Army Combat Badge
- Monday 18 September 2006

The first of the new Army Combat Badges will soon be awarded to Army personnel who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the development of the policy for the Army Combat Badge a deliberate decision was taken to temporarily put aside the issue of retrospectivity. The clear priority was to establish the criteria for the award of the badge to those currently on operations and for those who would be assigned to operations in the future.

The issue of retrospectivity was considered very carefully and it was decided that as it would be a very contentious issue requiring considerable research and negotiation that the matter would be dealt with later. With the first of the ACB being awarded it is now appropriate to consider the issue of retrospectivity.

I have already received a number of requests and submissions in relation to retrospectivity. These will be considered very carefully in the further development of the policy regarding the ACB.

Throughout the development of the policy relating to the ACB it has been my intention to ensure that the criteria for the award of the badge is as close as possible to that which applies to the award of the Infantry Combat Badge (ICB). I intend to maintain this principle with regard to retrospectivity for the Army Combat Badge. In general terms it should be expected that the Army Combat Badge will be awarded for those campaigns and operations covered by the Infantry Combat Badge.

I have asked the Director General of Personnel - Army to draft an amendment to the Defence Instruction (Army) on the Army Combat Badge for consideration at my Senior Advisory Committee. I hope to consider the matter by the middle of this year. However, it is clear from the nature of the requests and submissions I have already received from the veteran's community that there are some strongly held views in regard to both eligibility and retrospectivity. I want to hear these views even if it means that consideration of the matter might be slightly delayed. Please write to me.

Defence Instruction Pers 119-1, Army Combat Badge

Peter Leahy
Lieutenant General
Chief of Army