British Empire Medal - What was it replaced with?

Discussion in 'Old & Bold' started by Speedy, Nov 10, 2010.

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  1. Since the BEM was culled by John Major in 1992 in his great effort to introduce 'equality' in military and civil awards what was it replaced with?
    During my 12 years I met many junior and senior NCO's who had been awarded this for doing a bit more than 'their bit' on ops or in other areas. Since it was killed off I don't think I ever saw any mention of any junior ranks receiving the equivalent of it (I'm pretty sure it was supposed to be a 'higher' award it was replaced with.
    Does anyone know if junior ranks now get any recognition for their efforts, or is the new award seen as being above them?
    This isn't a post designed to create an argument, but it seems a shame that there was once an award that recognised individual efforts that there is now none, and if there is one, then no one (or a minimal amount) is getting recommended for it.

    *Edited for cackhandedness.
  2. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    What was it replaced by? In theory - as you state above, greater recognition/access to other Awards.

    In practice - nothing, nothing at all. At least when the TD was abolished, it was partially replaced by the VRSM; the BEM was not replaced by anything. One of the most shaming moments of John Major's premiership - and there were a lot....
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  3. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

    The BEM was replaced by the MBE, in the same way that the MM was replaced by the MC. Don't know about you but I've seen a fair few MBEs (and MCs) in the WOs' and Sgts' Mess these days and a fair number of Cpls with MBEs too.
  4. Since the BEM was scrapped, the MBE has been the award of choice for the same things. You will find a lot of JNCOs have been awarded this. Hardly fair to blame John Major for the demise of the BEM. At the time, the press was up in arms about "two types of bravery" hence the MM and other medals disappeared to be replaced by crosses (at one time given to officers only) and all in name of "equality". WOs were always eligible for the MBE.
  5. I thought the QGM replaced the BEM ? Heard that on good authority as I have one
  6. WOs1 were generally eligible for the Occifier gongs anyway. One of our Cols still wears his BEM from his CSM tour.

    Thought it replaced the BEM / MBE for gallantry, rather than the general "being a good egg" version?
  7. There were two types of Orders of the British Empire and the BEM. The QGM replaced the Orders and Medal for Gallantry.
    The QGM is awarded for acts of bravery in non combat situations (so well done and hat off to you) whereas the MBE (military division) is awarded for meritorious service.
  8. I stand corrected!
  9. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Come the revolution ...

    If you want to earn a knighthood, gallantry, merit badge, whatever, under my system you'd have to have done whatever the minimum is this days in the Armed Forces. Arguably in a combat arm. Get that under your belt, THEN go and do what you do.

    Then in a generation's time we'll have a government full of people who know how to send an army to war (now sadly lost) and people who win awards, even for example for services to the popular music industry, will have done something useful with their lives at some point.

    No, it isn't compulsory, it's entirely voluntary. It isn't a form of National Service. More like national service. See what I did there?

    Isn't that what knighthoods were about 500 years ago? Protect the king on the battlefield? THEN become filthy rich and own half of Hampshire.
  10. Of note regarding the award of MM & MCs... Prior to the amalgamation MM was awarded at a ratio of 2 to 1 compared to the MC meaning twice as many soldiers received awards compared to officers.

    Since the amalgamation the ratio has altered to 1:1 so although there is equality in the award the number of soldiers being recognised has reduced compared to the number of officers.

    Still nice to see equality.
  11. Still rankles with me that our then OC refused to write up the quarty for a BEM when he retired. The guy had gone way, way beyond his remit over a number of years but the OC said " He was just doing his job". Mean-spirited I thought then and still do.
  12. I don't agree, exbleep. I think it is entirely fair to blame him.

    Major was fully briefed on the difference between the MM and MC (the latter requiring a significant display of leadership since an officer was expected to display the mettle deserving of an MM as a matter of course) and the fact that there was a strong (although not unequivocal) body of opinion amongst NCOs that preferred the status quo as it delineated their OR service; he just chose to ignore it and play to the popular gallery.

    Politicians don't do 'equality', they do 'politics'.