Common questions about the Combat Action Ribbon and who rates it:
(a). Letter, Dept of the Navy, Office of the Secretary, SUBJECT: Guidance to Administer the Combat Action Ribbon (CAR) IAW Public Law 106-65, dated 13 march 2000
(b). SECNAVINST 1650.1F, Dated 8 August 1991
1 Considering the dates prescribed in the legislation, the following combat periods, which were approved under prior direction, are approved to consider awarding of the CAR:
World War II 07 December 1941 through 14 April 1946
Korean War 27 June 1950 through 27 July 1954
2 Per reference (b) above, paragraph 14 (Page 2-20) of said reference states:
a. Eligibility Requirements
(1). Awarded to members of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard in the grade of captain/colonel and junior thereto, who have actively participated in ground or surface combat. Upon submission of evidence to their commanding officer, personnel who earned the Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB) or Combat Medical Badge (CMB) while a member of the US Army may be authorized to wear the CAR.
(2). The principal eligibility criterion is that the individual must have participated in a bona fide ground or surface combat fire fight or action during which he or she was under enemy fire AND his/her performance while under fire was satisfactory. The following amplifying remarks are furnished as guidance.
(a). Personnel in riverine and coastal operations, assaults, patrols, sweeps, ambushes, convoys, amphibious landings, and similar activities who have participated in fire fights are eligible.
(b). Personnel assigned to areas subjected to sustained mortar, missile, and artillery attacks actively participate in retaliatory or offensive actions are eligible.
(c). Personnel in clandestine or special operations such as reconnaissance and SEAL teams are eligible when the risk of enemy fire was great and was expected to be encountered.
(d). (Does not pertain to ground forces)
(e). Personnel eligible for the award of the Purple Heart WOULD NOT necessarily qualify for the CAR.
(f). (Does not pertain to ground forces)
b. Operations. An individual whose eligibility has been established in combat in any of the following listed operations, is authorized the award of the CAR. Only one award per operation is authorized. Subsequent awards will be indicated by the use of a Gold Star on the ribbon:
(1). Southeast Asia, from 1 March 1961 to 15 August 1973
(5). Operation FREQUENT WIND (Evacuation of Saigon), 29 and 30 April 1975
(Note: Other Operations do not pertain to the Vietnam Era)