Hadi Mizban/Associated Press
Iraqi security forces inspect a damaged car at a bombing site in Baghdad. Iraq, Monday, Oct. 4. 2010.
President Obama noted recently that "combat operations" in Iraq are over and done with. But someone doesn't seem to have gotten the memo, the US Army.
Over at the Best Defense, Tom Ricks posts this ALARACT (All Army Activities)
"ALARACT 314/2010 CLARIFICATION ON WARTIME AWARDS AND BADGES FOR OPERATION NEW DAWN, DTG 051621Z OCT 10.
This message provides clarification on the awarding of wartime awards and badges for Operation New Dawn (OND). Effective 1 Sep 10, OND began signifying an end to combat operations in Iraq. However, combat conditions are still prevalent. Due to the nature of combat conditions, wartime awards will continue to be issued in theater until a date to be determined. Commanders will continue to process retroactive award recommendation through their peacetime chain of command to…"
(Emphasis added.) The Army also continues to provide Hostile Fire Pay to those serving in Iraq.
There are still 50,000 US troops in Iraq, many of them in what are called Advise and Assist Brigades. But I guarantee you, they didn't leave their guns at home.