13 March 2010

Carney Posthumously Awarded Infantry Badge

I mentioned in an earlier post that my unit, the Headquarters Company of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 34th "Red Bull" Infantry Division, lost a soldier while he was deployed to Afghanistan as an Embedded Training Team (ETT) member in Aug. 2007. Sgt. First Class Scott Carney was killed in a non-combat Humvee accident in Herat Province.

Carney, 37, was survived by his wife Jeni and twin sons Jacob and Justin. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant. I've previously tried to describe how his family continues to be present in the life of my unit. Words may fail, but memory lives.

In a ceremony earlier this week, Carney's family was presented with his Combat Infantryman Badge, or "C.I.B.") The CIB is awarded to soldiers the rank of colonel or below, who hold an Infantry Military Occupational Specialty (M.O.S.), and who actively engage a hostile force in combat. There are those--myself included--who regard the CIB to be one of the highest awards available, because is celebrates the role of the Infantry soldier as the single-most important person in the Army. Without him, we could not close with and destroy our country's enemies. Without him, every other kind of soldier would just have to pack up and go home.

Carney was involved in combat operations qualifying him for the CIB on June 18, 2007, when he provided suppressive machine-gun fires as a vehicular gunner in Farah Province, allowing the extraction of Afghan National Police (A.N.P.) and U.S. military personnel who had come under fire.

He died in a Humvee rollover on Aug. 24, 2007. Although Carney was buried in his green Class A service uniform displaying the CIB--mortuary affairs had documented that he would be posthumously awarded the badge--the official paperwork back here in the states was subsequently twice rejected, delayed by a higher, non-Iowa headquarters' confusion of the two incidents. After more than 2 years of waiting, that was finally and memorably corrected at last week's ceremony, during which Carney's sons were each presented CIB certificates and badges.

The CIB design is rectangular, with a musket imposed on a field of blue, the Infantry branch color. Behind the rectangle is a laurel wreath. The badge is similar but expressly different than the Expert Infantryman Badge (E.I.B.), which is awarded after a grueling proficiency test. The EIB does not feature the laurel wreath.

For a 10-minute YouTube video of the presentation of the award to Carney's family, including remarks made by Col. Tom Staton, current commander of the 2/34th BCT, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That was moving and thank you, Sherpa, for the link.

    Being awarded medals and honors posthumously means nothing to the individual who has gone on, but to the brethren and family, it is a comfort to know that the Army (or what ever service) will still bestow the honors deserved if they happen to fall. That their actions will be remembered and the honors bestowed.


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