Woman Among First to Earn Army's New Combat Badge
Army Reserve SGT April Pashley was among the first to receive the Army’s new Combat Action Badge (CAB) in ceremonies held at the Pentagon on June 29. She and four others were decorated for their actions while engaged in combat with the enemy in Iraq.
The 22-year-old Egg Harbor, NJ, native and first woman to receive the CAB was deployed with the 404th Civil Affairs Battalion (Special Operations), Ft. Dix, NJ, in the first wave of American service members sent to Iraq in 2003. She was on duty as a rooftop guard at a Coalition Forces building when insurgents attacked with 106mm rockets. She continued her defensive duties without hesitation as rounds landed within 100-150 meters of her position, according to the Army News Service. Of her actions in Iraq, SGT Pashley says, “This was the job I chose to do and I do so with pride.” SGT Pashley is also the recipient of the Army Commendation Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Mobilization Appurtenance, a National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Also decorated were four soldiers who were wounded in combat and received the Purple Heart, including Army SGT Michael Buyas, Army SGT Manuel J. Montano, Army SGT Sean Stevens and Army National Guard SGT Timothy Gustafson.
Army leadership created the CAB to recognize all soldiers in combat; and all soldiers who engaged in the War on Terrorism since Sept. 18, 2001, are retroactively eligible to receive the award. Until the approval of this new badge, only infantry, special forces or medic soldiers were eligible for a special badge showing they had personal combat experience. The CAB is open to all soldiers regardless of their military occupational specialty. Eligible soldiers must be performing duties in an area where hostile fire or imminent danger pay is authorized. However, this award is not intended for all soldiers who serve in a combat zone. Rather, the soldier must be present and actively engage or be engaged by the enemy and perform satisfactorily according the the rules of engagement, according to the Army. Learn more about the CAB.