This Is What Women Pysched to Go into Combat Look Like

Elspeth Reeve

That's the Combat Infantryman Badge and it's what certain soldiers get when they've engaged in combat -- when someone's tried to kill them. To get one, you have to be in the infantry or special forces and have been under hostile fire. It was created in World War II to help morale, because those soldiers suffered so many casualties. The CIB a big deal, a source of macho boasting, as in the Facebook image above right (key phrase: "What the fuck have you done with your life?"). The Army posts tons of photos of soldiers getting the award on Flickr; newsletters to families of deployed soldiers note who got one. And until last week, in order to get one, you had to be a man, because women were blocked from those jobs (note the "-man" in the title). 

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And they want it: "Are they gonna award retroactive CIB's to all those women who have already been boots on the ground when shots were fired?" one woman tweetsIn keeping with the military's sensibility, these memes have a playfully aggressive tone. The one above was reposted on a few military pages.

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Tabs are things on your uniform that show you've completed specialized training. 

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Not everyone is happy with this. "Woman earning a CIB?? BS!" tweeted one unhappy male. "No women should wear a CIB or a EIB...." tweeted another, whose Twitter background is the symbol of Ft. Benning, where the infantry goes to basic training. EIB is the Expert Infantrymen Badge, because as the title suggests, Infantrymen have only been men.

But the ladies insist the men not be "butthurt." "You have two options now that women will be joining the infantry. Either suck it up and press on OR separate from the military. Remember, it's not a right to remain in the armed forces, its a privilege...." the group says. (Blue cords mean you completed infantry training.)


*Women in the military have been putting their bodies at risk for their country for years, they just don't get to brag about it on their uniform.