Awards and Decorations

     When men and women are called to bear arms or serve against the enemy, at home or
abroad, their fate is uncertain.    Many are honored for their contributions with "awards and decorations" established by the U. S. government and various branches of the military.

      This page recognizes the numbers of various awards made to members of the 69th
Infantry Division and attached units.  The records have been taken from the "69th Infantry Division Pictorial History," published in Germany, August 1945, and the"European Theater Order of Battle, 69th Infantry Division ."

Combat Infantryman Badge

     The most sought-after award for the dogface (infantry soldier) of the Fighting 69th Infantry Division was the Combat Infantryman Badge (originally called the "fighter badge"), signifying he had closed with the enemy.

     A "dogface" is a nickname given to infantry soldiers.  Some say the reason they were called this was that
they slept in a "pup" tent, came out at a whistle, ate out of a tin lid, and sat on their rear and growled!

a. History.

(1) 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."

(2) 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 There was a separate provision for badge holders to receive a $10 per month pay stipend, which was rescinded in 1948.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.

Number Awarded Unknown.

European Theater of Operations (ETO) WWII 1945

Rhineland..........................Central Europe

Proudly Worn By All Who Were There

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