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Official Correspondence

This page documents official communications concerning the retroactive Air Assault Badge award beginnning September 19, 1995. A summary of these communications is provided below. The link at the bottom of the page is to web-based versions of the orignial documents. Photocopies of the original documents are available upon request.

September 19, 1995 - PERSCOM Military Awards Branch reports "When the criteria for the Air Assault Badge was being established, the feasibility of authorizing retroactive awards to former members of the air assault units was considered and rejected."

August 4, 1997 - The 101st Airborne Division refers inquiry about retroactive Air Assault Badge to PERSCOM as, "...the proponent to the military awards regulation governing the AAB (Air Assault Badge."

August 12, 1998 - PERSCOM Military Awards Branch reports they are conducting "... extensive study and research ..." about the retroactive Air Assault Badge.

January 11, 1999 - PERSCOM Military Awards Branch reports, "The Army recently completed a thorough review, in coordination with Headquarters, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command for the retroactive award of the Air Assault Badge which was not favorably considered."

June 3, 1999 - Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff refers an inquiry about the retroactive Air Assault Badge to the Army.

June 4, 1999 - PERSCOM Military Awards Branch answers an inquiry send to the Secretary of the Army, "As proponent for the Military Awards Program, Army-wide, your letter was referred to this office for review and reply ..... there are no further plans to study or consider this issue..."

April 25, 2000 - PERSCOM Military Awards Branch answers an inquiry send to the Secretary of Defense, "There is little we can add to our previous response concerning retroactive award of the Air Assault Badge. There are no historical files to substantiate that air assault training was conducted in Vietnam."

September 22, 2000 - PERSCOM Military Awards Branch answers an inquiry from Congressman Chris Cox that the Army proponent for the Air Assault Badge is the 101st Airborne Division and that "...it would be impossible to verify individual eligibility...." for the badge.

November 15, 2000 - PERSCOM Military Awards Branch reports, "The Department of the Army proponent for the Air Assault Badge has no plans to change the criteria for award or wearing of the (Air Assault) badge."

May 22, 2001 - PERSCOM Military Awards Branch confirms, "The proponent for the Air Assault Badge is the Air Assault School at Fort Campbell, Kentucky."

Memo, 2001 - The Chief of Staff for the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) advises, " ... send a personal request to the Commanding General, 101St ABN DIV (AASLT).... as he is the approval authority."

2002 - 101st Airborne Division Commanding General, David Petraeus, began the development of an honorary Air Assault certificate for Vietnam combat veterans to include an 'authorized to wear' statement. The honorary Air Assault certificate project has halted by the deployment of the 101st to Iraq and never resumed.

February 10, 2003 - PERSCOM confirms that the Air Assault Badge approval authority is "delegated to commanders of divisions and separate brigades as well as the Commander, 101st Airborne Division."

February 15, 2003 - PERSCOM now reports, "The Army has never conducted a study. . ." on the retroactive Air Assault award.

February 24, 2003 - PERSCOM declines to participate in the Air Assault Parity Coalition's Stakeholders Meeting.

May 14, 2004 - The JAG for the 101st (COL Richard M. Whitaker) advises that the Division Commander cannot authorize a retroactive award of the Air Assault Badge contrary to previous information from the Military Awards Branch - copy available from webmaster upon request - Glamunyon@aol.com.

22SEP04 - In response to a request for the new 101st Commander (MG Turner) to complete the honorary Air Assault certificate project left unfinished by David Petraeus or advocate for the retroactive Air Assalt award, the JAG for the 101st (COL Richard M. Whitaker) advised that such actions are "outside the Division Commander's authority." - copy available from webmaster upon request - Glamunyon@aol.com.