Army Combat Badge retrospective to 1948 - January 2007

THE Army Combat Badge was made retrospective to 1948 following an amendment to the Defence Instruction that took effect on October 5.

CA Lt-Gen Peter Leahy said the ACB was introduced to recognise the service of Army personnel who had deployed for 90 days on war-like operations as part of an infantry, armoured, artillery, combat engineer or aviation-based unit.

" 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," Lt-Gen Leahy said.

The CA said his priority when introducing the badge was to award it to current personnel on operations.

He said when the badge was introduced retrospectivity was a "very contentious issue requiring considerable research and negotiation".

" After careful consideration, I have decided to make the ACB retrospective to 1948," he said.

The CA said corps associations provided him feedback on the ACB.

" I would like to thank members of the veterans community for putting their views on the ACB forward," he said.

As the ACB is a dress embellishment and not an award it falls outside of the DH&A system.

Current and former personnel whose qualifying period was after 1989 need to fill out the appropriate forms located in DI (A) 119-1 and submit them to DG Pers. Proof of service will need to be provided.

Those whose qualifying period was before 1989 are to submit their application through their corps associations.

The associations, in conjunction with the Head of Corps, are responsible for processing applications and distribution of the badge.

DI (A) 119-1 states all future operations are to ensure the ACB is issued to eligible members before their return to Australia.