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The Combat Medics Badge

(submitted by Alain Batens)

Note:The nomenclature for the Combat Medics Badge during WWII was Medical Badge.

Brief History: the Medical Badge was finally introduced March 3, 1945 for medical personnel who served with the Medical Detachments during WW2 . Let’s have a brief history of this insignia . The introduction of both E.I.B. (Expert Infantryman Badge) and C.I.B. (Combat Infantryman Badge) in November 1943 created an administrative problem and caused wide concern about medical personnel and Infantrymen . Although medical personnel, regularly attached to an Infantry unit were running considerable hazards when carrying out their duty, they were NOT entitled to the C.I.B. ! (though some Commanders did obtain CIBs for the combat medics) Army Regulations strictly forbade granting combat awards, since this was against the Geneva Convention and the non-combatant (i.e. neutral) status of medical personnel ! In fall of 1944, the War Department once more stressed that it was forbidden to grant EIBs and CIBs to medical personnel and Chaplains ! This was because a lot of Infantrymen (acknowledging the risk and courage of combat medics, attached to Infantry units) complained it was unfair to treat aidmen this way, and also some people were thoroughly frustrated they could not earn the extra $ 10.00/month of combat pay (which went with the CIB award) . Hence the introduction by the Surgeon General’s Office of a special badge to honor medical personnel ! The design was adopted 3 March 1945, and the official uniform regulations appeared on April 18, 1945 (C-3 of AR 600-35) .

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Description: The Medical Badge (AG 421/3 Mar 45) "A STRETCHER PLACED HORIZONTALLY BEHIND A CADUCEUS WITH THE CROSS OF THE GENEVA CONVENTION AT THE JUNCTION OF THE WINGS, ALL ENCLOSED BY AN ELLIPTICAL OAK WREATH 1-IN IN HEIGHT AND 1 ½ -IN IN WIDTH, OF OXIDIZED SILVER" . statement: The War Department has authorized wear of a Medic’s Badge for personnel who served with the Medical Detachments of Infantry Regiments or smaller units, since the beginning of the War . The subsequent Bill of Congress will give those people an extra $ 10.00-a-month pay as provided for combat infantrymen . Medics up to and including rank of Captain are eligible, as well as Regimental Surgeons The Medical Badge shall be worn above decorations and/or ribbons, over the left breast pocket of the uniform coat or jacket .

SOURCE:AR 600-35 C 3, Army Regulations, Changes No. 3, War Department, Washington 25, D.C., 18 April 1945 (Listing of Changes to AR 600-5, 31 March 1944, together with other modifications governing the use of prescribed service uniforms)


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