Army Parachutist Senior Combat Badge

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Awarded to soldiers holding the Basic Parachutist Badge and simultaneously completing one airborne jump into a combat zone. Soldiers qualifying for one of the various combat parachutist badges of which there are several specific and varying degrees depending on skill level and number of combat jumps - wear their parachutist badge upgraded with the requisite number of bronze stars attached to the decoration.

Each star on the badge represents one combat jump. A soldier previously qualifying for the Basic Parachutist Badge, for example, who thereafter completes a single jump into combat, would wear the "Basic Combat Parachutist Badge (One Jump)" award. Upon completion of a second jump into combat, the award would be upgraded to the "Two Jump" variation. Similarly, a Senior or Master Parachutist completing one jump would wear the Senior Combat Parachutist Badge (One Jump) or the Master Combat Parachutist Badge (One Jump), respectively, for the single combat jump. Upon completion of a second jump these soldiers would upgrade their award to a "Two Jump" variation with two bronze stars, etc. The Basic, Senior, and Master Combat Parachutist Badges can each be upgraded to One, Two, Three, Four, and Five star versions as combat jumps increase accordingly.

Attached stars are displayed as follows on the individual combat badges: One combat jump: A bronze star centered on the shroud lines below the canopy; Two combat jumps: A bronze star on the base of each wing; Three combat jumps: A bronze star on the base of each wing and one star centered on the shroud lines below the canopy; Four combat jumps: Two bronze stars on the base of each wing; Five combat jumps: A single gold star centered on the shroud lines below the canopy.

Stars representing participation in combat jumps had been worn unofficially on parachute wings during and after World War II. This practice did not gain official sanction until after the 1983 invasion of Grenada, Operation Urgent Fury. The addition of stars to the basic, senior and master parachute wings for each combat jump were approved by Headquarters, Department of the Army on December 14, 1983.

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