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Posted 8/3/2012

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By Bernard Tate

The U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry recently approved production of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Combat Service Identification Badge for wear on the Army Service Uniform.

The badge, which was approved on June 13, is a metal heraldic device worn on the right pocket of the Army Service Uniform (ASU) that uniquely identifies combat service.

In 2008, the Army approved the ASU as the Army’s standard service uniform, replacing the green service uniform.  Soldiers with wartime service had the Shoulder Sleeve Insignia-Former War Time Service (SSI-FWTS) sewn on the right sleeve of the green service uniform.

“But you don’t wear SSI-FWTS on the sleeves of the ASU,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Karl Groninger, USACE command sergeant major.  “Soldiers asked, ‘I’m proud of my wartime service.  How do my show my unit affiliation during that service?’  That’s when the Army came up with the Combat Service Identification Badge.”

It has taken from 2008 to 2012 for USACE Soldiers to have their own CSIB.  Before this, USACE Soldiers who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom wore either the U.S. Forces Iraq or U.S. Forces Afghanistan badge in lieu of the USACE CSIB.

“The U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry contracted companies to produce these badges, and they started with the units that have the highest number of Soldiers authorized to wear a CSIB,” Groninger said.  “That took awhile.  They rolled out the ASU in 2008, and on June 13 Charles Mugno, director of the Institute of Heraldry, approved the USACE Combat Service Identification Badge.

“Soldiers who have deployed multiple times with multiple units have a choice of which CSIB they can wear,” Groninger added.  “I hope that any Soldier who has deployed to combat while assigned to USACE would choose to proudly wear the USACE CSIB.”

Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, USACE commanding general, will pin the first CSIB on a Soldier during the Strategic Leaders Conference Aug. 6-10 in Little Rock, Ark.  Although the ceremony marks the symbolic roll-out of the CSIB, all USACE Soldiers are now authorized to purchase and wear the USACE CSIB, if they meet the requirements.

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