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Unit (ship) Combat Awards


Chuck75

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Do the circumstances/awards below entitle me to be considered as a "Combat Veteran" under the VA regs? I have previously met the "VA "Feet on Ground" rule in the initial compensation claim, and received a 10% compensation award.

In the fall/winter of 1967, I served as part of the crew on an LST assigned as a support ship. We were a part of the "River Rats" or Mobile Riverene Force, TF117.

(Operated in the rivers and Delta of Vietnam) In 1968 I was transferred to another ship, an LSMR. This vessel provided "close in" fire support along the entire coast of Vietnam.

As a result, for the time that I was on the crew, the ships were awarded:

LST

CR 11-DEC-1967

NU 20-AUG-1967 16-JAN-1968

RG 24-AUG-1967 01-SEP-1967

13-NOV-1967 29-NOV-1967

26-DEC-1967 02-JAN-1968

VS 1 June 1967 - 29 January 1968

LSMR

NU 01-SEP-1968

VS 04-FEB-1968 21-MAR-1968 30-APR-1968

11-JUN-1968 18-JUL-1968

CR Combat Action Ribbon

NU Navy Unit Commendation

VS Vietnam Service Medal

RG Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation - Gallantry

Edited by Chuck75 (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder

Chuck75,

For VA purposes to concede a stressor for PTSD from a combat veteran, the Combat Action Ribbon meets this criteria. Is this what you are asking??

Vike 17

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Yes and no--

There is a clause somewhere in the regs that reduces the "burden of proof" for a "combat veteran". Also, since "stress" is a contributing factor in a medical condition's severity, PTSD may come into play before all is said and done.

Because of my past profession (Retired now) PTSD was a "don't go there" for many years -- one of the government forms that had to be filled out periodically had a line that asked "Are you now or have you ever consulted a (Mental health professional) or have you been treated by a (mental health professional).

Answering yes was an automatic "you no longer meet the qualifications for this or a similar position", and termination.

Chuck75,

For VA purposes to concede a stressor for PTSD from a combat veteran, the Combat Action Ribbon meets this criteria. Is this what you are asking??

Vike 17

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I don`t really understand your question, but if you are considering a PTSD claim bottom line is you have to be in treatment and truely diagnosed by a doctor.

Cavman

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Chuck-I dont understand the question either-

Since you already have the 10% for "boots on ground"-AO disability- then anything secondary to that should be claimed.

You asked something else that I have always wondered about-

If the ship got the CIB -does that necessarily mean the servicepersonnel onboard at time of the CIB event-got it too?

Do you have the CIB in your DD 214?

If not you could send the VA a DD 149-( I posted the form here before) and have your DD 214 corrected to show any awards that might not be on it-

Otherwise for PTSD nexus- the stressor would have to be proven.and current diagnosis and treatment records will be needed.

Edited by Berta (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder

I'm not familiar with Navy regs but I don't believe the awarding of a CAR to a boat counts the same as an individual CAR award. You might want to locate the citation for that award cuz it might hold important info that could meet the criteria. You might check over at the Riverine Assn site. http://www.mrfa.org/ Mike Harris has a lot of info, there.

pr

Edited by Philip Rogers (see edit history)
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The Combat Action Ribbon, CAR is an INDIVIDUAL award and not awarded to UNITS, SHIPS, or anything else as a group. If the CAR is on your DD-214 it was awarded to you as an individual as were the other members of your Riverine Force which is listed as a qualifier in the DoD reg that covered the combat circumstances and what is needed to qualify for the individual award.

The CAR is a conceded STRESSOR and is a COMBAT AWARD.

See attached SECNAV Instruction for Combat Action Criteria.

Combat_Action_Ribbon_Criteria.doc

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  • HadIt.com Elder
The Combat Action Ribbon, CAR is an INDIVIDUAL award and not awarded to UNITS, SHIPS, or anything else as a group. If the CAR is on your DD-214 it was awarded to you as an individual as were the other members of your Riverine Force which is listed as a qualifier in the DoD reg that covered the combat circumstances and what is needed to qualify for the individual award.

The CAR is a conceded STRESSOR and is a COMBAT AWARD.

See attached SECNAV Instruction for Combat Action Criteria.

RockyA1911, I wasn't able to open your link - don't have the software but I did a search and this link shows it being awarded to ships. http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinf...ombataction.htm Additionally, here's a link to the USS Wisconsin's awards and it lists the CAR. http://www.usswisconsin.org/Ship's%20A...39;s_awards.htm

Edited by Philip Rogers (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder

"The Combat Action Ribbon, CAR is an INDIVIDUAL award and not awarded to UNITS, SHIPS, or anything else"

The CAR CAN be awarded to a ship. I have Navy friend that I helped with claim. The USS Princeton was awarded a CAR on 3/27/67. We sent for a DD215 & it shows CAR on the DD215. With that evidence we submitted to the VA. After his C & P he was awarded 100% P&T in 8 days. Before that, all he had was a Pension. Mike Harris is the person that pointed this out to me. I know that none of you know me, but I think most people will remember Mike Harris. I sent him a thank you & found out he is helping dozens of vets,just like he did on HADIT.

Don Evans

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  • HadIt.com Elder
"The Combat Action Ribbon, CAR is an INDIVIDUAL award and not awarded to UNITS, SHIPS, or anything else"

The CAR CAN be awarded to a ship. I have Navy friend that I helped with claim. The USS Princeton was awarded a CAR on 3/27/67. We sent for a DD215 & it shows CAR on the DD215. With that evidence we submitted to the VA. After his C & P he was awarded 100% P&T in 8 days. Before that, all he had was a Pension. Mike Harris is the person that pointed this out to me. I know that none of you know me, but I think most people will remember Mike Harris. I sent him a thank you & found out he is helping dozens of vets,just like he did on HADIT.

Don Evans

Don, Mike's a great guy!!! He's still tirelessly helping vets but as you know has moved on from here, at Hadit. Couple of years back we had lunch together, in his hometown. I'm thinking when they award it to a ship all on that ship, at that time, get the award?? Sounds logical to me.

pr

Edited by Philip Rogers (see edit history)
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If the CAR is on your DD-214 it was awarded to you

You missed this part of my statement quoted above. Further a Ship, Unit, etc. do not get DD-214's PERIOD. Again, I state "If the CAR is on your DD-214, it is a CONCEDED STRESSOR."

On my recent rating decision in Jan 07, it specifically states for PTSD and TINNITUS of which I received 50% PTSD and 10% Tinnitus "Your DD-214, Armed Forces of the United States Report of Transfer or Discharge documents your receipt of a Combat Action Ribbon, therefore an in-service stressor is CONCEDED."

Just Sayin' No need to conjure up the haints if you don't have to if you have a combat medal or award on your DD-214.

I did not at any time write or have to provide a stressor letter nor did I have to provide and stressor statements when I had the C&P.

Veteran's with Combat Medals/Ribbons that are documented on their DD-214 do not have to go through any of that stressor statement/letter, proof, investigation, and all that other stuff period. I didn't and I got 50% for PTSD and 10% for Tinnitus based on my receipt of CAR on my DD-214.

Some think the more stressors they can come up with, the more their rating evaluation will be. NOT TRUE. A stressor is a stressor and you only need either a Combat Award on your DD-214 and if you don't you must provide stressor that can be verified. The VA cares not how many firefights and such when it comes to a VET with documented COMBAT AWARD or AWARDS, that is it, all the rest is moot and means nothing. The STRESSOR IS CONCEDED.

What you receive the rating evaluation for with PTSD is HOW IT AFFECTS YOUR LIFE CURRENTLY TODAY and NOT HOW MANY STRESSOR OR HOW MUCH COMBAT YOU EXPERIENCED. With a CAR/Award alone, it meets the stressor requirement, and if you have a diagnosis of PTSD, that is it PERIOD.

Don't get hung up on stressor statemnts at all if you have a documented combat award/medal.

To answer the original question. If the CAR was awarded to the Ship....No that does not qualify as stressor. If the CAR is on your DD-214, it does qualify as a CONCEDED stressor.

Edited by RockyA1911 (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder

To answer your Question.

On the ships I served on-- officers got individual awards, enlisted did not as a general rule. One exception was a "dud man" who was awarded a silver star by a visiting admiral. Vitrually all the individual awards given were originated by someone outside the ship's direct chain of command.

Some problems: Example- We were generally not allowed to return fire, since we carried the river rats ammunition as cargo, along with about 100 river rats (boat crews) When we did return fire, usually our rounds went through such things as sampans or light structures, and exploded in the water or sand on the other side.

We came under sustained mortar fire while making an amphibious landing and offloading troups at Cau Viet. (The shp's bow is grounded on a sand beach and the bow doors and ramp are open and down.)

The mortar fire forced us to pull away from the beach more than once.

One LSMR incident was a case of an off shore tin can taking fire from inland in a artillery dual. We pulled in between the tin can and the shore, much closer to the shore than anything else. A spotter gave us fire coords, and we salvoed. No more return fire from inland was the direct result. Basically, a tin can can fire about six or less 5" rounds at a time. Our salvos, about six to ten seconds or so apart, could consist of up to sixteen 5" rockets at a time. And this from a ship that is about half the size of a tin can.

The reason I asked was that my 214 shows only a VS with stars. (why?)

My records were not updated when I was transferred from one ship to another on very short notice. (Less than 24 hours). Next, late in the same year,I was in a navy hospital in Japan for 31 days, due to an operation and recovery time. Since I was usnr, not usn, I then fell under a mandatory early out program, and was sent from the navy hospital in Japan stateside for early seperation. (18 months + instead of 24) If the combat action ribbon is a qualifying award, then I suppose it's worth the trouble to use the DD 149 to correct my 214, Or submit a copy of the award obtained from whoever has it. (Navy Historical, etc.)

Really, this has nothing directly to do with PTSD. Instead, it involves an injury and aggrivation of it. From what I've found out so far, the coreman on the first ship did not transfer ship's sick bay treatment records to the individual's records in a timely manner. The combination of several medical problems, all of which can in theory be service connected, forced me to retire early, at 61, rather than the standard SS retirement age of 67 for my age group.

Navy personel generally do not get a CIB, they get a combat ribbon, or other awards. A navy unit commendation may refer to combat actions under fire. A CIB can be awarded if navy sailors are serving as part of a unit that is normally awarded a CIB. It really got messy from a technical standpoint, since the river rats were a multiple service group.

Chuck-I dont understand the question either-

Since you already have the 10% for "boots on ground"-AO disability- then anything secondary to that should be claimed.

You asked something else that I have always wondered about-

If the ship got the CIB -does that necessarily mean the servicepersonnel onboard at time of the CIB event-got it too?

Do you have the CIB in your DD 214?

If not you could send the VA a DD 149-( I posted the form here before) and have your DD 214 corrected to show any awards that might not be on it-

Otherwise for PTSD nexus- the stressor would have to be proven.and current diagnosis and treatment records will be needed.

Edited by Chuck75 (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder

The research on combat related awards is getting to be a bigger effort than I thought. Besides the combat ribbon, The NU was also awarded. Now, because of the language following below, I have to find out/document exactly what the NU was awarded for. I suspect in this case, that the NU was awarded for combat support, not actual combat.

Navy Unit Commendation

Awarded by the Secretary of the Navy to any unit the Navy or Marine Corps which has distinguished itself by outstanding heroism in action against the enemy, but not sufficient to justify the award of the Presidential Unit Citation; or to any such unit which has distinguished itself by extremely meritorious service not involving combat but in support of military operations, rendering the unit outstanding compared to other units performing similar service. To justify this award, the unit must have performed service of the character comparable to that which would merit the award of a Silver Star Medal for heroism.

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Chuck you asked:

"The reason I asked was that my 214 shows only a VS with stars. (why?)"

I believe that your mean the VSM with bronze stars on a little bar with it?

This means the stars represent campaigns.

They could mean attached to a unit that was in combat or actually in the unit that incurred the combat.

I always think a vet should file a DD 149 if they question their awards.

My husband got the PUC Presidential Unit Citation- but after he was dead.I mean the ribbon came after he died. They did put it on his DD 215 with other awards he didnt know he had gotten.

Oddly enough what he thought the PUC was for-

was actually for something else when I found the actual citation on the internet.

Don- you are right- Mike is still kickin' and still helping vets

and still hunting and fishing!

"From what I've found out so far, the coreman on the first ship did not transfer ship's sick bay treatment records to the individual's records in a timely manner. The combination of several medical problems, all of which can in theory be service connected, forced me to retire early, at 61, rather than the standard SS retirement age of 67 for my age group."

If there is nothing about this in your SMrs- (I dont buy what VA says sometimes is in or not in SMRS- best to get them yourself)

than you could probably find a buddy statement to support that this injury took place.

It is amazing how many units from Nam have web sites.

And their are even NAvy ship roster lists for reunions and such.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I'm fairly sure the campaigns were just a certain period of time. The campaign may have run from 6/67 - 8/68 and was for all units serving in VN. So anyone in VN or the waters off shore, during that period, qualified and was awarded the VSM, for that campaign. Each star represents an additional award/campaign. As far as I know there is no 'little bar' with stars. Actual combat had nothing to do with the VSM awards or the campaigns.

pr

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Soldiers receiving the Vietnam Service Medal are authorized to wear a bronze star to indicate each campaign. There are 17 designated campaigns during the period of 15 March 1962 through 28 January 1973. Units which receive campaign credit for any of the campaigns would display a streamer with inscription as shown on the unit's lineage and honors. The designated campaigns are:

Vietnam Advisory 1962-1965

Vietnam Defense 1965

Vietnam Counteroffensive 1965-1966

Vietnam Phase II 1966 - 1967

Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase III 1967-1968

Tet Counteroffensive 1968

Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase IV 1968

Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase V 1968

Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase VI 1968-1969

Tet 69 Counteroffensive 1969

Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969

Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970

Sanctuary Counteroffensive 1970

Vietnam Counteroffensive Phase VII 1970-1971

Consolidation I 1971

Consolidation II 1971-1972

Vietnam Cease-Fire 1972-1973

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NUCs, PUC's, MUC's etc., are not individual combat awards, they are unit awards and do not qualify as an INDIVIDUAL DECORATION. If one or more of the below listed combat awards are NOT on your DD-214, they do not count. VSM and VCM do not count. From PTSD M21-1 IV

b. Evidence of Stressors in Service

(1) Conclusive Evidence. Any evidence available from the service department indicating that the veteran served in the area in which the stressful event is alleged to have occurred and any evidence supporting the description of the event are to be made part of the record. Corroborating evidence of a stressor is not restricted to service records, but may be obtained from other sources (see Doran v. Brown, 6 Vet. App. 283 (1994)). If the claimed stressor is related to combat, in the absence of information to the contrary,

receipt of any of the following individual decorations will be considered evidence that the veteran engaged in combat:

_ Air Force Cross

_ Air Medal with "V" Device

_ Army Commendation Medal with "V" Device

_ Bronze Star Medal with "V" Device

_ Combat Action Ribbon

_ Combat Infantryman Badge

_ Combat Medical Badge

_ Combat Aircrew Insignia

_ Distinguished Flying Cross

_ Distinguished Service Cross

_ Joint Service Commendation Medal with "V" Device

_ Medal of Honor

_ Navy Commendation Medal with "V" Device

_ Navy Cross

_ Purple Heart

_ Silver Star

Other supportive evidence includes, but is not limited to, plane crash, ship sinking, explosion, rape or assault, duty on a burn ward or in graves registration unit. POW status which satisfies the requirements of 38 CFR 3.1(y) will also be considered conclusive evidence of an in-service stressor.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Yes, but it may also pertain to other things that are within the guidelines, but that the VA would normally say that there is not enough proof.

Anyway, I found another award that does mention Combat and Hostile fire.

Chuck75,

For VA purposes to concede a stressor for PTSD from a combat veteran, the Combat Action Ribbon meets this criteria. Is this what you are asking??

Vike 17

post-1139-1175828474_thumb.jpg

Edited by Chuck75 (see edit history)
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:D After reading the posts I am wondering if my husband should check further into his awards.I know he has the bronze star with V and another medal which i think is the gallentry? cross. He was just recently awarded 50% PTSD His service time in Vietnam was 67-68. He has told me he should have been awarded other bronze stars and a medal for helicopter flight time but never received it to his knowledge. is any other medals helpful in filing for compensation? :(

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