An interesting discussion from the site "This ain't Hell, but you can see it from here" regarding the Combat Medical Badge, from the perspective of the more modern warrior (not us Vietnam War fossils). Some of the requirements have changed since the Earth was young, and so were we.
This was written by Adam Fenner, a new-generation combat medic:
"The Combat Medic Badge (CMB), like any combat badge, is highly coveted within the community, but I have always felt that the CMB has a distinct spirit, something inherently different from the Combat Infantry Badge (CIB) and the Combat Action Badge (CAB), by the nature of the jobs associated with each one.
When my unit was first told we were deploying it was like ripping a band-aid off. “I look forward to serving with you in Afghanistan,” was all the commander said, before turning it over to the 1SG. The first conversations that took place were done by the elated junior enlisted, who had never been to war, and were all excited to earn their badges.
The scouts and the forward observers chattered in formation beside us about their CABs, and I remember a junior medic saying that he was excited to get his CMB. There are those little moments when you view the world differently after hearing what someone says. This was one of those for me. One of our medics had just returned from Iraq, where he had done convoy security, which is a job I want no part in. With his CMB on his chest, he snatched that young medic (not me) out of formation and dragged him over in front of our own formation, just enough to show him the rest of the troop. The senior medic pointed at all the soldiers and asked the junior medic, “Who gets the Purple Heart to go along with your CMB?”
The kid froze. They returned to formation, the junior medic and all the other medics in the platoon who had seen this exchange, sufficiently humbled."