Honours and Awards in Iraq

Nurse_Fleischer-Baum wrote:
On the subject of honours, I have heard that military personnel attached to the Foreign Office and CPA in Iraq have been stiffed when it comes to handing out anything that either swishes or clinks. They are more than happy to award shiney things with post nominals to civil servants who sat in the Green Zone doing SFA for 3 months, but not to anyone tarnished with dpm. Apparently it's all to do with department medal tallys. The 1 in every 120 diplomats awarded an honour or award is a greatly coveted statistic in King Charles Street and they are not going to allow the men in green across the road in Main Building to encroach on their gargantuan gong gathering exercise. (The FCO give their personnel more honours than anyother civil service dept).

I suppose we could be a little sympathetic, diplomatic service is less donning the Panama and flannels, and sipping gee and tees by the pool in some far flung outpost of Empire and far more mixing it in Brussels with an endless steam of tiresome mindless eurocrats. And its not just boxheads, frogs, flems and iberian deigos all knocking on the door after a share of the britannic rebate, nowadays there are poles, lithuanians, latvians and numerous other foreign **** in cheap suits jumping on the proverbial bandwagon.

So in summary I say good news to any military personnel getting a gong (soldier or officer), because since John Major's dumbing down of honours and awards, we seem to be getting less and less recognition in the bi-annual lists.

Apologies thats my winge over.

Yes, Nursey thoroughly agree, in Jan 04 we came across one of the mil officers on attachment to CPA who seemed to be doing a grand job amongst a whole load of jobsworths. To us the big city seemed like chill out, party time with lots of foxy chicks, albeit with the occasional drop short, dropping short, which would of course make a good war story for those returning to blighty.
I brought this up with someon I thought would know the answer... and he did.

The FCO are intending to bring out their own medal for service in Iraq: the FCO do not want their civil servants wearing an 'MOD medal'. To that end the soldiers and officers who qualify for the FCO medal will be awarded them (and be allowed to wear them), much rarer and more distinct in our community, naturally. This issue has been around as long as there have been DAs and CP teams in operational theatres but not under command of the local British Commander. The DA in Freetown, Sierra Leone didn't get an operational service medal and was there longer than any three 'fighting' units combined (and was not doing too much g 'n' t swilling, I am sure).

My second point is to caution against gently casting stones about people not wanting to dish out medals/decorations to 'others' because it comes off their 'allocation': it is a sin that the Army are just as good as the FCO - consider the attachments to large battlegroups whose service goes unrecognised.
I believe that one of the rationales for issuing the FCO and contracted staff in Iraq with a seperate medal, is that they are not eligible for the MOD OP Telic Medal. The criteria for the OP telic medal, for civilians, is to have been operating in the support of the military. Unfortunately, the service of staff from the CPA do not qualify, as a collegue of mine found out when he tried to apply.
Re. my last post - I was tired, all them similes and metaphors were swirling round my head confusing me. Won't happen again, I'll stay drunk in future
Just to whole hearedly agree with Nursey, during the reign of CPA there were some real grafters who were Brit military on loan to that prestigious organisation. In contrast I note that an American member of the CPA based in Hillah has just been convicted of stealing more than $3 million in reconstruction money and kickbacks. (The Times Fri 3 Feb - sorry no link).

In contrast to the US experience - in their teams there were quite a few fat old (and obviously corrupt!) knackers, I firmly believe that the UK was lucky to have some key Brit military personnel within CPA who thrived in this less than benign environment. They were also out of uniform and with a lot more responsibility and freedom of activity, consequently it is unsurprising that military personnel were less phased by the transition to peace operations that had a decidely TTW feel for much of the year, than there counterparts from more civilian orientated government agencies.

And I guess what Nursey (and Barbs) are saying is, surprise, surprise, the FCO did not bother to recognise this.
So, do Army staff attached to the CPA qualify for the FCO medal? Any ideas on the qualifying period/conditions?

I know a few who worked for the CPA but how would they prove it?

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