U.S. ARMY MEDICAL DEPARTMENT CEREMONIAL BELT

Medical Department ceremonial belts are worn by officers in the six corps that comprise Army Medicine: Dental, Nurse, Medical, Medical Services, Medical Specialist, and Veterinary. The belts are manufactured in Medical Department’s branch colors of Maroon and White, with White serving as interior piping. Gold braid is used as a border for the belt and the Coast of Arms is emblazoned on the buckle.

As the name indicates, ceremonial belts are with the Army Service Uniforms worn by during ceremonies or special events such as changes of command, casing of flags, military or state funerals, and so forth.
 
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Eleven members of the United States Army Medical Department were awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II, more than half being recognized posthumously for their valor and selfless devotion duty. Of the eleven, only one was a commissioned officer: Captain Ben Salomon of the Dental Corps.

Salomon was serving as the Surgeon for the 2nd Battalion, 105th Infantry Regiment on the island of Saipan in the Marianas Island when the Japanese launched a massive banzai charge against both the 1st and 2nd Battalions. This was the largest banzai attack of the war, with somewhere between three and five thousand Japanese soldiers attacking American positions outside the village of Tanapag on the morning of July 7, 1944. The sheer number of Japanese attackers who made the onrush toward the American lines ensured that the suicidal assault would meet with at least initial success, and the Soldiers Salomon was treating at the battalion’s aid station were soon in imminent danger of being slaughtered.

After engaging in hand-to-hand combat, Salomon managed to reach a machine gun whose crew had already been killed and began to open fire on the attackers. Salomon’s covering fire gave the Medics serving under him and the walking wounded they had been treating the chance to retreat to the regimental aid station, but he eventually ran out of ammunition and was killed. When U.S. troops reoccupied the area the next day, they found Salomon dead at the machine gun; in front his position were 98 Japanese soldiers.

Salomon was recommended for the Medal of Honor in 1945, but a snafu in the interpretation of the Geneva Convention’s rules regarding the use of weapons by medics meant it did not make it past the Divisional level. Salomon’s heroism was finally recognized with a Medal of Honor in 2002; the Army Dental Corps also paid tribute to his sacrifice by naming a Dental Clinic in Fort Benning, Georgia after him.

 
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