Who Really Deserves A Silver Star? The Military's Unfair Rewards System

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by NATO AIR, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. NATO AIR
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    NATO AIR Senior Member

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    good article, but i'm eager to hear what the other current and retired military folks have to say because you all have a lot more experience with this than I do and I stand to learn something

     
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  2. CSM
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    I can only say that I am well aware of the disparity in awarding medals. Just remember that the rear echelon staff has time to sit around and award themselves medals, front line troops do not. As for the burden of command, there are some good officers and some bad officers, but none would be successful if it were not for the hard work of the soldiers under them. Even the good ones often forget to reward their subordinates.
     
  3. NATO AIR
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    NATO AIR Senior Member

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    on my aircraft carrier, if you're not e-6 or above, you don't get Jack **** for performance. you're lucky to stay out of trouble and get your good conduct award after three years. they're real stingy with awards for everybody except the officers and chiefs (no offense to the retired, most of these guys pale in comparision to the authentic, long serving chiefs and officers on board, which is a shame but that is another story).

    the corpsmen i know who went to iraq and afghanistan boast mulitiple purple hearts (with nasty scars, marks and disfigurings to prove it) but little else for their efforts, though many of them endured lengthy and fierce enemy fire or did something incredibly brave to save a marine's life (or in the case of one guy, rescue three afghan children from a minefield while being shelled by taliban forces)

    yet i talk to officers who served on boats from those wars that operated aircraft off to bomb and performed intel operations and these gents have racks of ribbons and medals for their efforts.

    doesn't make much sense to me but i'm young and dumb so eh...
     
  4. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    I've come face-to-face with the Command Philosphy of "(insert Rank) don't get (insert awards)."

    Upon my first ETS from Active Duty Army, My first line supervisor, up to my Battery Commander reccommended and approved an Army Commendation Medal for me. When the award got to the Battalion S1, a note came back that 'E4s don't get ARCOMS - re-type the award for an Army Achievement Medal' (AAM) - which is what I ended up getting for my service - the SAME award I got for competing in, and finishing well in a weekend-long "Stinger Competition". 3 years of service, in varying, increasing levels of responsibility = 1 weekend of a PT Test, Hardware knowledge, Aircraft Recognition test, and a Road March. There was a guy in another platoon who was put on a 'detail' to pack up a library which was closing shop. A few weeks after the detail, everyone who was 'picked for detail' received Army Achievement Medals. So - 3 years of service, in varying, increasing levels of responsibility = 1 weekend of a PT Test, Hardware knowledge, Aircraft Recognition test, and a Road March = being chosen for a 'moving' detail.

    There are supervisors who feel 'Success is your job - why should I award you a medal for simply being outstanding?'. Then, there are supervisors who slap a Medal on your chest for simply making formation. In the first three years I had two AAMs. In the next two, I had another AAM and an ARCOM. In the last three, I had Another AAM and another ARCOM.

    Commissioned Officers do tend to get a higher level of awards, depending on assignment. It does make some sense to me - The typical Platoon leader (Lieutennant) has a MUCH greater responsibilty than does the typical E4 or E5. If a 2LT has a platoon where 4 E6s got ARCOMs, does he deserve any less? After all, he 'led' them. The typical Retiring Field-Grade officer receives a Leigon of Merrit, where the typical Retiring Senior Non-Commissioned officer would get a Merritorious Service Medal; based on what I've seen. (LOM > MSM).

    I shouldn't complain however, as my Marine friends don't fair so well - a Navy Achievement Medal is hard picking - Navy Commendation Medal? wow. Not very often.
     
  5. CSM
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    Don't feel bad, the Air Force has awarded Bronze Stars (BS) to Predator operators who never left Florida.
     
  6. NATO AIR
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    NATO AIR Senior Member

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    yea the marines have much higher standards than much of the military i think... i don't care about the medals or anything, i take much more pride in my ESWS (surface warfare specialist pin) that i put hard work in for and the EAWS (air warfare specialist pin) i'm working on (because these revolve around profiency with the ship and its components) and the achievements of those around me thru their hard work that i am often a part of. i just hate to see guys whose actions were so above and beyond the norm for most people, and they get jack for their bravery and valor. it just bothers me to work with and know extraordinary sailors and marines and them not got recognized... its not a career for me, so i just want to put my honest best in for the time i have.

    you're right about responsibility though. that's a hard thing for a lot of people in my paygrade and below to realize at times.
     
  7. CSM
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    Sounds sooo typical of the Army. I hated that crap and as CSM I did my damndest to level the playing field. Fortunately, I had a commander who agreed with me. I once recieved a memo from an S1 stating exactly as you described (regarding a Meritorious Service medal) so I went and paid him a personal visit. When I got doen with him, I went to see his boss who happened to be the Commanding General. The S1 was not a happy camper by the time I got through with him.
     
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  8. NATO AIR
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    NATO AIR Senior Member

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    :rock: that's awesome!
     
  9. CSM
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    That is what the CSM is supposed to do; no big deal really. Besides, I could kick that S1's ass with one finger and he knew it.
     
  10. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    ...it boils down to 'Taking care of troops'.
     

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