When Sgt. Robert Flak first came up with the idea for an award for soldiers who have earned both the Combat Infantryman Badge and Expert Infantryman Badge, he didn’t expect such an overwhelming response.

“I had people come out of the woodwork,” Flak said, after an article about the proposed award, tentatively called the Master Infantry Badge, appeared in Army Times.

Many soldiers e-mailed Flak, a human resources specialist, directly. Others responded on the Army Times Facebook page and in e-mails to the paper’s staff.

“For about two weeks, I read the comments,” Flak said. “I’m not going to lie, some of them hurt, but more often than not, [the comments] were positive. That inspired me.”

The positive feedback has spurred Flak to submit the paperwork required by the Army to get a new award approved by the Army.

How do you get a new award approved by the Army?

The soldier must submit an award recommendation though his chain of command. The submission goes to the Army Chief of Staff via the Awards and Decorations Branch at Human Resources Command, and it must go through the staffing process to ensure appropriate reviews.

Submissions must include information on training requirements or proficiency levels required for the award; input from the appropriate proponent or Army command; the award approval authority; an outline of basic eligibility requirements; and a description of the proposed badge.