CIB Badge

Of all the Medals Upon our Chest From the Battles and War we knew, The one admired as THE VERY BEST
Is the one of Infantry Blue. It is only a rifle upon a wreath,
So why should it mean so much?
It is WHAT IT TOOK TO EARN IT
That gives it that Magic Touch. To earn this special accolade
You faced the enemy's fire
Whether you survived or not
God dialed that one desired.
For those of us who served the cause
It is the
COMBAT INFANTRYMAN'S BADGE...
THAT REALLY TELLS THE STORY

CIB Badge

Posts Tagged ‘82nd_Airborne_Division_Association’

38- Veterans’ Day Events 2009

Monday, November 16th, 2009

In this episode of the H21 Southern Branch, Austin, Texas, chapter of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association, we deliver the summary of the events in Austin, Texas, during the Veterans’ Day 2009 parade and ceremony.

As you will hear in this podcast episode, we had representation from Bobby Briscoe, Tony Martinez, Duane Williams, John Torres, Fred Castaneda and our newest member of the CIB, Don Bailey. They participated in the Veterans’ Day parade in downtown Austin, Texas, from the Congress Street bridge from Riverside Drive to the State Capitol.

Actually, there was an administrative error because the parade cadre did not have the CIB Association application on the list. Thus, the 82nd Airborne Division Association (represented by Fred Castaneda and Don Bailey) invited the group to march with them.

What was interesting was that the Army Band from the 36th Infantry Division at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, was marching right in front of the team. This gave us the best place to march to the cadence, and definitely, the group was STRAC and looked great and marched perfectly–to represent the rest of the members and to pay honor to those veterans in uniform–past or present.

Veterans' Day Parade 2009

After the march to the entrance of the State Capitol, we met several folks who were interested in joining the CIB Association (as well as other paratroopers who wanted to move their memberships to the local chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association).

At the State Capitol, at the 11th hour, there was the ceremony which highlighted Rosalinda Babin, the mother of Alan Babin, local hero and Grand Marshall for the Parade. His story is told in the blog of AlansAngels and In their Boots, and he was described as a wounded warrior in the memorial Day activities of 2007.

Program from Veterans' Day Program 2009

At the foot of the south steps of the capitol was a mock-up of the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. In front of this tomb were the wreaths placed to honor those who fell in combat during all military operations since the Civil War.

Of course, the CIB Association joined the 82nd Airborne Division Association to place the wreath appropriately and represent the organizations.

The Austin-American Statesman newspaper had a series of photos in their gallery which depicted pictures from the events (the URL is at

http://www.statesman.com/news/mediahub/media/slideshow/index.jsp?tId=200410).

And, yes, our own team was shown marching (however, the newspaper incorrectly stated that the group was the TAVV organization and not the CIB/82d Airborne combination).

The next meeting of the CIB Association Austin, Texas, chapter will be in the joint meeting with the 82nd Airborne Division Alamo Chapter in San Antonio, Texas, on Saturday, 12 December 2009, for the Christmas meeting and installation of the new officers for 2010. More will be delivered in the newsletters and email.

Copyright (c) 2009, Matrix Solutions Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

36- Joint Meeting on 24 Oct 09 and POW-MIA ceremony in Austin

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

In this episode of the H21 Southern Chapter, Austin, Texas location of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association, we deliver a summary of the ceremony that took place on 18 September 2009 at the Texas State Cemetery near downtown Austin, Texas. We also give you information and details of the upcoming joint meeting of the CIB Association Austin Chapter and the San Antonio-based Alamo Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association.

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Joint Meeting: 82nd Airborne and CIB Associations on 24 Oct 2009

We will be having a joint meeting with the members of the Alamo Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association at the Drop Zone Club and Restaurant on Saturday morning, 24 October 2009, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Central time.

This is the 3rd time we will have been together as 2 associations. The first time was August, 2008 in San Antonio (we honored D.G. Harris at that time for his CIB and 3 combat jumps in WWII). The second meeting was on 9 May 2009 in Austin at the VFW 8787 Post. And this will be the third meeting, hosted by the San Antonio chapter.

We will have community with our comrades, sharing of stories and good times with our brethren from all the conflicts, both Airborne and Infantry. Both chapters will have their monthly meetings during this time, as well.

Also, as you will hear in the audio episode, this will be a great RECRUITMENT event. The Alamo Silver Wings Airborne Association and numerous other CIB-award winners frequent the Drop Zone Cafe. I have a feeling we will get new members for both organizations.

We hope to see you there for this meeting on 24 October, 2009.

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POW-MIA ceremony in Austin on 18 September 2009

On Friday, 18 September 2009, members of the CIB chapter in Austin participated in the ceremony to give honor to those still who are POW-MIA (Prisoners of War / Missing in Action). Tony Martinez from the chapter was part of the honor guard and participated with the VVA (Vietnam Veterans of America) in giving tribute to those fellow comrades.

Paying tribute to the POW-MIA by Veterans Groups in Austin

Also in attendance were John Torres, Bobby Briscoe and Duane Williams.

CIB Members at the POW-MIA ceremony

The specifics of the ceremony are given in detail in the audio episode.

The next event will be the Veterans’ Day Parades and Ceremonies that will take place in downtown Austin and the State Capitol, as well as in San Antonio in the upcoming weeks.

Copyright (c) Matrix Solutions Corporation and the Combat Infantrymen’s Association. All Rights Reserved.

35- Update- Upcoming Events and summary of 12Sept2009 meeting

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

In this episode of the H21 Austin, Texas, Southern Chapter Combat Infantrymen’s Association, podcast, we give you an update of the upcoming events for the rest of 2009, as well as a summary of the meeting held on 12 September 2009.

CIB Association

We wish to welcome our newest member, Kevin Scharmen, who is a SouthWest Asia CIB recipient and still in the Army. He is the liaison with the 82nd Airborne Division Association Wounded Warrior Program at Ft. Sam Houston and Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Welcome, Kevin!

In this audio episode, we go at great lengths to detail each of the line items in the agenda of the meeting held on 12 September 2009 at the VFW Post 8787 meeting room in Austin, Texas.

For a look at the pdf file of the 1-page agenda, click here:  Agenda-meeting 12Sept 2009.

You can look at the items we discussed and then hear the details of the items in the podcast audio episode.

Paramount among the topics were:

1.  The POW/MIA ceremony participation on 18 September 2009 in downtown Austin. For details, contact Tony Martinez (cell number 512 228 7045).

2. If anyone wants to go to the Branson, Missouri, National Convention and reunion, the chapter will reimburse $75 for the attendance fee. Please contact Tony Martinez, Financial Officer of the chapter. More details about the National Convention and Reunion in Branson are on page 1 and pages 14-17 of the Blue Badge quarterly newsletter from National.

Blue Badge about Branson

3. Upcoming meetings:

– October 24, 2009– scheduled joint meeting, hosted by the 82nd Airborne Division Association in San Antonio. More information on this in the next podcast episode, as well as the mailing of the newsletter.

– November 11, 2009– Meet at 7:30 a.m. on the Congress Ave. bridge between 1st Street and Riverside Drive, for participation in the Austin Veterans’ Day Parade and ceremony. Members should be in CIB Association uniform.

– Dec. 5 or 12, 2009– Austin chapter will host a family holiday social event and pot-luck gathering. More details to be provided later.

– 9 January 2010– The chapter will have its monthly meeting in San Antonio, Texas. More details on this later.

– 6 February 2010– The chapter will have its monthly meeting in the Fort Hood, Texas, area (e.g., Killeen or Harker Heights or Copperas Cove, etc.). More details on this later.

– The March and April meetings will resume in Austin, Texas. One of these months will have the chapter host the joint meeting with the 82nd Airborne Division Association at VFW Post 8787.

For more details on other items, please feel free to listen to the 22-minute audio podcast.

Copyright (c) 2009, Matrix Solutions Corporation and the Combat Infantrymen’s Association. All Rights Reserved.

34- Upcoming Meetings, Vietnam War Movies and the National Convention

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

In this episode of the H21 Southern Branch, Austin Chapter of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association, we summarize the topics discussed at the chapter meeting on Saturday, 8 August 2009.

Blue Badge about Branson

Among the topics discussed were:

1.  Upcoming meetings –both Chapter meetings, as well as the Joint meetings with the 82nd Airborne Division Association in San Antonio.

2.  The database of the membership;

3.  Upcoming Movies now in pre-production: Jungle Warriors and The Alvarez Vietnam Story.

4.  The upcoming Combat Infantrymen’s Association National Convention in Branson, Missouri.

As you will hear in this audio episode, the next meeting will be held on Saturday, 12 September 2009, at the VFW Post 8787 (located on VFW Road, just off the access road Northbound on Interstate 35, just north of the Braker Lane exit).

Please contact Tony Martinez, the Finance Officer, to verify your information for the membership database that we wish to deliver to the group by Saturday, 12 Sept 2009.

And lastly, we will continue with interviews of other CIB recipients — especially from Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq. We will also try to have another World War II veteran, as well.

Stay tuned and see which veteran will be sharing his experiences and perspectives about the CIB in the near future.

Copyright (c) 2009, Matrix Solutions Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

28- CIB Association and 82nd Airborne Div Association host meeting

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

On 9 May 2009, the two associations gathered in Austin for a joint meeting of the 82nd Airborne Division Association (Alamo Chapter, San Antonio, Texas) and the Combat Infantrymen’s Association (H21 Southern Chapter, Austin, Texas).

Members assemble for joint meeting on 9 May 2009

The meeting was special because it centered around the annual memorial service usually celebrated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, at the 82nd Airborne Division Museum, around the monument with the bronzed jungle boots, rifle and helmet to honor those 82nd Airborne paratroopers who died in the Vietnam War, as they were part of the “Golden Brigade.” Ordinarily, this ceremony would take place during what is called “All-American Week” at Fort Bragg. But, because of the deployment of the 82nd Airborne Division in the Middle East, the veterans’ participation during All-American Week was cancelled.

Thus, we took it upon ourselves to perform this ceremony (called the “82nd Airborne Division All American Memorial Ceremony”) at the joint meeting. The crux of the ceremony is to remember each conflict in which the 82nd Airborne Division participated.

Since its activation in 1917 at Camp Gordon, Georgia, the 82nd Airborne participated in the following campaigns, and we had the following attendees at the meeting carry the photo of the campaign and render the memorial salute to those who gave their lives in the campaign:

– World War IGabe Garcia honored Alvin C. York, the hero of WWI, a member of the 82nd Infantry Division, for the heroic day of October 18, 1918, in the Muesse-Argonne offensive. A photo of Sergeant York was placed next to the 82nd Airborne Division wreath.

– Word War II Matt Rayson was in the World War II D-Day airborne combat jump uniform and equipment, to honor General James Gavin, the WWII Division Commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, as well as the vets of World War II. He was accompanied by Darrell G. Harris, the WWII combat veteran of the European campaign (and author of the book Casablanca to VE-Day: A Paratrooper’s Memoirs), and Howard from the CIB Association, the WWII combat veteran of the Pacific Campaign in the Philippines with the 25th Infantry Division. The photo was a modern re-enactor boarding the C-47 for the D-Day parachute drop.

– VietnamFred Castaneda was dressed in his original Vietnam jungle fatigues, with weapons and LBE,  flanked by Bobby Briscoe and Tony Martinez of the CIB Association. All 3 were veterans of the 23rd Infantry Division (Americal) and served in Vietnam in combat. They honored the 82nd Airborne Division Golden Brigade with the photo of the Huey helicopter air-mobility of the war.

– Grenada – We had an Air Force veteran, Airborne-qualified with nearly 100 parachute jumps, place the photo of the first 2 KIAs in Grenada, from B Company, 2nd Bn, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division. The photo was of the Kevlar helmets placed on  the rifle butts which were staked in the ground with their bayonets along the Grenada coastline. This was the reminder of Operation Urgent Fury.

– Panama – We had Duane Williams place the photo of the 82nd Armour support in Panama. Duane was dressed in the woodland BDUs, with equipment and weapon–for Duane actually participated and made the combat parachute jump at night into Panama in Operation Just Cause.

– Desert Storm – We had Joe Franco of the 82nd Airborne Division Association place a photo of a combat infantryman of the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment in Kuwait/Iraq next to the wreath of the “double-A.”

– Afghanistan and Iraq – We had John Trevino and Fred Castaneda stand in for our local hero, Alan Babin, and place a photo of an airborne officer saluting those who have fallen in Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

– ‘WHEN YOU JUMP, IT’S JUST YOU…’ was the motto of the poster that signified the recruitment for the 82nd Airborne Division yesterday and today. This 1972 poster was carried by John Peed, the commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, Alamo Chapter, to signify that our traditions of never forgetting those who have fallen will be carried on by our future recruits and members of the associations.

Matt Rayson and Duane Williams in uniform

After the ceremony, the group listened to the presentation from Fred Castaneda (filling in for Clint Riddell of the Austin Texas Veterans’ Commission) as he handed out literature and details about veterans’ rights, claims, benefits for education and employment, etc., for the State of Texas. Predominant in the conversation was the Hazlewood Act, which provides free college tuition for veterans who enlisted in the State of Texas.

Then the meeting wrapped up as each association conducted its monthly old business and new business –including events– with the update from the officers.

CIB Officers at Joint meeting

With the food having been provided by the 82nd Airborne Division Association, the meeting was a great success. And look forward to the next joint meeting during the final week of October to be hosted by the 82nd Airborne Division Association chapter on a Saturday in a favorable location in San Antonio. More details will be given at a later date.

The final round of camaraderie had everyone look forward to our next gathering — both in San Antonio and Austin — to honor those who have fallen at the Memorial Day Ceremonies on 25 May 2009.

Copyright (c) 2009, Matrix Solutions Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

12- D.G. Harris- Paratrooper Combat Infantryman in WWII

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

In this espisode of the Austin, Texas, Chapter – H21, Southern Branch — of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association, we are fortunate to deliver an interview with Darrell G. Harris, who was one of the first troopers to earn the CIB (Combat Infantryman’s Badge) in World War II.

Darrell was part of the 504th PIR (Parachute Infantry Regiment) of the 82nd Airborne Division for most of his tour in the European campaign. He was an COMBAT AIRBORNE INFANTRYMAN, a demolition specialist Infantryman who was a parachutist who made 3 combat parachute jumps in Europe. He is also one of the charter members of the 82nd Airborne Division Association–as he joined it in France in 1945, before he had come back home to the USA after the War.

The picture, below, shows Darrell G. Harris today, wearing his 82nd Airborne Division Association vest and hat.  He is also wearing the medallion for WWII Veterans that he received in Washington, D.C. at the Inauguration of the WWII Memorial. Notice that his parachutist wings (that is, his “jump wings“) are worn above the CIB. This shows the common way that the CIB was worn in World War II by the Combat Infantrymen, as shown below:

Darrell mentioned that it was common practice in those days to always wear the paratrooper airborne wings above the ribbons, and the CIB (which was first initiated in 1943) was usually worn beneath the ribbons–totally the opposite of today. For the current regulations specify that the CIB is always above the ribbons–even the ribbon of the Congressional Medal of Honor. In fact, Darrell described Colonel Tucker, his commander, wearing the CIB and the jump wings in his dress uniform–especially how the CIB was worn under the Jump Wings and ribbons.

Contrast this with the modern day (circa 1970’s, during the Vietnam War), when the CIB is worn as the highest badge above any and all ribbons, and even above the Jump wings.

For most of his European tour of duty (3 years), Darrell was part of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, which has the nickname of “Devils in Baggy Pants.”

In the podcast episode, Darrell describes his friends and comrades-in-arms during the Market Garden Operation. In his book (see below for info),  Darrell included a photo of 3 troopers after Operation Market Garden. He is the soldier on the far left. Sadly, the other two troopers were killed in action in Europe and during the Battle of the Bulge.

In the podcast episode, Darrell describes how he captured his memoirs in a short book that he wrote called Casablanca to VE Day – A Paratrooper’s Memoirs.

If you wish to order copies of the book, here are the 2 ways to do so:

(1) For the AUDIO version of the book (now on PremiumCast.com) where you can have the audio narration downloaded directly to your mp3 player via ITunes:

go to:  http://www.premiumcast.com/A-Paratroopers-Memoirs

and the price is just $7. US Dollars payable via Paypal.

(2) For the paperback version of the book,

please contact D. G. Harris at telephone (210) 342-2591.

The three “firsts” of which Darrell G. Harris was involved make him truly a man of history:

He was one of the first paratroopers in the U.S. Airborne (the Airborne units were first created in 1940, and Darrell was in the first all-paratrooper unit, the 82nd Airborne Division since 1942:

82nd Airborne Division patch

– He was one of the first Infantrymen in World War II to earn the CIB (Combat Infantryman’s Badge):

CIB

– He was one of the very first members of the 82nd Airborne Division Association (a charter member who joined while still in France in 1945).

Darrell is currently the Secretary of the San Antonio Alamo Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association. Darrell, we salute you!

Copyright (c) 2008, Matrix Solutions Corporation and the 82nd Airborne All-American Chorus. All Rights Reserved.