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Category: Badges

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Fiji Infantry Regiment Combat badge & the unofficial Engineers Combat Badge

The history of the Infantry Combat badge by the bloke that designed it, Colonel David Thomson.

Details of the Army Combat badge, instituted 2006. >>>
The Infantry Combat Badge (ICB) is now proudly worn above Medals or Medal Ribbons by members of the Infantry Corps who have served in an infantry unit for at least 90 days in operation.
The Army Combat badge is worn in the same way.

From 1967 to 1970 I was the Director of Infantry and Regimental Colonel of the Royal Australian Regiment (RAR). I was very fortunate that the Chief the General Staff (CGS) at the time was Lt Gen Sir Thomas Daly KBE DSO. From 1951 to 1952 he had been Director of Infantry and maintained a keen interest in the Infantry Corps. From 1952 to 1953 he had been the Commander of the 28 Commonwealth Brigade in Korea when I had been serving as a company commander with 1 RAR.

Shortly after my appointment as Director, the CGS sent for me and said 'David, the Infantry Corp is expanding and I wish to be kept advised of any major happenings or problems'. This was a wonderful invitation to a new Head of a Corps, which expanded from four to nine regular battalions from 1965 to 1967.

This expansion allowed three RAR battalions to serve in Viet Nam and one to serve in Malaysia. It was a very busy time for the infantry Corps.

In early 1970 I was sent for by the CGS. During our discussion I suggested that it was time for the Infantry Corps to have an Infantry Combat Badge to be worn by Infantrymen who had served overseas in operations.

The United States had such a badge that was a Silver Rifle on a blue background. It is available in a subdued version as well. (See below left)

The CGS agreed with enthusiasm and told me to design a suitable badge for Australia.

A second award of the badge gains a star.

This badge was awarded to some Australian personnel, particularly AATTV.

I returned to my office with no ideas for a suitable badge. On that day I was in civilian clothes and was wearing a small Legacy Badge in my lapel. I glanced down at this badge that I removed and inspiration came.

Each new member of Legacy is presented with a Legacy Badge described as follows: 'The Badge of Membership consists of a Torch and a Wreath of Laurel with its points inverted - the Torch is the emblem of service and sacrifice and the Wreath of Laurel is the symbol of Remembrance.'

I turned the Legacy Badge upside down so that the Laurel Wreaths were pointing upwards and started sketching. After several tries I reached a possible solution. I changed the shape of the Wreath and replaced the Torch with an Infantry Bayonet. Bronze seemed a suitable colour for an Australian Infantry Combat Badge. Then I gave my sketches to an artist and took the results to the CGS, who agreed with the design and told me to go ahead.

The Infantry Combat Badge (ICB) is now proudly worn above Medals or Medal Ribbons by members of the Infantry Corps who have served in an infantry unit for at least 90 days in operation.

I hope that those wearing the ICB might be inspired to join Legacy and help look after the widows and children of departed comrades.

David Thomson

Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army (RSMA)
Warrant Officer B.T. BOUGHTON, OAM
(2002) proudly wears the Infantry Combat Badge in it's pride of place above all other medals.




  • Infantry Combat Badge: Finished in bronze, the ICB takes the form of a vertically mounted Australian Army SLR (7.62mm self-loading rifle) bayonet surrounded by an oval shaped laurel wreath. It is approximately 28 mm wide and fixed to the uniform by means of 2 pins and clutch grips. 
  • Conditions of Award: The Infantry Combat Badge or ICB, may only be awarded to a serving member of the Australian Army who has given, either continuous or aggregate, 90 days satisfactory service as an infantryman in operations. 
    • Service as an infantryman means service as a member of the 
      • Royal Australian Infantry Corps in an infantry posting in an Australian Infantry Battalion,
      • Independent Rifle Company, 
      • Commando Company, 
      • Special Air Service Regiment, 
      • or other such Australian unit as may be designated by the Chief of General Staff.
    • Operations is defined as service in a war or campaign in respect of which a campaign star or medal is awarded. 
  • Special circumstances exist where members of other Corps may be awarded the badge. 
    • These are dealt with on a case by case basis by an Infantry Combat Badge Committee.
  • Wearing of the Badge: The Infantry Combat Badge is worn on the left breast, centrally placed one (1) cm immediately above the medal riband or medals. The Badge is worn with the bayonet pointing upwards and is not to be polished. 
    • It is not worn on civilian dress.

I acknowledge the help of Don Cruden of  7RAR in making this page possible.

ICB eligibility tightened by infantry corps; 

Original intent of badge to be preserved
By Lt-Col Michael Long; Dec 2003

Since 1970, the ICB has been awarded to recognise service as an infantry soldier on war-like operations. Photo illustration by Pte John Wellfare, Army newspaper
REVISIONS have been made to the policy on awarding the Infantry Combat Badge (ICB) to clarify eligibility issues.

Infantry Head of Corps Brig Chris Appleton said the revision was sparked by the increased operational tempo of the past few years.

"A lot of people have heard the odd angry shot in recent years - in Somalia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bougainville, Timor and many smaller operations, as well as in recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said.

"As a result, there has been a lot of interest in entitlement to the ICB."

Describing the purpose of the ICB and defining the strict exceptional provisions for the award to non-infantry corps members are the key improvements in the revised Army policy.

"The ICB recognises the combination of infantry training and service in an infantry unit on warlike operations. "That's what Lt-Gen Sir Tom Daly intended when he approved the ICB in 1970, and that's the intent that the CA is preserving."

Brig Appleton said the revised policy maintained the basic principles for the ICB, which have not changed since 1970.

  • "[The requirements] are: for service as an infantryman, in an infantry posting, in an infantry unit, and for a specified period (usually 90 days) on warlike operations.

"These basic principles and [then CGS] Lt-Gen Tom Daly's intent are still the key factors when considering ICB applications for non-infantry corps members."

The revised policy allows the award to non-infantry personnel who have met the requirements above, if their service has been indistinguishable from that of an infantryman and if the individual has completed a course of infantry training approved by CO School of Infantry.

Unit COs are the approving authority for RAInf members, but only the Infantry Head of Corps may consider awards of the ICB to non-Infantry personnel.

The policy revision also updates the approved operations list.

  • The only current operation leading to the award of the ICB is Op Bastille, in which the infantry platoon of Secdet in Baghdad is entitled.

The entitlement to the ICB for infantry service in East Timor ceased on August 18, 2003, when operations there were reclassified "non-warlike" to reflect the improving conditions.

  • Further information is at the ICB questions and answers section at the RAInf Corps webpage on the Defweb and externally on, along with the latest ICB DI(A) 97-5.



Department of Defence (Army Headquarters)

1 October 2005
The Defence Instruction (Army) listed below is issued by my command pursuant to section 9A of the Defence Act 1903.
Lieutenant General
Chief of Army

1.The Army Combat Badge (ACB) is awarded to any member of the Australian Regular Army (ARA), Army High Readiness or Active Reserve on continuous full-time service (CFTS) or other Reserve member in exceptional circumstances, for service in warlike operations or situations. This award does not replace the Infantry Combat Badge (ICB).

2.The purpose of the ACB is to recognise any member of the ARA or Army Reserve who was force assigned to a combat team or battle group who participated in warfighting against an armed enemy on warlike operations. In exceptional circumstances, engagement in warfighting whilst serving in other than warlike activities, such as peacekeeping operations, may be recognised with the award of the ACB.

3.The aim of this instruction is to detail the policy and procedures applicable for awarding of the ACB.

4.The ACB is awarded to individuals who are posted as a member of a Combat Team or Battle Group who engage in combat operations in an active theatre of operations.

5.Exceptional circumstance is a situation in which a member has been involved in direct combat with an adversary in an operation that would not normally attract the award of the ACB.

6.Member in this instruction means any member of any corps of the ARA, High Readiness or Active Reserve who were on CFTS at the time of deployment.

7.Operations are defined as service in an operational area. The ACB will not be granted for deployments where the Australian Service Medal is awarded, except in exceptional circumstances.

8.Warfighting is the intended application of lethal force in a combat situation, at the individual or group level, against a recognisable enemy for a specific purpose.

Authorisation to wear the badge9
9.Each eligible member may be awarded the badge on one occasion only. The following may grant authority to wear the badge:

a. Senior Australian Army Contingent Commander (SAACC). The SAACC of the deployed Army force may award the ACB to members where clear grounds exist. The SAACC will be the recommending authority for the award of the ACB in exceptional circumstances.
b. Army Capability Management Committee (ACMC). Chaired by the Deputy Chief of Army, the ACMC will be the approving authority for awarding the ACB to members in exceptional circumstances.

10.The badge, finished in burnished bronze, is in the form of two crossed swords surrounded by a laurel wreath. It is approximately 30 mm wide and fixed to the uniform by means of pins and clutch grips. A miniature of the badge is worn on mess dress.

11. Any Army member of any corps of the ARA, High Readiness or Active Reserve, except Royal Australian Infantry Corps, who were force assigned to a combat team or battle group. The member may be male or female, who has given either continuous or an aggregate of 90 days satisfactory service in warfighting operations for a single deployment or operation. The Chief of Army may alter the eligibility criteria depending on the operation or deployment. Qualification criteria include, but are not limited to the following:

a. the member or group was involved in direct combat with an adversary; and
b. the member or group were involved in actions that were intended to bring them into contact with an adversary, such as fighting patrols, ambushing or advance to contact, not including clearing patrols.

12.The ACB may also be awarded in the following special circumstances:

a. except as regards length of service, satisfies the requirement of paragraph 11. and who, in respect of service, has been decorated for gallantry, wounded in action, or evacuated from the theatre of operations because of a disability (not self-inflicted) attributable to that service; or

b. been involved in direct combat with an adversary in an other than warlike operation (such as a peace keeping operation), or

c. serves in a conflict either with Australian forces or on exchange, but where that operation is less than 90 days, but in all other circumstances, the nature of the conflict would qualify for the ACB. Applications are to be recommended by the SAACC in theatre or the Head of Defence Staff of the country with which the member was deployed.

13.The award of the ACB is not retrospective. Members who are on operations at the time when this instruction is signed will be eligible to apply for the ACB. The ACB can only be awarded once.

Infantry Combat Badge14
14.The ACB does not replace the ICB. Members who wear the ICB or are eligible to be awarded the ICB are not entitled to wear or be awarded the ACB. The ICB instruction Defence Instruction (Army) PERS 97–5—Infantry Combat Badge remains extant. If an infantryman who is awarded the ICB corps transfers to another corps they may continue to wear the badge.

Approval action15
15.SAACC. The SAACC of the deployed force is responsible for finalising all details of entitlement for members who have qualified for the ACB in normal circumstances. Where possible, the SAACC should present eligible members with the ACB prior to their departure from the theatre. In extraordinary circumstances where the qualifying criteria are not met, the SAACC will be the recommending authority to the ACMC. Recommendation is to be via a Minute addressing the eligibility criteria with a recommendation by the SAACC.

16.ACMC. The ACMC is to consider the recommendation for awarding the ACB. The ACB should not be used in lieu of a gallantry award or other awards for service. The ACB may be awarded in addition to any commendation or award for gallantry or service.
3 DI(A) PERS 119–1 PERS 18/2005 1 OCT 2005

Unit action1717.When an ACB is awarded, the deployed unit Headquarter is responsible for entering the award onto PMKeyS and informs Directorate of Officer Career Management—Army) (DOCM–A) or Soldier Career Management Agency (SCMA). Should the unit not have the ability to access PMKeyS, then the award notification is to be sent to the relevant Careers Adviser at either DOCM–A or SCMA certified by the SAACC.

Basis of issue1818.Each eligible member will be issued two full size and two miniature badges at public expense. The SAACC should indent for the number required through the Q system in time to present eligible members prior to their return to Australia.

Wearing of the badge1919. The ACB is to be worn by eligible serving members of the Australian Army and may be worn by eligible ex-Army members, who subsequently join other uniformed organisations whose dress regulations permit the wearing, in uniform, of military awards. Eligible retired members may also wear the ACB, with the appropriate uniform, when attending military functions. On those occasions where medals may be worn on civilian clothes, the ACB may also be worn.

20.The badge is worn on the left breast, centrally placed one centimetre immediately above the medal ribbons or medals, with all orders of dress. On mess dress and mess dress white jacket a miniature of the badge is to be worn in the same location. For members entitled to wear another award badge, ie Badges Flying/Parachute Instructor, on the left breast, the ACB is to be worn one centimetre above the Badges Flying/Parachute Instructor. Only the ACB or the ICB may be worn, not both.

Forfeiture and restoration2121. Should any member forfeit campaign stars or medals then the ACB shall also be forfeited. Upon restoration of forfeited campaign stars or medals the forfeited ACB shall also be restored.

Fiji Infantry Regiment Combat badge

This badge appears to be based on the Australian Infantry Combat Badge.


Photo by Shaun Aumua

 Engineers Combat Badge 


The Engineer Combat Badge (ECB) Is Australian designed and manufactured. 

The ECB was Copyrighted in 1997 and worn by over 700 Sappers (all ranks).  The ECB is not official as yet . 

Regards T.J. Ward"  (Received by email 10 Apr 2004)


Proposed US Army Combat Arms Badges

Armor see below





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