In an effort to recognize the heroism of soldiers who faced imminent danger while serving in the Armed Forces, Assemblymen Wayne DeAngelo and Joseph Danielsen sponsored legislation to establish a special identifying license plate program in New Jersey. The legislation passed the full Assembly Monday, 72-0-0.
Under the bill (A-111), a military member who was awarded a Combat Action Badge would be permitted to apply for a special license plate identifying them as a recipient. The Combat Action Badge is given to soldiers in the U.S. Army who participated in combat operations or personally engaged enemy combatants while under hostile fire.
The license plates would be paid for with the help of non-public money from the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs and application fees. Any money left over after the license plates are produced and publicized would then be used to support programs benefiting combat veterans.
“Those who earned a Combat Action Badge put themselves in harm’s way in order to preserve freedom and democracy in America,” said Assemblyman DeAngelo (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “A special license plate will give them a means of showing pride in their military service while also funding services for their fellow combat veterans.”
Recognition for close combat was previously provided only to members of infantry units through the Combat Infantry Badge. The Combat Action Badge extended the recognition of close combat action to members of the Army outside of infantry units.
“Any veteran who met the eligibility requirement for the Combat Action Badge deserves the opportunity to apply for a special license plate,” said Assemblyman Danielsen (D-Middlesex, Somerset), who served in the U.S. Army Reserve. “There’s really no downside to a program that honors veterans, costs taxpayers nothing and helps to fund programs for those willing to risk their lives for this country.”
The bill will now go to the Senate for further consideration.