Since 1988  Contact The American War Library | War Library Home
The information on this website is in the public domain.
No permission is required to quote, use, distribute or republish.

PROPOSAL: The Battle Participation Ribbon
(All Service Branches Under The Department of Defense)

(This Information Site is Continually Updated.)
Click Here to EMAIL THIS PAGE to a friend


Proposal and Precedent

Starting with the Civil War battle flags were created and inscribed with the names of campaigns and battles fought, but no individual medal, badge or ribbon has ever been officially established to identify an individual's participation in any singular battle or operation. The Purpose of the Proposed Battle Participation Ribbon is to finally provide active military personnel and veterans with a distinctive emblem acknowledging their personal participation in a hostile engagement in which they were directly involved either on or off the immediate air, land or sea battlefield.


Upon the decision of the immediate unit commanding officer the Battle Participation Ribbon shall be authorized to any military or civilian citizen of the United States who is personally involved in any combat action.

1. Authorizable personnel shall include the following. The term "person" is restricted to United States military and civilian personnel who are eligible to be called upon to participate in active combat:

    a. Persons operating in any authorized capacity in attendance on any field of battle or hostile activity involving enemy action or activity

    b. Persons who have been directly exposed to enemy fire whether or not an opportunity to return fire was possible

    c. Persons operating remotely from a field of battle but in immediate and direct support or command of the action.

2. Personnel who are not authorized:

    a. Persons who operate in indirect support of a hostile action

    b. Persons who without authorization initiate hostile action

    c. Persons involved in harmful or dangerous incidents not involving enemy action

    d. Persons stationed on any installation receiving enemy fire but are not personally located in the immediate area receiving fire or under attack

Automatic Recipients of the Ribbon

  • Combat Action Badge awardees (USA)
  • Combat Action Bar (USMM)
  • Combat Action Medal awardees (USAF)
  • Combat Action Ribbon awardees (USN / USMC)
  • Combat Infantryman Badge awardees (USA)
  • Combat Medical Badge awardees (USA)
  • Combat-caused TBI diagnosed patients
  • Medal recipients authorized for Valor
  • Purple Heart recipients


1. Active Personnel: Approval authority for the award of the Battle Participation Ribbon will be the local immediate commander who has personally witnessed or verified eligibility.

2. Post-Service Personnel: Approval authority for the award of the Battle Participation Ribbon will be the Awards Branch or designated office(s).

Order of Precedence

1. The Battle Participation Ribbon shall be centerly worn above all other ribbons.

    a. For Army personnel, the Battle Participation Ribbon shall be centerly worn above all other ribbons but directly below the Combat Action Badge, Combat Infantryman's Badge, and Combat Medical Badge.

Simultaneous Awards

The Battle Participation Ribbon may be authorized in conjunction with any combat award, if applicable.


Retroactivity shall apply to any eligible person upon approval.


The Battle Participation Ribbon was designed on 17 April 2012 by Corporal Philip G. Ledonne, [New York] Combat Medic (32nd IR, Korea).

Ribbon Color:
The white color of the Ribbon signifies one initially going into battle pure and coming out forever changed.

Each Battle participated in is denoted by a single bronze service star. A silver service star denotes five battlefield participations. A maximum of four silver service stars are authorized.

Where to Discuss or ask questions about this new Ribbon Proposal

Join the Operation RetroActive Recognition Forum to Discuss or ask Questions about the Battle Participation Ribbon.

Operation RetroActive Recognition Main Website

What You can do to help this new Award get implemented

1. Print a copy of this website. Mail the copy, along with a brief cover letter written by you to your Representative in the House and your two federal Senators. Do not fax and do not email your letter.

2. In your cover letter, fully identify yourself and your active or veteran status. In no more than one paragraph ask your Congressperson to support the establishment of this new award and vote for it when it is included in upcoming National Defense Authorization Act legislation.

Contact Person for this posting: Roger Simpson, PIO
Public Information Office:
The American War Library:
817 East Via Carmelitos
Virginia Building 319 Long Beach CA 90805-7549
Phone and Fax 1-562-422-4100 (Pacific Time Zone)
Email The American War Library


Non-Related Sites

  • Military and Veteran Personnel Database
  • Replacement Display Recognitions and Award Hardwear
  • Send a Donation in any amount to The War Library

  • This website established 19 April 2012