The Iraq War was a protracted armed conflict that began with the 2003 invasion of Iraq by a United States-led coalition. The invasion regime toppled the government of Saddam Hussein. However, the conflict continued for much of the next decade as an insurgency emerged to oppose the occupying forces and the post-invasion Iraqi government. An estimated 151,000 to 600,000 or more Iraqis were killed in the first 3–4 years of conflict. The United States officially withdrew from the country in 2011 but became re-involved in 2014 at the head of a new coalition; the insurgency and many dimensions of the civil armed conflict continue.
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The Air Force Combat Action Medal (AFCAM) is a relatively new medal created for the United States Air Force in March 2007 to recognize Air Force members for active participation in ground or air combat. The AFCAM was first awarded on June 12, 2007 to six Air Force members who were engaged in air or ground combat off base in a combat zone during Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan, October 7, 2001-December 28, 2015) or Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq, March 19, 2003-September 1, 2010). The medal is retroactive from September 11, 2001 to a date to be determined and may be awarded posthumously.
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The United States 32nd Infantry Division was formed from Army National Guard units from Wisconsin and Michigan and fought primarily during World War I and World War II. With roots as the Iron Brigade in the American Civil War, the division's ancestral units came to be referred to as the Iron Jaw Division. During tough combat in France in World War I. Reorganized as the 32nd Infantry Brigade, the largest unit of the Wisconsin Army National Guard.
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The Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB) is a United States Army military award. The badge is awarded to infantrymen and Special Forces soldiers in the rank of Colonel and below, who personally fought in active ground combat while assigned as members of either an infantry, ranger or Special Forces unit, of brigade size or smaller, any time after 6 December 1941. The CIB and its non-combat contemporary, the Expert Infantryman Badge (EIB) were simultaneously created during World War II to enhance the morale and prestige of service in the infantry. Specifically, it recognizes the inherent sacrifices of all infantrymen, and that, in comparison to all other military occupational specialties, infantrymen face the greatest risk of being wounded or killed in action
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The Combat Action Badge (CAB) is a military badge worn by U.S. Army soldiers. The emblem features both an M9 bayonet and M67 grenade. The Combat Action Badge may be awarded to any soldier not eligible for the Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB) or Combat Medical Badge (CMB) after the date of September 18, 2001 performing duties in an area where hostile fire pay or imminent danger pay is authorized, who is personally present and actively engaging or being engaged by the enemy, and performing satisfactorily in accordance with the prescribed rules of engagement. The CAB may be awarded to any branch of service or military occupational specialty including infantrymen except when serving in a role where they would be eligible for the CIB.
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Alerted on 19 January 2003, the 4th Infantry Division was scheduled to take part in the Iraq War in the spring of 2003 by spearheading an advance from Turkey into northern Iraq. The Turkish Parliament refused to grant permission for the operation and the division's equipment remained offshore on ships during the buildup for the war (see below). Its original mission, holding 13 Iraqi divisions along the "Green Line" in northern Iraq, was executed by joint Task Force Viking. Arriving through Kuwait after the invasion had started, the division was subjected to multiple "SCUD" alerts while at Camps Wolf and Udairi, necessitating the retreat to bunkers in full chemical protective gear.
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