Recognizing the need for an award for Guardians assigned to headquarters and staff units during the recent emergent humanitarian operations in Haiti the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Thad Allen, today announced the approval of the Situational Briefing Badge, or SBB.
“People don’t realize that being a Senior Officer at a headquarters or staff unit can be just as stressful as going on patrols or combat overseas,” said CDR Russ Largo, a Coast Guard spokesman. “When you’re briefing that many Officers, your career can end in a heartbeat. And it can happen to anyone at any time, not just real combat arms soldiers or sailors.” DoD statistics note that Command Center personnel are more likely to suffer career-ending incidents in rear areas than Combat Arms Soldiers. “This just reflects that reality,” said Pentagon spokesman CAPT Roger Puff during the joint briefing that included lengthy and boring PowerPoint presentation.
The award ranks in precedence below the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, but above the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation Ribbon and will be added to the next Awards Manual. An optional specialty pin, which will be introduced at a later time, may be worn in conjunction with the PowerPoint Ranger tab above the left breast pocket if the ribbon is not worn at the same time.
The criteria for the award is still under discussion, but preliminary guidance authorizes the award for 30 days of continuous briefings of officers at least two grades higher than the briefer without incident while serving during a emergent humanitarian operation in which the awardee is eligible for per diem and/or family separation pay.