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Pentagon invents tales of soldiers heroism

#1
The Penatgon has made a mockery of US service personnel.

I take it the American public don't take to kindly to being deceived on such matters?

Times Online

The shame being the Silver Star awarded to Pat Tillman appears unjustified which devalues genuine awardees.
 
#2
Dingerr

The awards and promotion system in the US does a fine job of making a mockery of itself. Neither system (that I have seen) is based on performance, but rather on time in service and current grade. I don't see why the Pentagon feels the need to add its clown car to the circus.

I won't bother to bore you with the details, its been covered in earlier threads.

Only one medal worth a sh1t nowadays, and thats the CMoH.

That's my Bronze Star worth. I'll get my coat.
 
#4
dingerr said:
The shame being the Silver Star awarded to Pat Tillman appears unjustified which devalues genuine awardees.
I'm not familiar with the citation, but whether or not it was an American who killed him or if it was covered up is not relevant to the award. The question is if his actions before his death were of sufficient gallantry.

My experience is that Silver Stars are rarely awarded spuriously.

NTM
 
#5
but not never. sounds like he was basically standing in the road and got lit up by another callsign, but admitting that would have been a PR disaster after all the fuss they made about him joining up.
 
#6
Isn't the Silver Star awarded for conspicuous gallantry in the face of the enemy? Or some such? Or equivalent hard work if you are directly contributing to the efforts of those in contact with the enemy.

I worked in a US HQ in Iraq, had to deal with Citations for the 2-star I worked for. He was immensely frustrated that a precedent had been set that you had to get something for serving a year in Iraq and the more senior you got, the higher the award. Bronze Stars and on a couple of occassions Silver Stars were "bid for" for senior officers, simply because their predecessor got one. He wasn't happy and tried to make the awards as meritorious as possible.

That said, it did shed some light on the UK forces myth that they get medals for nothing - it's just a different system. A US Private could get 3 or 4 medals for a 1 year tour if he was good at his job. One for being there for a year (our Op TELIC service medal equivalent so fair enough), one for serving in certain areas (like a combat medal - slightly dubious), one for good performance (mini-LSGC for the tour - again questionable) and one for anything particularly noteworthy (honour/valour etc).

It did mean that those who only got the service medal felt cheated, so the norm was at least 2 medals for a 1 year tour....
 
#7
California_Tanker said:
I'm not familiar with the citation, but whether or not it was an American who killed him or if it was covered up is not relevant to the award. The question is if his actions before his death were of sufficient gallantry.

My experience is that Silver Stars are rarely awarded spuriously.
But isn't the accusation that Tillman was sadly killed by accident but not while leading out the assault described. The unit then fabricated the whole thing to try and avoid the PR backlash. They even ordered the rest of his patrol to lie to his brother who was serving in the same company. So basically they made up the entire gallantry episode to mislead everyone and turn a tragedy into an episode of heroism. It's disgusting.
 
#8
Anyone care to hazard a comment on what else we've been told by the Pentagon/Bush regime is, in reality, a deliberate attempt to mislead the public with falsehoods...

The Telegraph said:
Pentagon spin on Iraq 'heroes' exposed

He was the American football star who gave up fame and fortune to serve his country only to meet a hero's death fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. She was the plucky little girl-Rambo who fought to her last bullet before she was badly injured and captured in Iraq.

Those, at least, were the stories put out by the US military about Cpl Pat Tillman and Pte Jessica Lynch, the two most famous casualties from the front lines. Both turned out to be in large part false, and both came back to bite the Pentagon yesterday in the full glare of a congressional committee room.

Cont/...
 
#10
Yes - disgusting. It follows on from the idea that an organisation reckons it should always be seen in the very best possible light and free of any mistake culture. We have the same with our politicians. If they once put their hands up and say "We f**ed up" they know that their opposition and detractors will use this on every possible future occasion. "You were wrong with Tillman. How do we know that this (insert any contraversy) is not another cock-up" That is why large sums of money are spent on PR - maintain a good image and cover up what you cannot spin.
No - it isn't right. But it could cause mucho problems for the Army/organisation when it has loads on it's plate that - in the wider scheme - deserve priority. Remember that US public opinion is going/gone contra the war. This revelation could add to the No party.
Anyway - where's T6 when we need him?
 
#11
Disgusting, yes, PD but sadly predictable. And no, that's not an anti-American dig, I get a nasty feeling that our own MOD would consider exactly the same if they thought they could get away with it.

Thankfully, as recent events have shown, they're simply not good enough at the PR game!
 
#12
trunknode said:
It would appear that "lies" are becoming SOP in all aspects of modern military life.
You used to be able to believe that the MoD would always speak the truth, but not these days. The New Labour culture of spin has pervaded and politicised every aspect of the executive (i.e. civil service) in this country, and those in uniform in the MoD must be complicit or give up their careers.

The same has happened in the DoD across the pond, but to a much larger extent where a cabal of neo-cons have seized control and have found plenty of willing senior officers to play along for their own career interests.

But then, it used to believe that the Her Majesty's Government would be extremely judicious with the use of the force at it's disposal, such that you would always know that what you were doing was just, right and legal.

Certainly not the case anymore.

Sad really. A sign of the times perhaps, but did it really have to be this way?
 
#13
spunkymonkey said:
Disgusting, yes, PD but sadly predictable. And no, that's not an anti-American dig, I get a nasty feeling that our own MOD would consider exactly the same if they thought they could get away with it.

Thankfully, as recent events have shown, they're simply not good enough at the PR game!
Whitehall not adept enough at PR after 10 years of Bliar, Alastair Campbell et al.?????

I prefer to think the service chiefs simply wouldn't let them try anything of the kind.

Apart from which, there are enough bona-fide UK heroism stories.
 
#14
If my memory serves me right, after the SF went into Afghan at the start, didn't Bliar order the CGS to dish out some VC's as he felt that they had deserved it?

I do remember there being a whohar in the paper as TB was slapped down and reminded that the government and the politicians do not award medals to personell within the Army for political reasons.

It's a shame that the DOD decided to fabricate this mess, you have a young football superstar who gave up a multi-million dollar career to join the Rangers after 9/11. He dies in a friendly-fire incident then they concoct this story by lying to the US public about it. Hats off to his brother who is also serving and has gone to the Congressional Hearing to give evidence about this farce.
 
#15
Sad situation and the manner in which the aftermath was handled is reprehensable... hopefully all the people involved with the cover-up are held accountable but I doubt that will be the case. Tillman's chain of command from platoon to regimental level were railroaded by the system following the tragic occurance regardless of how much actual influence they had on the events of that night.

Not sure if many of you have read the AAR concerning the engagement when this happened but there are several factors that lead me to suspect that Specialist Tilman was equally responsable. In a nutshell, he took charge of a small element (including a local guide) and attempted to maneuver them without coordination or guidance from his leaders against a distant enemy position up a ridge which was firing at them ineffectively with small arms and at least one machine gun.

During this the other serial arrived on the wadi below and assumed they were under fires from two locations. You see... the Afghani with Tilman had a Kalashnikov and that was what the gunner keyed in on and engaged... the distinct firing sound and muzzleflash. Apparently Tilman died when he exposed himself to send a flare up to identify his element as friendly.

As per the battle drill for a far ambush, especially with the enemy having equal or greater numbers, he should have broke contact and established coms from the get go rather than assaulting the enemy. I have seen a plethora of young and highly motivated corporals and buck sergeants make the same error... fortunately their mistake was correctable as it was made in training rather than during the real thing.

I suspect the cover-up was intended to preserve Tilman's heroic image rather than protect the leadership or the other Rangers involved. Still not acceptable of course...
 
#16
Khyros said:
Tillman's chain of command from platoon to regimental level were railroaded by the system following the tragic occurance regardless of how much actual influence they had on the events of that night.
They were railroaded? Isn't there any back bone in your armed forces anymore? I would have been lynched by my SNCOs if I even suggested this kind of cover up bollox!
 
#17
The best tribute to these people (Tillman and Lynch) would have been to tell the truth...

Not bullsh1t people.
 
#18
jonny3979 said:
Khyros said:
Tillman's chain of command from platoon to regimental level were railroaded by the system following the tragic occurance regardless of how much actual influence they had on the events of that night.
They were railroaded? Isn't there any back bone in your armed forces anymore? I would have been lynched by my SNCOs if I even suggested this kind of cover up bollox!
A leader is responsible for everything his subordinates do or fail to do... Tilman's PL, CO, and BC lost their positions because a major friendly fire incident occured on their watch. The cover up was purely a DoD created monstrosity which all of the Rangers I know found detestable...
 
#19
Excellent info there Khyros - hopefully it will prevent assumptions and stop the thread from degenerating into a slagging session.

Nice one
 
#20
dingerr said:
The shame being the Silver Star awarded to Pat Tillman appears unjustified which devalues genuine awardees.
Perhaps a shame that a specialist in the US army took an ill consideredcourse of action.

Our Army does not have the same ethos as the US Army. I have employed US soldiers on operations and know many US Senior NCOS who could take no initiative at all. There are a number who needed to be told to do everything, in the office, never mind a contact situation.

It could be argued, that for a Specialist in the US Army to attempt to sieze the initiative, under enemy fire, could indeed be regarded as a remarkable act.

Myself, I would have awarded the Silver Star to Pat Tilman the football player; for the patriotism he displayed by walking away from a lucrative football carear to stand by his brother and his Country.

How deep would we need to dig to find such ethics in a British sports professional?
 

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