Mr. NUGENT. Mr. Speaker, on May 2, 2005, the Department of the Army authorized the creation of the Combat Action Badge. This badge provides special recognition for soldiers who personally engage the enemy or are engaged by the enemy during combat operations. The bayonet and grenade on the badge are associated with the act of combat. The oak wreath on the badge signifies strength and loyalty.
Current Army policy limits the eligibility to those individuals who meet the criteria of the Combat Action Badge after September 18, 2001. Unfortunately, this overlooks thousands of veterans who made similar sacrifices in previous wars. That's why I offered this amendment that would expand the eligibility for the Combat Action Badge to also include those who served honorably from December 7, 1941, to September 18, 2001.
Additionally, in accordance with the wishes of those veterans who approached me about the expanded eligibility of this badge, the costs of the Combat Action Badge would be borne by those individuals, not the taxpayers. Therefore, this measure will cost American taxpayers nothing.
I was proud to introduce this identical amendment last year to the National Defense Authorization Act, which passed the House en bloc. So I'm back this year continuing to fight for combat veterans of the past to receive the recognition they rightfully deserve. With that, I ask for your support.