News story: New medal unveiled to recognise the fight against Daesh

#21
medallic recognition is based on risk and rigour.

RPAS crew = zero risk
RPAS crew - is their job any more rigorous than say a demanding job at PJHQ / Ops Directorate? This is the comparison that I'd use, not Bastion and not going out of the wire, which includes the RAF Regt.
 
#22
It’s an entirely ridiculous comparison - I’m surprised you made it.

It’s arguments like the one you have just made that have denied RPAS pilots a medal for so long - dripping on about watching something on TV and then ‘enjoying quality family time over a glass of wine’ just demonstrates the lack of risk and rigour in their role, and to be honest really highlights your lack of front end experience and service.

As does the attempt to draw comparisons between soldiers on the ground and the RPAS pilots - this again damages the perception of the job done by the operators.

I’m a huge fan of the RPAS pilots and their contribution to current operations in fundamental. They absolutely deserve medallic recognition for their contribution. Your post illustrates why many people don’t agree. Other posters in the RPAS thread have been able to make a more convincing argument
I read his post as soldiers on the front line have to exist in a 'switched on' state, constantly, but the RPAS pilots have to flick-flack every single day, more than once, doing which will carry it's own psychological burden.
 
#23
What does the medal look like?

The Operational Service Medal for Iraq and Syria is silver and circular in shape.

· The ‘Coin’ Obverse: the crowned effigy of Queen Elizabeth II with the inscription ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA FID. DEF. All Operational Service Medals are issued with the same “Coin”;

· The ‘Coin’ Reverse: the Union Flag, surrounded by the inscription FOR OPERATIONAL SERVICE and the four major points of the compass with, between the points, four Coronets: Royal (top left), Naval (top right), Mural-Army (bottom left), and Astral-Royal Air Force (bottom right).

· Ribbon: The Ribbons for all iterations of the OSM bear a central group of 5 stripes in light blue, dark blue and red (a broader band in the centre), to represent the 3 Services. These are flanked by a colour specifically chosen to represent the campaign. In the case of the OSM “Iraq & Syria” the outer stripe is Air Superiority Grey, in recognition of the large number of RAF airframes participating in the operation.

· Clasp: Iraq and Syria clasp. A silver rosette denotes the clasp when worn on the ribbon bar. The medal will be awarded to some personnel based outside of the conventional area of operations without a clasp (eligibility for the no-clasp medal has yet to be announced).

medal.jpg
 
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#28
@alfred_the_great Will the long-suffering Navy bobbin' in the oggin also qualify? Pretty sure they have been doing this Op for a decade or so.

If so, Navy, now the Army is there and gongs are suddenly on the table, you're welcome. Sorry about the mounting costs though... Probably be some ACSMs too, if you have them or equivalent.

Sorry, don't know much about the ins and outs of what you do but on courses your uniform is disgustingly neat and, well, uniform. The horror.
 
#29
Keep forgetting how reaper crews have to worry about that friendly afghan who is standing 2 meters from them might either detonate themselves or open fire with their weapon our troops have shown them how to use. A soldier became a target the second they entered afghan airspace regardless of where physically in the country they spent their tour. Reaper operators deserve recognition, but minimizing the continuous risk to troops in theatre is weak.....
Those blanket stackers, slop jockeys and admin bods always had to worry about that friendly afghan at the coffee and donut shop or pizza hut, but they didn't carry personal responsibility for taking lives.

My kids on R&R from HERRICK always said that the 'normality' they experienced back in the UK was quite upsetting for them, as they knew what their oppos would be doing, yet here was Joe Public going about their daily lives, appearing to not give a shit that good friends were no doubt battling to survive at that very moment.

Op tour top trumps is weak.
 
#30
I can't begin to think what it's like to take another's life, because I have never done it. I would therefore never seek to minimize such a thing.

On the other hand, I do know what it's like on the sharp end of incoming rounds. However ineffective they were, however crap the firer was, bullets were coming my way. I've had better afternoons.

As @Dan Gleebles says, there are no Top Trumps.
 
#31
@alfred_the_great Will the long-suffering Navy bobbin' in the oggin also qualify? Pretty sure they have been doing this Op for a decade or so.

If so, Navy, now the Army is there and gongs are suddenly on the table, you're welcome. Sorry about the mounting costs though... Probably be some ACSMs too, if you have them or equivalent.

Sorry, don't know much about the ins and outs of what you do but on courses your uniform is disgustingly neat and, well, uniform. The horror.
Who knows. I doubt it though.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#32
The point about the emotional home stuff is simple - its there to illustrate that a big chunk of the RPAS force are switching between two utterly different worlds, with very different mental requirements that means one minute they are firing hellfire missiles on enemy convoys in Iraq and an hour later they could be picking little jimmy up from school.

The lack of space for decompression, for compartmentalisation and for coming to terms with doing the job is why I think the 'rigour' element applies here, for the reaper force and not for PJHQ.

Its an utterly specific way of life that places great strains and challenges on people and it is right that this is recognised. Medals are not all about risk - if they were then frankly we shouldnt have issued 90% of TELIC and HERRICK medals.
 
#33
The point about the emotional home stuff is simple - its there to illustrate that a big chunk of the RPAS force are switching between two utterly different worlds, with very different mental requirements that means one minute they are firing hellfire missiles on enemy convoys in Iraq and an hour later they could be picking little jimmy up from school.
Halfway between the two is Super Mario Kart. They can use this to decompress.

The emotional transition between the two is like what policemen, paramedics and firefighters also go through on a daily basis. Just because the game changes a bit doesn't mean a medal is indicated. It's just aggrandisement for the RAF.
 
#34
Halfway between the two is Super Mario Kart. They can use this to decompress.

The emotional transition between the two is like what policemen, paramedics and firefighters also go through on a daily basis. Just because the game changes a bit doesn't mean a medal is indicated. It's just aggrandisement for the RAF.
In which case given that the majority of people in BSN and KAF were doing their jobs, perhaps we shouldnt have given them medals either?

War is changing, were the reaper pilots in GR4, no one would begrudge them a medal, yet people are getting a sad on because a tiny group of people who did something important that actively and directly contributed to campaign success, over a very long period of time get one too.

Its a medal as a record of service and recognition, not a gallantry medal. If biggles was getting the DFC for a flypast of the tower in a drone then I'd get the outrage. As it is, it just looks like sour grapes.
 
#35
whenever blokes moaned about people in KAF or Shaibah or wherever getting the same medal as the blokes on the ground the line that is always passed out is that everyone makes a contribution to the mission.

if that's the case whilst i'm glad the chef at Bastion boiled some eggs which were delivered to us so we had something to eat as we sat squaring weapons and kit away after coming off the ground but it seems daft not to recognise the drone pilot in Nevada who successfully killed some of the enemy we'd just been running about after. blokes always seemed grateful for fast air, i don't see why they shouldn't be grateful for slow air.

personally my opinion on this has changed over the last few years, probably because i'm further away from it
 
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#36
In which case given that the majority of people in BSN and KAF were doing their jobs, perhaps we shouldnt have given them medals either?

War is changing, were the reaper pilots in GR4, no one would begrudge them a medal, yet people are getting a sad on because a tiny group of people who did something important that actively and directly contributed to campaign success, over a very long period of time get one too.

Its a medal as a record of service and recognition, not a gallantry medal. If biggles was getting the DFC for a flypast of the tower in a drone then I'd get the outrage. As it is, it just looks like sour grapes.
Nobody is being outraged.

As indicated before the wetness of your argument and the inability to make a case without drawing comparisons is what is causing people to come back to you.

Try making a case for the RPAS operators without mentioning anyone else - just highlighting their merits and contribution.
 
#37
whenever blokes moaned about people in KAF or Shaibah or wherever getting the same medal as the blokes on the ground the line that is always passed out is that everyone makes a contribution to the mission.

if that's the case whilst i'm glad the chef at Bastion managed to boil some eggs which were delivered to us so we had something to eat as we sat squaring weapons and kit away after coming off the ground it seems daft not to recognise the drone pilot in Nevada who successfully killed some of the enemy we'd just been running about after. blokes always seemed grateful for fast air, i don't see why they shouldn't be grateful for slow air.

personally my opinion on this has changed over the last few years, probably because i'm further away from it
I don’t think this is a case of people not being grateful for the contribution of people.

It’s about people with no front end experience seeking to aggrandize the contribution of some by downplaying the contribution of others.

In @jim30 s world Loggie in BSN = no risk and rigour. RPAS operator in UK suffering the indignity of a glass of wine with his family in the evening = risk and rigour.

Both are deserving of a medal - why draw utterly futile and pointless comparisons?
 
#38
I don’t think this is a case of people not being grateful for the contribution of people.

It’s about people with no front end experience seeking to aggrandize the contribution of some by downplaying the contribution of others.

In @jim30 s world Loggie in BSN = no risk and rigour. RPAS operator in UK suffering the indignity of a glass of wine with his family in the evening = risk and rigour.

Both are deserving of a medal - why draw utterly futile and pointless comparisons?
regarding your first point what i was getting at was the strange situation where some people (sharp end) are happy for the drone to be there, they might even prefer it to a jet, but as soon as any chat about medals begins there's a lot of head shaking. at the time i would've been one of them* but now i dont really understand it.

as you say lets avoid comparisons and stick to contribution. even if i do agree that the situation they deal with is a difficult one, once you get into comparisons with troops in theatre you're on dodgy ground

*which seems odd given that when i did telic i was with a log regt working in the Rad Troop, we got mortared/rocketed a bit but generally it was well away from me. i also did convoys mainly to the border, the airport and the port (UQ) but i was never involved in a contact.

i have the same medal as the blokes who got smashed at the palace prior to withdrawal to the APOD or the blokes that went up to camp dogwood to get hammered for a few weeks.
 
#39
I would imagine that some of the people who have been or are still "on the ground" may well have been in situations where they have would have been very grateful for drone support and would themselves have been happy to pin one of these medals on a drone operators chest.

My knowledge of drones is limited to what's in the public domain but it seems to me that drones are a technology that I would have loved to have available while wandering around South Armagh or even in Belfast.

While the fire power may have likely been unsuitable for Northern Ireland, I think just the intelligence benefits would have been immeasurable. I don't have a problem with people who provide this support being given recognition for their efforts.
 
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#40
Sailors, soldiers and airmen received the Operational Service Medal Iraq and Syria, also know as the Operation Shader medal, from Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson. It is the first operational service medal to be created since 2003 and has its own distinct ribbon and clasp.

The Defence Secretary also confirmed today that Her Majesty the Queen has approved the extension of the eligibility criteria for the medal to new groups of personnel. It means that the medal will also recognise those who have made a significant contribution from outside the conventional area of operations in Iraq and Syria, including civilians.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

The campaign against Daesh is one that our Armed Forces can be extremely proud of. Eliminating the threat from terrorism is critical to our security at home and abroad. Our troops have made huge contributions to the fight against Daesh, helping end its tyranny in large parts of Iraq and Syria. Only by defeating this evil and barbaric group for good will we reduce the deadly threat they pose to us.​
I am pleased that today those who have bravely fought against such untold evil will get the recognition they deserve. Reflecting the changing nature of warfare I am pleased to announce that the medal will now recognise those making a vital contribution to Op Shader from outside the conventional area of Operations, for example those Reaper pilots taking life and death decisions from back here in the UK.​

Since 2014 the UK Armed Forces have taken a leading role in the counter-Daesh Global Coalition. The RAF has so far conducted over 1,700 strikes against Daesh terrorist targets and units from across the Armed Forces have helped train over 77,000 Iraqi Security Forces in infantry skills, counter-IED, engineering, and medical expertise. As a result, their capacity to defeat Daesh has increased considerably, contributing to the success of this campaign.

Despite recent success over the last year the operation continues and fast jets continue to fly out of RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus and remotely-piloted Reaper aircraft continue to provide support to the Syrian Democratic Forces on the ground who are clearing the last remaining pockets of Daesh terrorists in Eastern Syria.

Currently around 1,400 personnel still play an important role in the Global Coalition’s counter-Daesh operations in the wider region.

Continue reading...
So a new medal has been awarded yet some people have been waiting over 2 years for their OSM 08!
 

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