combat infantry badge

GAS-15 Gary Stading (CA, KIA 25 April 68) on the beach at Chu Lai… Note the Combat Infantry Badge (CIB), as well as the ‘California’ and single stripe on the cap. 

Note from Doc Norman: I was present when this photo was shot. It was taken by the Battalion mail clerk. Can’t remember his name, but he was an oriental guy, heavy into photography… It was colorized by somebody cause the clerk only shot B & W. He [the mail clerk] wanted to be a news photographer when he got back to the world and all they do is B & W. … Doc

Stading was in Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment of the 198th Light Infantry Brigade.


“Medics are just as courageous as a fighting man; they aren’t permitted to carry a weapon, yet when the lead’s flying, their job is to run toward the bullets, not away.”

The Band-Aid Bandits

Ed Pepping and Al Mampre met on the first day of boot camp at Camp Toccoa, Georgia. “No matter how crazy it got we always tried to keep a sense of humor, if you didn’t have a sense of humor, you were gone.” At Toccoa, they made catapults out of trees and tossed each other around to see how far a man could fly and one time a captain was set to be married and the night before the wedding, the medics anesthetized him, put his arm in a cast, and shaved off half his mustache.  They became instant friends and have stayed friends ever since. That’s more than 70 years of friendship. 

For D-Day, Pepping was originally assigned to the same plane of Lt. Meehan, but for some unknown reason he switched seat with another medic. Upon landing into Normandy Ed cracked his head on the ground, and blacked out. That same day, he made his way to a church in Angoville au Plein that was being used as an aid station and patched up as many casualties as he could. In tribute, the people from the church have never washed the bloodstains off those pews.  Outside Beaumont, when Lieutenant Colonel Billy Turner was killed, the advance of tanks stopped as Turner was at the front of the moving column. Pepping helped to pull Turner out so the tank column could move again. He received the bronze star for his action. According to military records, “Acting without regard for his own life or safety, he attempted to save the life of a battalion commander who had fallen critically wounded on top of the tank commander, not only halting the advance of the six-tank column, but making the whole column potential targets for destruction by the enemy as well. Although an agonizingly painful choice to make, Pepping’s actions allowed the tank column to advance again”

In Normandy Pepping was wounded in his leg and was not able to join the company in France, he was replaced by Ralph Spina. He then went AWOL from the hospital to rejoin Easy and he was with his unit for fifty one days. After that, Pepping was then sent to serve in general hospitals in England and in France. He later operated switchboard for trunk lines throughout France.

During the training one of the jobs for the medics was to make medical checks in the community in the Deep South; right before D-Day Mampre had an infection on his neck and missed the jump, Doc Roe took his place . Al first battle was Operation Market-Garden where another man collided with him on the jump down, Al back was badly hurt but he kept going anyway. Just before the troops reached Eindhoven, Lt. Bob Brewer was shot through the neck by a sniper and was presumed dead. Unconvinced, Al sprinted out to the field where Brewer lay, saw that he was still breathing, got some plasma out of his kit, and pumped it into Brewer’s vein although the men were still under fire. Another rifle cracked, and Al took one just above his boot line. The bullet peeled the flesh off his leg all the way down to the bone. Both the lieutenant and Al were helped to safety by some nearby Dutch civilians. Al healed up and rejoined the company in Bastogne; he remembers a joke he had with a German prisoner who spoke some English just to set the man at ease. “Hey, why don’t we change uniforms? Think about it: if I wear your German uniform they’ll send me to the States as a captive—then I’ll be home. If you wear my American uniform, we’re going to go to Germany, you know that, then you’ll be home.” The prisoner thought about it for a moment then smiled. “Ah, the hell with you,” he said. “I want to go to America. You can go to Germany.”

Ed Pepping came home in December 1945. He studied business and technology and became a draftsman for NASA’s Apollo Program, helping to send men to the moon. He married and had three children, he also received the Army’s Legion of Merit medal and is a holder of the Combat Medic and Combat Infantry Badges. Pepping felt that he let his unit down for being knocked out after 15 days in Normandy and did not keep in touch with the men of Easy Company. He only got involved again after the Emmy Awards reunion in 2002.

Al Mampre came home from the war in September 1945 with two purple hearts and a broze star, married his childhood sweetheart Virginia and studied at UCLA and the University of Chicago. He worked as a psychologist and for International Harvester in their training department. The Mampres had three children together. He retired in 1978.

Oh I was a daredevil kind of guy and I thought [paratropeers] that’s where the action would be” Mampre said.

Sgt. 1st Class Kristoffer B. Domeij, 29, was killed during combat operations in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan when the assault force triggered an improvised explosive device.

Domeij was a Ranger Joint Terminal Attack Controller assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Co., 2nd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

He was on his 14th combat deployment to Afghanistan in support of the War on Terror.

Domeij was born October 5, 1982 in Santa Ana, Calif. After graduating from Rancho Bernardo High School in 2000, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in July, 2001 from San Diego, Calif.

Domeij completed Basic Combat Training and Fire Support Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sill, Okla. After graduating from the Basic Airborne Course, he was assigned to the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program at Fort Benning.

Following graduation from the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, Domeij was assigned to Co. C, 2nd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment in 2002 where he served as a Forward Observer. He also served in Headquarters and Headquarters Co. (HHC), as a Reconnaissance Joint Terminal Attack Controller, Co., B as the Fire Support Noncommissioned Officer, and again in HHC as the Battalion Fires Support Noncommissioned Officer.

Domeij was also a Joint Terminal Attack Controller - Evaluator and was one of the first Army qualified JTAC’s, training which is usually reserved for members of the Air Force.

Domeij’s military education includes the Basic Airborne Course, the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, the Warrior Leader’s Course, the Advanced Leader’s Course, the Senior Leader’s Course, U.S. Army Ranger School, Jumpmaster School, Pathfinder School, Joint Firepower Control Course, and Joint Fires Observer Course.
His awards and decorations include the Ranger Tab, Combat Action Badge, Expert Infantry Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, the Pathfinder Badge and the U.S. Army Expert Rifle Marksmanship Qualification Badge.

He has also been awarded the Bronze Star Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Joint Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal with three loops, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, Iraq Campaign Medal with three campaign stars, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with numeral three, Army Service Ribbon, and the Overseas Ribbon with numeral four.

He will be posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, and the Meritorious Service Medal.

He is survived by his wife, Sarah and daughters Mikajsa and Aaliyah of Lacey, Wash.; his mother Scoti Domeij of Colorado Springs, Colo., and his brother Kyle Domeij of San Diego, California.

Pvt. 1st Class Christopher Alexander Horns, 20, was killed during combat operations in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan when the assault force triggered an improvised explosive device.

Horns was a Ranger automatic rifleman assigned to Co. C, 2nd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. He was on his first deployment to Afghanistan in support of the War on Terror.

Horns was born Nov. 10, 1990 in Sumter, S.C. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in July, 2010 from his hometown of Colorado Springs, Colo.

Horns completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Ga., as an infantryman. After graduating from the Basic Airborne Course, he was assigned to the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program also at Fort Benning. Following graduation from Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, Horns was assigned to Co. C, where he served as an assistant machine gunner and automatic rifleman.

His military education includes the Basic Airborne Course and the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program.

His awards and decorations include the Parachutist Badge and the U.S. Army Expert Rifle Marksmanship Qualification Badge. He has also been awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon. Horns will be posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal for Combat Service, the Army Commendation Medal for Peacetime Service, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Combat Infantry Badge.

He is survived by his parents Larry and Tamara Horns, and his sister Tiffany of Colorado Springs, Colo.

As Rangers, Domeij and Horns selflessly lived their lives for others and distinguished themselves as members of the Army’s premier direct action raid force and fought valiantly as they served their fellow Rangers and our great Nation.


James Arness was just 20 years old when he and his unit were waiting at Fort Snelling for shipping overseas. He was a tall, powerfully built man. At 6 foot 7 inches he was the tallest man in the company. When his unit landed at Anzio, they used Arness as the depth finder. Being the first one out of the boat to gauge its depth. It reached his waist. His unit, 2nd Platoon, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, splashed ashore to take part in a prolonged battle against well entrenched German defenders in early January 1944.

Just a month later, Arness was nearly killed. He and his platoon were on a night recon. There was no moon as the men crept through a vineyard. Arness was on point because he had the most experience in night movement. It was so dark he couldn’t see a hand in front of his face. He suddenly heard a voice 50 feet in front of him, then came a scream and then fire. A MG-42 opened up and struck Arness in the lower right leg and the man next to him. Arness jumped over a vineyard and into a slight ditch as he was now caught in the crossfire. A moment later a potato masher hand grenade was thrown at him and the resulting explosion lifted him off the ground. Bleeding profusely, bone broken, and slipping into shock, Arness fought by keeping still and quiet until the enemy was forced to retreat. A medic found Arness and dressed his wounds. It would be a debilitating wound that would affect him for the rest of his life. He received an Honorable Discharge and was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart along with the Combat Infantry Badge and service medals.

Sent stateside he went through a series of hospitals and many surgeries, but he would walk with a limp for the rest of his life. It is clear to see when he starred in the long running series, ‘Gunsmoke’. In fact, the wound continued to manifest to the point he had pain mounting a horse that in the latter seasons it doesn’t show him mounting a horse.

My Life Driving Uber as an Iraq War Veteran with PTSD

Stuck on my dashboard where everyone can see is my Combat Infantry Badge. It’s a medal given to soldiers “who personally fought in active ground combat… engaged in active ground combat, to close with and destroy the enemy with direct fires.” It’s supposed to be a conversation starter, a way to bridge the gap between the passengers who are constantly coming in and going out of my car.

Almost no one notices it, or they notice it and just don’t care.

I’ve picked up countless fares and only two have asked me what it was. When I told them it was an award I earned in Iraq, one guy went on a monologue—to impress me, I guess—about a distant relative of his who was in the Special Forces. The other said nothing beyond, “Oh.”

Far more people ask me why I have a plain black-and-white Uber decal on my windshield and not one of those “cool” glow-in-the-dark ones instead. Others ask why I don’t also have a pink mustache. But mostly my passengers spend the ride staring down at their phones, treating me like a machine while my thoughts drift, inevitably, to the voiceovers from Taxi Driver that have been rattling around in my head for months.

Listen, you fuckers, you screwheads. Here is a man who would not take it anymore. A man who stood up against the scum, the cunts, the dogs, the filth, the shit. Here is a man who stood up.

Except I’m not standing up. I’m sitting down, watching the city fly past my windshield.


I still have my first CIB. It bent until the paint flaked off from being pounded so much. One of the pins broke off in my chest.

It’s a symbolic to being “earned in blood.”

I still hold on to it, hoping that one day I can place it on 1SG Barton’s grave in Hopkinsville.

His voice still ring in my ears, “I hope to God, that none of you ever get your CIBs”

I never understood those words until I was standing in formation at his funeral.

“For over two centuries I have kept our nation safe. Purchasing freedom with my blood. To tyrants, I am the day of reckoning.

To the oppressed, the hope for the future.
Where the fighting is thick, there am I.

I am the Infantry! Follow Me!”

  • "Friends": BRUCE Jenner isn't brave for transitioning! What did he have to lose? Soldiers are brave!
  • Me: Yeah, about that. CAITLYN Jenner is a woman. I'm a former special forces operator with a combat infantry badge and a bronze star and transitioning has been a hell of a lot scarier than combat. You DO remember that I'm trans, right?
  • "Friends": .... So anyway, I don't know why people are calling him hot, he's like a 4.5 out of 10 at best....
  • Me: WHAT. THE. FUCK.