Washington Examiner

Troy Nehls ineligible for military badge, Army confirms – Washington Examiner

Rep. Troy Nehlis (R-TX) has been criticized for wearing a Combat Infantryman Badge on his suit jacket, a military honor which according to CBS News was revoked from his ​record in 2023. Despite Nehls’ claims that the ⁣Army “got ​it wrong” and ⁤that he was eligible for⁢ the badge, the Army has confirmed he did not qualify. Nehls initially received the‌ badge after⁢ serving with the 101st⁤ Airborne Division in Afghanistan in 2008, where a mistake was made in awarding him this infantryman designation. Lt. Col. Tony Hoefler, spokesperson ⁢for the 101st Airborne ‌Division, cited adherence to the Army’s regulatory guidance, AR 600-22, concerning military awards, suggesting there was a procedural misstep in Nehls’ award.

Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) has not qualified for the military pin that he proudly wears on his suit jacket despite repeatedly claiming the Army was mistaken for rescinding the badge, according to the congressman’s service record.

Nehls has received backlash from some other House members for wearing a Combat Infantryman Badge despite an investigation from CBS News that found the pin was revoked from his military record in 2023. Nehls has repeatedly claimed the Army “got it wrong” and that he did qualify for the distinction — but the Army confirmed to NOTUS that he was not eligible.

Nehls was given the award after serving as a civil affairs officer in Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne Division in 2008, which later awarded him the infantryman badge. But that designation was a mistake, according to Army standards.

“The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) follows the Army’s regulatory guidance prescribed in the service’s guide on Military Awards, also known as AR 600-22,” said Lt. Col. Tony Hoefler, spokesman for the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell. “For specific award discrepancies involving former Soldiers, I would refer you to the team at U.S. Army Human Resources Command.”

Military records show Nehls was given the Combat Infantryman Badge in October 2008 for his service in Afghanistan, which is also listed on his discharge documents. However, records obtained by CBS News showed the badge was rescinded after his records were amended due to his service as a civil affairs officer rather than an infantryman or Special Forces officer.

A Combat Infantryman Badge is only awarded to infantrymen or Special Forces soldiers engaged in active ground combat. The awards are specifically given to “provide special recognition of the unique role of the Army infantryman, the only Soldier whose daily mission is to close with and destroy the enemy and to seize and hold terrain,” according to the Army.

Instead, Nehls was awarded the Combat Action Badge, which is given to soldiers outside those job fields who are “actively engaging or being engaged by the enemy,” according to Army guidelines.

“The Army reviewed the record of Rep. Nehls in 2023 and issued a DD215 to correct the record,” Army spokesman Bryce Dubee told the Washington Examiner earlier this month, referring to a military form used to correct any errors to discharge documents after they have been delivered or documented. “The DD215 did not include a Combat Infantryman Badge.”


Nehls has defended his military record despite the investigation, especially pushing back on the findings that the Texas Republican had earned one Bronze Star rather than two. Nehls later posted a photo last month that showed his two medals and the paperwork approving the designations in 2004 and 2008.

The Washington Examiner contacted a spokesperson for Nehls but did not receive a response.

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