AR20140000079

BOARD DATE: 7 August 2014

DOCKET NUMBER: AR20140000079

THE BOARD CONSIDERED THE FOLLOWING EVIDENCE:

1. Application for correction of military records (with supporting documents provided, if any).

2. Military Personnel Records and advisory opinions (if any).

THE APPLICANT’S REQUEST, STATEMENT, AND EVIDENCE:

1. The applicant requests correction of his DD Form 214 (Armed Forces of the United States Report of Transfer or Discharge) to show award of:

* Purple Heart
* Combat Infantryman Badge
* Combat Action Ribbon

2. The applicant states these awards were omitted from his DD Form 214. He contends he was an infantry Soldier who was transferred to the combat engineers in the Republic of Vietnam (RVN).

3. The applicant provides copies of:

* DD Form 214 (Copy 4)
* Report of Medical Examination, dated 23 April 1971
* Standard Form 513 (Clinical Record Consultation Sheet), dated 22 April 1971
* Standard Form 513 (Clinical Record Consultation Sheet), dated 23 April 1971
* DA Form 8-118 (Medical Board Proceedings) (4 pages) dated May 1971

CONSIDERATION OF EVIDENCE:

1. Title 10, U.S. Code, section 1552(b), provides that applications for correction of military records must be filed within 3years after discovery of the alleged error or injustice. This provision of law also allows the Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR) to excuse an applicant’s failure to timely file within the 3-year statute of limitations if the ABCMR determines it would be in the interest of justice to do so. While it appears the applicant did not file within the time frame provided in the statute of limitations, the ABCMR has elected to conduct a substantive review of this case and, only to the extent relief, if any, is granted, has determined it is in the interest of justice to excuse the applicant’s failure to timely file. In all other respects, there are insufficient bases to waive the statute of limitations for timely filing.

2. Evidence of record and background information:

a. On 28 June 1968, the applicant enlisted in the Regular Army. He completed his initial training and was awarded a primary military occupational specialty (MOS) of 11B (Light Weapons Infantryman).

b. Special Orders Number 272, paragraph 23, Fort McClellan, AL, dated
4 November 1968 announced the applicant’s award of the Second Class Gunner Badge (Marksman Marksmanship Qualification Badge with Machinegun Bar).

c. Special Orders Number 272, paragraph 27, Fort McClellan, AL, dated
4 November 1968 announced the applicant’s award of the Sharpshooter Marksmanship Qualification Badge with Rifle Bar.

d. On or about 22 December 1968, the applicant departed the United States for duty in the RVN. On 9 January 1969, he was assigned to the 70th Engineer Battalion as a dump truck driver.

e. On 31 January 1969, he was assigned to Company C, 19th Engineer Battalion. He performed duties as a heavy vehicle driver, pioneer, and a combat construction specialist.

f. On 25 June 1969, he was awarded a primary MOS of 12B (Combat Demolition Specialist).

g. General Orders Number 192, 67th Evacuation Hospital, dated 18 August 1969, announced the applicant’s award of the Purple Heart for wounds received in action on 17 August 1969.

h. On 16 September 1969, he was medically evacuated from the RVN.

i. On 26 August 1971, he was retired due to physical disability. He had attained the rank of specialist four, pay grade E-4 and had completed 3 years,
1 month, and 29 days of creditable active duty.

j. The applicant’s DD Form 214 lists his awards as:

* National Defense Service Medal
* Vietnam Service Medal
* Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960 Device

3. Army Regulation 600-8-22 (Military Awards):

a. states the Combat Infantryman Badge is awarded to infantry officers and to enlisted and warrant officer persons who have an infantry MOS. They must have served in active ground combat while assigned or attached to an infantry unit of brigade, regimental or smaller size.

b. states in Appendix B that based on the applicant’s dates of service in the RVN, he participated in the following three campaign periods: the Vietnam Counteroffensive, Phase VI; Tet 69 Counteroffensive; and the Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969. This same regulation states that a bronze service star will be awarded for wear on the Vietnam Service Medal for participation in each campaign.

4. Department of the Army General Orders 8, dated 1974, announced award of the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation for service in Vietnam to Headquarters, United States Army Vietnam and its subordinate units during the period 20 July 1965 to 28 March 1973.

5. The Navy and Marine Corps Awards Manual states the Combat Action Ribbon is awarded to members of the Navy, Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard, when they operate under the control of the Navy, and who have actively participated in ground or surface combat.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS:

1. The applicant contends his DD Form 214 should be corrected to show award of:

* Purple Heart
* Combat Infantryman Badge
* Combat Action Ribbon
2. General orders show the applicant was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in action. Therefore, this medal should be shown on his DD Form 214.

3. The evidence clearly shows that the applicant held an engineer MOS and was assigned to engineer battalions while in the RVN. While in the RVN he did not perform duties in an infantry MOS and was not assigned to a qualifying infantry unit. Therefore, his request for award of the Combat Infantryman Badge should be denied.

4. The Combat Action Ribbon is authorized for award to Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard personnel when under the operational control of the U.S. Navy. Because the applicant was a member of the Regular Army he did not qualify to receive this ribbon. Therefore, his request to add this ribbon to his DD Form 214 should be denied.

5. Records show that the applicant participated in three campaign periods during his service in the RVN. Therefore, he is authorized to wear three bronze service stars on his already-awarded Vietnam Service Medal.

6. Records show that the applicant’s unit was cited in general orders for award of the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation. Therefore, his records should be corrected to show this foreign unit award.

7. Special orders show the applicant was awarded the Sharpshooter Marksmanship Qualification Badge with Rifle Bar. Therefore, his DD Form 214 should be corrected to show this badge.

8. Special orders show the applicant was awarded the Marksman Marksmanship Qualification Badge with Machinegun Bar. Therefore, his DD Form 214 should be corrected to show this badge.

BOARD VOTE:

________ ________ ________ GRANT FULL RELIEF

__X______ __X____ ___X__ GRANT PARTIAL RELIEF

________ ________ ________ GRANT FORMAL HEARING

________ ________ ________ DENY APPLICATION

BOARD DETERMINATION/RECOMMENDATION:

1. The Board determined that the evidence presented was sufficient to warrant a recommendation for partial relief. As a result, the Board recommends that all Department of the Army records of the individual concerned be corrected by:

a. deleting from his DD Form 214 the Vietnam Service Medal; and

b. adding to his DD Form 214:

* Purple Heart
* Vietnam Service Medal with three bronze service stars
* Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation
* Sharpshooter Marksmanship Qualification Badge with Rifle Bar
* Marksman Marksmanship Qualification Badge with Machinegun Bar

2. The Board further determined that the evidence presented is insufficient to warrant a portion of the requested relief. As a result, the Board recommends denial of so much of the application that pertains to award of the Combat Infantryman Badge or the Combat Action Ribbon.

_______ _ X _______ ___
CHAIRPERSON

I certify that herein is recorded the true and complete record of the proceedings of the Army Board for Correction of Military Records in this case.

ABCMR Record of Proceedings (cont) AR20140000079

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ABCMR Record of Proceedings (cont) AR20140000079

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