By Glyn Haynie
I was assigned to the 1st Platoon Company A 3rd Battalion/1st Infantry 11th Infantry Brigade Americal Division and awarded the Combat Infantry Badge (CIB), along with every other infantry soldier who saw combat in Vietnam, however this is the award I am proudest to wear. This one award speaks volumes about the soldier wearing it. The infantry soldier is a unique breed.
As stated by the United States Army Human Resources Command – The Combat Infantry Badge (CIB) was established by the War Department on 27 October 1943. Lieutenant General Lesley J. McNair, then the Army Ground Forces commanding general, was instrumental in its creation. He originally recommended that it be called the "fighter badge." The CIB was designed to enhance morale and the prestige of the "Queen of Battle." Then Secretary of War Henry Stinson said, "It is high time we recognize in a personal way the skill and heroism of the American infantry."
We did not wear awards in the field and most times no other insignia. Mike Dankert came up with a solution to wear a “CIB”. It was nothing more than a safety pin pinned to the left pocket of his shirt. Others in first platoon adopted the wearing of the “field CIB”. This action is one way we could show how proud of this award we were.
Mike Dankert with rear job at the brigade headquarters at Duc Pho. Note the safety pin on his left pocket. He is still wearing it even though he is wearing the authorized CIB worn above the U.S. Army tag.
When my son’s came home came home from Iraq and Afghanistan, I took this opportunity to pin my dad’s Combat Infantry Badge (CIB) on Nathan and my CIB on Bryan. Nathan served with the 82nd Airborne Division as an infantry soldier and Bryan served in a Ranger Battalion as an infantry soldier.
When I Turned Nineteen: A Vietnam War Memoir and Soldiering After the Vietnam War.