TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal and Senate Transportation Chair Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. that would authorize special Combat Action Badge license plates cleared the Senate Transportation Committee today. The license plate would display the words, “Combat Action Badge” and the Combat Action Badge emblem.
“This badge is relatively new in the Army. Those who have been awarded this distinction should have it publicized and display it with honor in order to educate others on its significance,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “Allowing for veterans to display that they have seen combat on a license plate will allow them to cherish the pride of knowing they served their country.”
“It is of the highest honor to serve our country in the armed forces. This legislation gives proper recognition to those veterans who have been in combat by allowing them to purchase a license plate to display on their cars,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “The funds raised from purchasing these plates will be dedicated to programs which benefit combat veterans.”
The bill, S-149, would require the application to obtain Combat Action Badge license plates include satisfactory proof that the applicant received the Combat Action Badge. In addition to the required motor vehicle registration fees, there would be an application fee of $50 and an annual renewal fee of $10 for the Combat Action Badge license plates. After deducting the cost of producing and publicizing the plates, the additional fees collected would be deposited into the “Combat Action Badge License Fund” and the funds would be appropriated annually to the New Jersey Department of Military Veterans Affairs for programs to benefit combat veterans.
The Combat Action Badge was approved for creation by the Chief of Staff of the United States Army on May 2, 2005. The honor was created to provide special recognition to any member of the armed forces who personally engaged an enemy in close combat in an imminent danger area. Recognition for close combat was previously only provided to members of infantry units through the Combat Infantry Badge. The Combat Action Badge extended the opportunity for recognition for close combat to members of the United States Army outside of infantry units.
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 5-0, and next heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for further consideration.