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The Combat Infantryman 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'.

Originally, the Regimental Commander was the lowest level at which the CIB could be approved and its award was retroactive to 7 December 1941. There was a separate provision for badge holders to receive a $10 per month pay stipend, which was rescinded in 1948. Several factors led to the creation of the CIB, some of the most prominent factors are as follows:

a) The need for large numbers of well-trained infantry to bring about a successful conclusion to the war and the already critical shortage of infantrymen.
b) Of all soldiers, it was recognized that the infantryman continuously operated under the worst conditions and performed a mission which was not assigned to any other soldier or unit.
c) The infantry, a small portion of the total Armed Forces, was suffering the most casualties while receiving the least public recognition.
d) General Marshall's well known affinity for the ground forces soldier and, in particular, the infantryman. All these factors led to the establishment of the CIB, an award which would provide special recognition of the unique role of the Army infantryman, the only soldier whose daily mission is to close with and destroy the enemy and to seize and hold terrain. The badge was intended as an inducement for individuals to join the infantry while serving as a morale booster for infantrymen serving in every theater.

Buffgrunt Home

Welcome to Buffgrunt. This site is dedicated to the memory of LZ Buff, where the fourth battalion of the third infantry regiment became Jungle Warriors under the Southern Cross.

The driving motivation to construct Buffgrunt came from a need to honor our dead and to penetrate the fog of war with documented facts. The name Buffgrunt comes from two different sources. The first part of the title, 'Buff', came from a nick name given to the third infantry regiment during the civil war. The regiment developed a habit of carrying a strap of leather in the tab on the shoulder of their uniforms. The leather strap was used to polish brass. The other regiments referred to, 'The Old Guard', as the, 'Buff straps'. The second part of the Buffgrunt name comes from the genius of the infantry combatant. We packed heavy loads in tropical heat and hurricane force monsoons up steep hills through thick jungles and across raging rivers. Every motion from standing up to falling down required enough effort to illicit a, 'grunt', from the warrior fortunate enough to be one of the chosen few. I hold the name Buffgrunt in great esteem and honor the contributions we have made to service and the Arlington National Cemetery.

The third infantry regiment is called 'the Old Guard'. Its linage can be traced back to the wilderness and the securing of the land involved in the Louisiana Purchase. The old guard is the only infantry regiment allowed to pass in review before the President of the United States with their bayonets unsheathed. The third regiment saved the Union at the battle of the stone bridge during the civil war when they executed a rear guard action that allowed the rest of the Union army to safely break contact with the rebel forces and reconstitute their lines. During the battle of the stone bridge The Old Guard withstood multiple infantry, artillery and cavalry assaults. For the first and only time during the Civil War the Old Guard formed a 'square' as a tactic to withstand the full weight of the rebel assault.

Bravery was not in short supply at the battle of Gettysburg as the Third Regiment upheld its honorable tradition. This information and more can be found in the Roots section of the history tab. The 'Taps' section of Buffgrunt stands alone. It contains the names and dates of our dead. In some cases the family or friends of the dead have offered poems and stories that I proudly include in the site.

The 'Maps' section is another stand alone link within Buffgrunt. It has short comings but is still useful. The SITREPs are the glue that holds Buffgrunt together. They are, after the 2011 update, easy to navigate and complete in their effort to list the date, time and names of the dead and wounded. Buffgrunt has the unique privilege of providing documents for all the causality producing incidents encountered by the fourth battalion of the third infantry regiment during the 46 months they served in the republic of Vietnam.

The 'Library' contains short stories, poems and a lost and found section. This section also lists books and pictures. The newest entry in the book section is called, 'Song Ba To', by Dru Mendelson who was an artillery F.O. for the 4/3 in 1969. The pictures section of the library tab contains approx. 1,872 images featuring the companies, related topic like Scout dogs and general military subjects including Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Freedom Bird section of the 'Library' tab contains a collection of short stories about the trip home from Vietnam. You are welcome to read and enjoy the posted stories or you can send your story of the flight back to the world and I will add it to the Freedom Bird Collection.

Information on reunions can be found under the 'Misc' tab.

The 'Global War' tab has links to news and information about both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Buffgrunt.com was made possible by many people. Some contributed documents from the National Archives while others offered advice and/or technical skills. I attempt to recognize contributions in the, 'About' section at the top of the template. I hope you enjoy your time with Buffgrunt. I believe we can proudly say that our unit has pulled together an impressive amount of information that helps to clear the fog of war and sets the standard of military related veteran websites.

Specific CIB Eligibility Requirements

1) A soldier must be an Army infantry or special forces Officer (SSI 11 or 18) in the grade of colonel or below, or an Army enlisted soldier or warrant officer with an infantry or special forces MOS, who subsequent to 6 December 1941 has satisfactorily performed duty while assigned or attached as a member of an infantry, ranger or special forces unit of brigade, regimental, or smaller size during any period such unit was engaged in active ground combat. Eligibility for special forces personnel (less the special forces medical sergeant) accrues from 20 December 1989. Retroactive awards for special forces personnel are not authorized.
2) A recipient must be personally present and under hostile fire while serving in an assigned infantry or special forces primary duty, in a unit actively engaged in ground combat with the enemy. The unit in question can be of any size smaller than brigade. For example, personnel possessing an infantry MOS in a rifle squad of a cavalry platoon in a cavalry troop would be eligible for award of the CIB. Battle or campaign participation credit alone is not sufficient; the unit must have been in active ground combat with the enemy during the period.
3) Personnel with other than an infantry or special forces MOS are not eligible, regardless of the circumstances. The infantry or special forces SSI or MOS does not necessarily have to be the soldier's primary specialty, as long as the soldier has been properly trained in infantry or special forces tactics, possesses the appropriate skill code, and is serving in that specialty when engaged in active ground combat as described above. Commanders are not authorized to make any exceptions to this policy.
4) Awards will not be made to general officers nor to members of headquarters companies of units larger in size than brigade.

Authors of the 4/3

Buffgrunt: memoirs of a tree vet, by Tommy Skiens

A funny and insightful journey about trauma induced behavior and a life that surrounds it. This writing is a Painful, revealing, informative and sometimes shocking commentary about the result of direct participation in combat.

Song Ba To, by Drew Mendelson

Song Ba To is a war novel set in Vietnam. Larry Solie, who served with me in the 6/11 Artillery in Vietnam says about the book: 'I loved the book. Grabbed you by the throat and didn't let go! Vivid imagery, yet dark in content, seems no one escaped unscathed. Talk about flashback time!'

Americal Division Unit Patch
The Americal Division is the only army infantry division to be formed outside the continental United States. The Americal division is also the only named army Division. All other army divisions have a number designation. The army later added the number designation of the 23rd Infantry Division to the Americal title. The four stars represent the constellation Crux. Crux is referred to as; 'The Southern Cross'. The Americal Division motto is 'Under the Southern cross'. The patch has been worn in combat by Americal Division veterans who served in the Pacific theatre during WWII and by veterans of the Vietnam War.

This patch (above) is symbolic of the 'Jungle Warriors' of the 11th Light Infantry Brigade. The 11th LIB consisted of the following units:

The 3/1, who declare themselves to be, 'Always First'
The 1/20, who carry the name, 'Sykes Regulars'
The 4/3, who are 'The Old Guard'
The 4/21, are 'The Gimlets'

The Combat Medics Badge was originally established as the Medical Badge, the Combat Medical Badge (CMB) was created by the War Department on 1 March 1945. It could be awarded to officers, warrant officers, and enlisted men of the Medical Department assigned or attached to the medical detachment of infantry regiments, infantry battalions, and elements thereof designated as infantry in tables of organization or tables of organization and equipment. Its evolution stemmed from a requirement to recognize medical aidmen who shared the same hazards and hardships of ground combat on a daily basis with the infantry soldier. Though established almost a year and a half after theĀ  CIB, it could be awarded retroactively to 7 December 1941 to fully qualified personnel.

Like the CIB, the Regimental Commander was the lowest level at which the CMB could be approved and it also carried with it a separate provision for enlisted badge holders to receive a $10 per month pay stipend.

The CMB could be awarded to Medical Department personnel assigned or attached to infantry units of Allied Forces when the duties performed were identical with those performed by medical personnel assigned or attached to U.S. Forces.

The CMB could also be awarded to U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force medical personnel provided they met all the requirements of Army medics.

Effective 20 December 1989, special forces personnel possessing Military Occupational Specialty 18D (Special Operations Medical Sergeant) became qualified for award of the CMB provided they were otherwise qualified.

In 1991, the Chief of Staff, Army authorized a limited expansion of CMB eligibility to include medical personnel assigned or attached to armor and ground cavalry units provided they meet all other qualifying criteria. This expansion was retroactive to 17 January 1991 to cover the period of Operation DESERT STORM

Related Links & Resources
> Return to Vietnam - e-mail Capt. Gonzalez if you would like to join a group of veterans from the 11TH LIB on a return trip to Southeast Asia

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