Indigenous CIBs | Red2Alpha73

Widow of Iraqi soldier sewing patches and uniforms.
November 7, 2022  
Categories: People

Indigenous-made Combat Infantry Badge (CIB) patches. It wasn’t until late in the deployment that we were awarded ours in a blanket ceremony.

Combat Infantry Badge: Iraqi-Made and Hand-Sewn

Like every other Joe, I was in a hurry to get mine sewn on. The small, dimly lit, Iraqi-owned sew shop on Falcon was swamped, and turn around time was long. I turned one blouse in to get professionally done and bought six raw patches. I knew how to hand stitch. I had a needle and thread.

Back in the room, I shared with Doc, I carefully cut the patches out, folded them into the proper shape, and secured the folds with dabs of Krazy Glue. Throughout the tour, I had been forced to repair my flight gloves several times and in doing so, discovered I really enjoyed sewing. It had a calming effect on me. After I completed my tops, Ski asked me to sew his too, and I was happy to accept the work.

Locally sewn combat infantry badge patches in Iraq, early in the war.

Locally sewn Combat Infantry Badge patches in Iraq, early in the war. This article originally ran in July of 2018. The events it talks about occurred much earlier than that. 

I ended up sewing CIBs on a few guys’ tops; Anna Nalick flowing into my brain through my headphones, pushing and pulling the needle through the cloth, and feeling the resistance of the thread.

The company was living four to a room now. Our replacements from the 101st had arrived, and the room felt like a den; dim lights, close dusty air. We were close to getting out, and the emotions that knowledge fed was thick in the air like humidity; invisible but undeniably there. It also created tension, as each day seeped by, hour by hour, and the pressure built like descending to the bottom of the ocean.

No one wanted to be the last one to die. Not this close. Not when we had come this far. It was December.

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The Combat Infantry Badge is a Big Deal, at least in the Army. It’s part of Grunt Life

Combat Infantry Badge Requirements

For award of the CIB a Soldier must meet the following three requirements: (1) Be an infantryman satisfactorily performing infantry duties. (2) Assigned to an infantry unit during such time as the unit is engaged in active ground combat. (3) Actively participate in such ground combat.




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The Warfighters is a documentary about US Special Operations Forces (SOF) during the Global War on Terror. Watch with a free trial of Amazon Video



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Mike Durand

Mike Durand

About the Author

Mike Durand is a US Army infantry combat veteran of Iraq who was probably wearing a smoking jacket and fuzzy slippers while writing this. He has been featured before on other blogs and publications, including, Under the Radar, Tactical Fanboy and of course Breach-Bang-Clear. An avid outdoorsman and history aficionado, Mike recently underwent laser hair removal so he could stop shaving his knuckles. We're glad his muse is back and proud to feature him here.

1 Comment

  1. Rajaslot

    I’ll always be here best friend. You’ve got nothing to fear. I’ll be the hand that wipes your tears and pat your back. I’ll be the loudest voice cheering you on when you’re at your best. I’ll be there in your low times, a comforter and a bosom to cry on. I’ll always lend you my ears and give you my total support. I love you my best friend.

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