Combat Action Ribbon
Criteria: Awarded principally to U.S. Navy and Marine Corps service members in any grade including and below that of a Captain in the Navy (or Colonel in the Marine Corps) who have actively participated in bona-fide ground or naval surface combat with hostile enemy forces. Such performance under enemy fire must be deemed "honorable and satisfactory" which excludes the award to those who show cowardice in the face of an enemy or retreat without cause. U.S. Army personnel who earned the Combat Infantryman Badge or Combat Medical Badge while a member of the Army may be authorized to wear the Combat Action Ribbon upon application to the Department of the Navy. The Combat Action Ribbon is also awarded to members of the United States Coast Guard when operating under the control of the Navy. The Combat Action Ribbon was first created in February 1969 with retroactive presentation to 1961-03-01. On 1999-10-05, by Presidential Order of Bill Clinton, the retroactive effective date of the Combat Action Ribbon was changed to 1941-12-07 which was the entry date of the United States of America into the Second World War. Additional decorations of the Combat Action Ribbon are denoted by gold and silver award stars.
Note: This service ribbon is one of the few awards issued by the military as a ribbon only. There is no accompanying medal.