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United States Marine Corps Miniature Combat Aircrew Insignia
Criteria: During World War II, numerous fleet requests occurred to recognize the work of the enlisted aircrew members flying in combat, the result was the creation of the Air Crew Insignia on 18 May 1943. While primarily an enlisted insignia, officers were eligible if they met the same criteria of Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS) Circular Letter 90-43. The design was essentially the same as today's insignia except all pewter silver with no gold. A subsequent BUPERS Circular Letter 395-44 dated 30 Dec 1944, changed the design to the same as today with the modification of the gold center disc. In 1958, the insignia was redesignated the Combat Aircrew Insignia. In 1978, the Navy removed the insignia as authorized wear and then in 1994, the Marine Corps reestablished the insignia as it is known today as the Marine Combat Aircrew Badge. It is a decoration of the United States Marine Corps which is awarded to those enlisted personnel who have served as aircrew members on board combat flights.
For those who have participated in actual combat missions, gold service stars are worn pinned to the top of the decoration. MCO 1000.6G Para 3310.4 Upon earning more than three gold stars, silver stars are awarded in recognition of three gold stars, meaning three silver equates to nine gold plus the initial award of the combat aircrew device. MCO P1020 Para 4002.1F
The Marine Combat Aircrew Badge can be issued to service members of both the Marine Corps and United States Navy (while serving in a Marine Corps aviation squadron). Current regulations require a set number of combat 'points' to be earned before wear is authorized. It is not authorized to wear both the Combat Aircrew and Naval Aircrew pins at the same time. If an individual service member has been awarded both badges, they may decide which pin to wear on their uniform. A sailor who has qualified for the Combat Aircrew Badge and at least one gold star places the initials "CAC" in parentheses after their rate and rating; for example, a Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (HM2), after having qualified for their CAC Badge, is identified as a HM2(CAC).