USS WAINWRIGHT (CG 28)
USS BAGLEY (FF 1069)
HSL-35, DET 7
USS SIMPSON (FFG 56)
HSL-42, DET 10
COMMANDER, NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE TASK
GROUP MIDDLE EAST FORCE
SEAL TEAM TWO, THIRD PLATOON
USS JACK WILLIAMS (FFG 24)
HSL-32, DET 2
USS JOSEPH STRAUSS (DDG 16)
USS O'BRIEN (DD 975)
HSL-33, DET 2
CC, SPEC BOAT UNIT TWELVE
SEAL TEAM 5, PLATOON C
(d) USS ELMER MONTGOMERY (FF 1082) and USS VINCENNES
(CG 49) : 3 Jul 88.
(e) Persian Gulf MCM Operations: Specific units
during the periods 19 Nov 87 to 1 Apr 88; 14 to 20 Apr 88; 20 to
23 Apr 88; and 2 Aug 90 to 10 Sep 91.
10. Operation JUST CAUSE (Panama)
: 20 Dec 89 to 31 Jan
90. (No ships qualified.
11. Operation SHARP EDGE: 5 to 24 Aug 90. (No ships
12. Operation DESERT STORM: 17 Jan 91 to 28 Feb 91.
(a) The Secretary of the Navy approved the CAR as an
exception to policy for the following ships that operated north
of 28.30N.and west of 49.303 from 17 Jan 91 to 28 Feb 91:
USS ADROIT (MSO 509)
USS BEAUFORT (ATS 2)
USS CARON (DD 970)
USS DURHAM (LKA 114)
USS FORD (FFG 54)
USS PAUL F. FOSTER (DD964)
USNS HASSAYAMPA (T-A0 145)
USS IMPERVIOUS (MSO 449)
USS AVENGER (MCM 1)
USS BUNKER HILL (CG 52)
USS CURTS (FFG 38)
USS FIFE (DD 991)
USS FORT MCHENRY (LSD 43)
USS HAWES (FFG 53)
USS HORNE (CG 3 0)
USS JARRETT (FFG 33) USS
USS KIDD (DDG 993)
USS LEADER (MSO 490)
USS MACDONOUGH (DDG 3 9)
USS MISSOURI (BB 63)
USS NASSAU (LI-IA 4)
USS NICHOLAS (FFG 47)
USS OLDENDORF (DD 972)
USS PORTLAND (LSD 37)
USS RALEIGH (LPD 1)
USS VREELAND (FF 1068)
USS WORDEN (CG 18)
USS LASALLE (AGF 3)
USS LEFTWICH (DD 984)
USS MCINERNEY (FFG 8)
USS MOBILE BAY (CG 53)
USS NIAGARA FALLS (AFS 3)
USS OKINAWA (LPH 3)
USNS PASSUMPSIC (T-A0 107)
USS PRINCETON (CG 59)
USS TRIPOLI (LPH 10)
USS WISCONSIN (BB 64)
(b) The following ships were approved for the dates
USNS COMFORT (T-AH 2 0) 26 Feb 91
USS GUAM (LPH 9) 25 to 26 Feb 91
USS IWO JIMA (LPH 2) 26 Feb 91
USS OGDEN (LPD 5) 25 to 26 Feb 91
USS MISSOURI (BB 63) 12 Feb 91 and 25 Feb 91
USS RICHMOND K. TURNER (CG 20) 19 to 24 Feb 91
USS VALLEY FORGE (CG 50) 16 to 28 Feb 91
USS LEADER (MSO 490) 23 Mar 91
13. El Salvador: 1 Jan 81 to 1 Feb 92.
14. Operation RESTORE HOPE (Somalia): 5 Dec 92 to 31 Mar
95. (No ships qualified. )
15. Cambodia: 1 Jun 92 to 15 Nov 93.
16. Operation ASSURED RESPONSE (Monrovia, Liberia) : 7 to
18 Apr 96. (No ships qualified.)
17. Kosovo Campaign: 24 Mar 99 to 27 Jan 00.
18. Operation ENDURING FREEDOM: 11 Sep 01 to TBD.
19. Operation IRAQI FREEDOM: 19 Mar 03 to TBD.
Authorized Devices: Gold Star, Silver Star