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

#61
Its a medal - its a sign of you doing something to help support the nation delivering military success. I find it pathetic that some people get so worked up and angry at the idea that because someone else was thrashing themselves on the wrong side of an arbitrary invisible line, they are somehow not worthy of recognition in the way that Pte Fucknuts who spent 30 days in the admin cell playing minesweeper is...

We work in a complex battlespace where people across the globe contribute to ops, and frankly I don't give a shit whether someone is doing SHADER in the UK, Cyprus, Iraq or the depths of Mongolia - if they spend the time doing op support and give the effort required, then give them the gong. There are far more important things to worry about than whether someone shouldnt have a medal just because they werent there man.

If its really so important, then introduce a clasp (e.g. SHADER - Iraq) to distinguish between support at home and away. Its really not difficult or contentious except to people scared of change. Lets go focus on things that really matter shall well like tucked in/out or rolled up/down?
Wash thine mouth out, unbeliever.

For, verily doth thou not know that military effect can ONLY be delivered if Pte Scoggins of 2 LOAMS is there with his veritable pop-gun and bayonet? Col Richard Kemp, that worshipped all-knowing Oracle says so. And don't get me started on the importance of PFT / CFT times, brown or black boots, or the great "sleeves up or down" debate............

I had the pleasure of pointing out to one Inf SO1 when I was in LKG that a mate of mine (NCO acoustics operator on the then Nimrod) had probably had more military effect that year than the whole of said SO1s Battalion, by virtue of detecting a Rus SSN. Cue one extremely petulant and nigh-on tantrumming pr*ck of a KORBR Lt Col.

Back on topic - I think there's a balance to be struck. Medallic recognition is an emotive topic, needlessly in my view, but it is. Left of arc - the 22yr SF WO with 15+ gongs to his name. Right of arc - the Navy Writer with the QDJM. People assume that medals are somehow an indicator of an individual's worth, effort or achievements whilst in uniform. It's simply a false assumption. I've written in another thread about a proper gentleman of a Navy Captain who I was at Northwood with; ex-CO of an SSBN who had the two Jubilee medals on his Mess Kit and that was it. That bloke had held down more responsibility and lethality than Brigade or Division Commanders in the British Army, but guess what - not in the desert, not involved in one of our 'promise the Earth and deliver f**k all' clusters in Afghanistan or Iraq, so no gongs. Likewise, it is commonly known amongst the light blue that in 2016 the RAF & RN floated (geddit) the idea of a medal for SAR crews to commemorate the end of mil SAR, and they were knocked back due to the 'risk n' rigour' perception, I s**t thee not.

Personally I think we need a more intelligent medallic recognition policy that moves away from the skewed, and - if I'm blunt - self-serving-for-Land assumption, that it's only medal-worthy if you're humping a 60kg bergen around the bondue. The concept is obsolete.
 
#63
Its a medal - its a sign of you doing something to help support the nation delivering military success. I find it pathetic that some people get so worked up and angry at the idea that because someone else was thrashing themselves on the wrong side of an arbitrary invisible line, they are somehow not worthy of recognition in the way that Pte Fucknuts who spent 30 days in the admin cell playing minesweeper is...

We work in a complex battlespace where people across the globe contribute to ops, and frankly I don't give a shit whether someone is doing SHADER in the UK, Cyprus, Iraq or the depths of Mongolia - if they spend the time doing op support and give the effort required, then give them the gong. There are far more important things to worry about than whether someone shouldnt have a medal just because they werent there man.

If its really so important, then introduce a clasp (e.g. SHADER - Iraq) to distinguish between support at home and away. Its really not difficult or contentious except to people scared of change. Lets go focus on things that really matter shall well like tucked in/out or rolled up/down?
Jim, whilst you're not necessarily wrong, where do you draw the line? Take PJHQ: assuming all those involved in an op would be eligible, what about those who work in Northwood supporting those who support the op? ie the clerk, the admin cell, the outer office staff etc, who are at least three steps removed from key operational decisions.

I was involved in a particular contingency op from Northwood, possibly the hardest I've ever worked in my career thus far, I know some who deployed to that theatre genuinely did very little in the first couple of weeks as the theatre evolved. They were the first home in time to pick up their newly minted GSM08s! C'est la vie!
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#64
Its a medal - its a sign of you doing something to help support the nation delivering military success. I find it pathetic that some people get so worked up and angry at the idea that because someone else was thrashing themselves on the wrong side of an arbitrary invisible line, they are somehow not worthy of recognition in the way that Pte Fucknuts who spent 30 days in the admin cell playing minesweeper is...
I will turn to Churchill for his response to this issue in 1944. Extracts:

"The object of giving medals, stars and ribbons is to give pride and pleasure to those who have deserved them. At the same time a distinction is something which everybody does not possess. If all have it it is of less value. There must, therefore, be heartburnings and disappointments on the border line. A medal glitters, but it also casts a shadow. The task of drawing up regulations for such awards is one which does not admit of a perfect solution. It is not possible to satisfy everybody without running the risk of satisfying nobody. All that is possible is to give the greatest satisfaction to the greatest number and to hurt the feelings of the fewest. But that is a most difficult task and it is easy to err on one side or the other. One must be careful in the first place to avoid profusion."

"There is another general principle which I will venture to commend to the House. It is always easy in these matters to widen the Regulation and to admit a new class. On the other hand, it is never possible to go back and take away what has been given unless it has been given in error."

And perhaps most relevantly:

"The most difficult border line case is, of course, the anti-aircraft battery, and especially the Dover coastal batteries, which are constantly engaged with the enemy's artillery across the Straits. I have been most anxious to include these batteries in the 1939–43 ribbon. Up to the present I have found no way of doing so without opening the door, successively, first to the whole of the Ack-ack Command and, secondly, to the searchlights and predictors of all kinds, without which the guns cannot fire or cannot hit, and whose personnel were and still often are, in equal danger to that of the gunners. In the next place you would immediately come to the National Fire Service, whose casualties have been at a much heavier rate than the ack-ack batteries. And, then, what about the Police, who stood around and kept order and rendered every assistance? And what about the A.R.P. and the fireguards so often in danger and dis- 879 charging their work with so much efficiency as we can see even from our recent minor experiences? If the National Fire Service and others like them were included, how could the whole Regular Army which stood in Great Britain be excluded, or the Dominion Forces which performed here a vital strategic role? If the Regular Army were included, why should not the Home Guards be eligible, who did their work without pay at the end of long days, who wore their uniforms and played an essential part in hurling back the danger of invasion from our shores? There remain a number of other categories such as the training and maintenance personnel of the R.A.F., the bomb disposal squads, which is, with the ack-ack batteries, one of the balancing cases. In many cases personal decorations have been won on a large scale by that heroic band of men, but, at the same time, I am admitting quite frankly the difficulties which these cases have created—the difficulty of denying and the difficulty of opening the door almost to a very vast extent."
 
#65
Its a medal - its a sign of you doing something to help support the nation delivering military success. I find it pathetic that some people get so worked up and angry at the idea that because someone else was thrashing themselves on the wrong side of an arbitrary invisible line, they are somehow not worthy of recognition in the way that Pte Fucknuts who spent 30 days in the admin cell playing minesweeper is...

We work in a complex battlespace where people across the globe contribute to ops, and frankly I don't give a shit whether someone is doing SHADER in the UK, Cyprus, Iraq or the depths of Mongolia - if they spend the time doing op support and give the effort required, then give them the gong. There are far more important things to worry about than whether someone shouldnt have a medal just because they werent there man.

If its really so important, then introduce a clasp (e.g. SHADER - Iraq) to distinguish between support at home and away. Its really not difficult or contentious except to people scared of change. Lets go focus on things that really matter shall well like tucked in/out or rolled up/down?
do you really find it that surprising that it is an emotive subject?

there seems to be a few conflicting views here; in your blog you mention feeling somewhat inadequate until you had a telic gong on your mess dress but on the same hand you suggest widening the scope of recognition is nothing those who already receive the medal should concern themselves with as its's just a bit of tin.

to some people it is just a bit of tin, but to others it is not; if you want to be able to influence this situation then you need to take that on board before you'll get anywhere. you lose those you're trying to influence pretty quickly if you make an argument based on comparisons or just telling people that they're being daft if they object.

As for your final point, that's what's being proposed (i believe) and it seems like a reasonable solution.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#66
Lets go focus on things that really matter shall well like tucked in/out or rolled up/down?
With respect, I think this is a touch hypocritical. For someone who normally makes sensible and rational posts, the medal issue has made you write one of your longest blog posts for a while alongside a number of clearly emotional posts on here. You can't criticise others for caring about medallic recognition when you clearly care yourself.
 
#67
I think the issue to my mind is simple - how do we properly recognise the work of people, many of whom do an enormous amount without any recognition in the system due to the 'risk and rigour' element.

My strictly personal view is that we massively overplay 'risk and rigour' to create a system where medallic recognition creates an invidious position where in a hierarchical culture, the person with the most 'real' gongs is seen as more important, regardless of what they've done on tour. By defining that the only people that matter on an operation are those within lines on a map, we've essentially just told a bunch of people dicked to support outside of that area that their contributions dont matter as much.

I'd solve it in two ways - one create a one time only award 'campaign service medal' so when you've racked up X (180?) days on the OET of accumulated non OSM/GSM earning operations, you get a single medal to recognise that you've deployed.

Secondly I'd use clasps far more effectively to capture wider efforts - so in the case of PJHQ I'd put the criteria of a two year tour purely on a SHADER desk as worthy of a medal. If your job title is SO3 SHADER, then why not get the gong, just caveated with a 'Home Operations' clasp.

The more we persist in saying your efforts are worthless if you werent there man, the more we demonstrate that we dont value people. If people work in support of the op for the right length of time, then it doesnt matter if it was UK or theater - give them the medal as part of that.
 
#68
I think the issue to my mind is simple - how do we properly recognise the work of people, many of whom do an enormous amount without any recognition in the system due to the 'risk and rigour' element.

My strictly personal view is that we massively overplay 'risk and rigour' to create a system where medallic recognition creates an invidious position where in a hierarchical culture, the person with the most 'real' gongs is seen as more important, regardless of what they've done on tour. By defining that the only people that matter on an operation are those within lines on a map, we've essentially just told a bunch of people dicked to support outside of that area that their contributions dont matter as much.

I'd solve it in two ways - one create a one time only award 'campaign service medal' so when you've racked up X (180?) days on the OET of accumulated non OSM/GSM earning operations, you get a single medal to recognise that you've deployed.

Secondly I'd use clasps far more effectively to capture wider efforts - so in the case of PJHQ I'd put the criteria of a two year tour purely on a SHADER desk as worthy of a medal. If your job title is SO3 SHADER, then why not get the gong, just caveated with a 'Home Operations' clasp.

The more we persist in saying your efforts are worthless if you werent there man, the more we demonstrate that we dont value people. If people work in support of the op for the right length of time, then it doesnt matter if it was UK or theater - give them the medal as part of that.

wouldnt the GSM be a suitable vehicle for this?

to be honest i think we began muddying the waters when we introduced the ebola medal and, you could argue, the OSM concept itself.
 
#71
I think the issue to my mind is simple - how do we properly recognise the work of people, many of whom do an enormous amount without any recognition in the system due to the 'risk and rigour' element.

My strictly personal view is that we massively overplay 'risk and rigour' to create a system where medallic recognition creates an invidious position where in a hierarchical culture, the person with the most 'real' gongs is seen as more important, regardless of what they've done on tour. By defining that the only people that matter on an operation are those within lines on a map, we've essentially just told a bunch of people dicked to support outside of that area that their contributions dont matter as much.

I'd solve it in two ways - one create a one time only award 'campaign service medal' so when you've racked up X (180?) days on the OET of accumulated non OSM/GSM earning operations, you get a single medal to recognise that you've deployed.

Secondly I'd use clasps far more effectively to capture wider efforts - so in the case of PJHQ I'd put the criteria of a two year tour purely on a SHADER desk as worthy of a medal. If your job title is SO3 SHADER, then why not get the gong, just caveated with a 'Home Operations' clasp.

The more we persist in saying your efforts are worthless if you werent there man, the more we demonstrate that we dont value people. If people work in support of the op for the right length of time, then it doesnt matter if it was UK or theater - give them the medal as part of that.
One group who generally miss out are embassy staff (both civilian and military), who often work around the clock to maintain ABO (Access, Basing and Overflight) as well as 'influence' with Key stakeholders. In Middle East, PAK and AFG posts, there is risk to life and limb (most post travel is by CAV - at least where road travel is still permitted) but the staff are NOT deployed on operations and therefore are generally ineligible for medallic recognition. VCDS commendations get showered around but, frankly, those are up there with Speech Day certificates. And the staff are there for up to 3 years and not just 6 months. This doesn't affect me now; another medal retrospectively would be a tad expensive to mount!
 
#72
wouldnt the GSM be a suitable vehicle for this?

to be honest i think we began muddying the waters when we introduced the ebola medal and, you could argue, the OSM concept itself.
Why shouldnt we award a medal for Ebola - it was a genuinely dangerous operation.

GSM is constrained by 'risk and rigour' whereas a CSM would be about recognising the sort of ops where you're not likely to come under fire, but are still away doing a tough job.
 
#73
Why shouldnt we award a medal for Ebola - it was a genuinely dangerous operation.

GSM is constrained by 'risk and rigour' whereas a CSM would be about recognising the sort of ops where you're not likely to come under fire, but are still away doing a tough job.
i'd say it was deserving, but that wasnt what i was getting at.

my point was previously we had military operations which fell under the scope of the GSM as they were considered to be ops which did not constitute full on war-fighting, with separate medals being issued for wars themselves. the creation of OSM's broke with this and and we dont seem to be entirely clear on how they should be applied*.

i'd suggest that the criteria for the new GSM could have been adapted to include humanitarian ops (realistically this could be merged with your CSM) such as ebola. Ebola is also an interesting example because i cant think of any other times where an individual medal was awarded for a scenario which didnt in some way involve a war.

as for the OSM's in previous years SL and AFG wouldve been claps on a GSM, i'd also have expected the operations conducted in Libya to be recognised in the same way. the award of an OSM seems to be pretty hit or miss and possibly dependent on visibility.



*as pointed out by several others the risk and rigour element doesnt seem to be followed with any sort of consistency.
 
#74
VCDS commendations get showered around but, frankly, those are up there with Speech Day certificates. And the staff are there for up to 3 years and not just 6 months. This doesn't affect me now; another medal retrospectively would be a tad expensive to mount!
I'd expect a OF4/5 DA who's done a decent job to emerge with several hundred thousand BA club-class airmiles and an OBE!
 
#75
If its really so important, then introduce a clasp (e.g. SHADER - Iraq) to distinguish between support at home and away. Its really not difficult or contentious except to people scared of change. Lets go focus on things that really matter shall well like tucked in/out or rolled up/down?
Internally ie MoDNet they’ve mentioned those eligible for the award but didn’t fulfil the criteria in theatre (30 days continuous, 45 accumulated) or overflying (10 IIRC) it will get the gong without the bar ‘Iraq and Syria’ much like the SAM and those awarded outside the exclusion zone.
 
#76
I have in my possession an email from an Army 2* that denied the ability for Frigates and Destroyers to be considered for any form of SHADER medal. His contention was that because we have self defence systems we are not at risk.

He was the 2* responsible for the first level of scrutiny of the creation of an OSM. His decision created "precedent", and has been subsequently been used to continue to deny our eligibility.

Personally, I'd simply be happy with days on KIPION (which is the maritime flank for SHADER as well as multiple other named land Ops eligible for GSM08) and MT1.1/1.2 days to count towards the ACSM.


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#77
I have in my possession an email from an Army 2* that denied the ability for Frigates and Destroyers to be considered for any form of SHADER medal. His contention was that because we have self defence systems we are not at risk.

He was the 2* responsible for the first level of scrutiny of the creation of an OSM. His decision created "precedent", and has been subsequently been used to continue to deny our eligibility.

Personally, I'd simply be happy with days on KIPION (which is the maritime flank for SHADER as well as multiple other named land Ops eligible for GSM08) and MT1.1/1.2 days to count towards the ACSM.


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WE ARE NAVY! ROYAL NAVY!
NO ONE LIKES US!
WE DON'T CARE!
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#78
Internally ie MoDNet they’ve mentioned those eligible for the award but didn’t fulfil the criteria in theatre (30 days continuous, 45 accumulated) or overflying (10 IIRC) it will get the gong without the bar ‘Iraq and Syria’ much like the SAM and those awarded outside the exclusion zone.
Any clues as to what the elibility criteria are going to be? Some of my blokes are almost certainly in the frame if this is extended past RPAS ops.
 
#79
Any clues as to what the elibility criteria are going to be? Some of my blokes are almost certainly in the frame if this is extended past RPAS ops.
No tbh. It said it was still being considered, what the criteria for the gong without bar would be and that they were taking submissions.
 
#80
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.
Tosh. I’m not sure you have a locus standi in the matter either - or does white knighting for reaper crews edge a civvy blogger ever closer to the chance of a medal?
 

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