Possible First Nonposthumous Medal of Honor Since Vietnam

#1
I hope the discussion in this article about the political aspects of the decision about whether to award the MOH in this case are not true. The sole criteria whether the MOH is appropriate are the FACTS of the action involved and without regard to any crass political aspects OR such irrelevant things like the relative "popularity" of the conflict, race, gender or service of the nominee. I find it disgusting that politicians will stoop to any depth to preserve and increase their power.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy...06/30/AR2010063005346.html?wpisrc=nl_headline
 
#2
Indeed, sounds like brave bloke, lets hope his actions are recognised based on the historical standard of the MoH, rather then temporary political expediency for the current US administration...
 
#3
If true and witnessed then a bravery medal should of course be awarded. That’s what this calibre of medal is for. Surely?

As per usual if you ask the recipient he/she will tell you (if they speak about the action at all) that it was for the unit/mates and it wasn’t heroic in any way.

However I cannot help but think, that all the higher ranking bravery awards, from both sides of the pond, are pretty much always a politically motivated manoeuvre.

It is too good an opportunity to miss for the self-serving pompous arrogant gits that tend to run our countries.
 
#4
Arte_et_Marte said:
If true and witnessed then a bravery medal should of course be awarded. That’s what this calibre of medal is for. Surely?

As per usual if you ask the recipient he/she will tell you (if they speak about the action at all) that it was for the unit/mates and it wasn’t heroic in any way.

However I cannot help but think, that all the higher ranking bravery awards, from both sides of the pond, are pretty much always a politically motivated manoeuvre.

It is too good an opportunity to miss for the self-serving pompous arrogant gits that tend to run our countries and at the same time have little regard or even disdain for their own military.
Fixed it for you :D
 

Travelgall

MIA
Kit Reviewer
#5
Good luck to him. If he earned it then he should get it. Regardless of politics. But the reverse also applies. Nobody should be awarded such a prestigious decoration just to "Seal the deal" between a politician and the troops. Besides it wouldn't work. Honour, Duty and Patriotism are alien words to the modern politician, the Army will continue to hate their guts until the 24 hour news cycle and polling figures no longer matter to a Parliamentarian - Fat F...... Chance!
 
#6
jumpinjarhead said:
I hope the discussion in this article about the political aspects of the decision about whether to award the MOH in this case are not true. The sole criteria whether the MOH is appropriate are the FACTS of the action involved and without regard to any crass political aspects OR such irrelevant things like the relative "popularity" of the conflict, race, gender or service of the nominee. I find it disgusting that politicians will stoop to any depth to preserve and increase their power.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/30/AR2010063005346.html?wpisrc=nl_headline
Politicians are a disgusting shower that I will agree, there is no trough on earth which they don't nose through first, but when they try to preserve or increase their power over the military, that's them just doing their job and upholding the constitution. There are enough officers on both sides of the pond who would write themselves up for an award if they could (and I can name one who did, for an OBE, and he got it). Politicians don't hold the self serving monopoly, not by a long chalk.
 
#7
I was quite surprised by the percentage of those who were awarded the MoH posthumously being quite so low in WW1. Has the criteria changed?
 
#8
FOM6 said:
I was quite surprised by the percentage of those who were awarded the MoH posthumously being quite so low in WW1. Has the criteria changed?
The criteria have changed over time as the "philosophy" of the award has "matured" I believe. In WWI and WWII, for example, you will see a number of MOHs awarded to very senior officers who were not personally "heroic" in the sense of individual acts of bravery under fire, but who received the award for their extraordinary leadership displayed in certain very pivotal and hard-fought operations and as a sort of proxy for their men who did act so valorously.

This began to wane by the Korean War, perhaps also because of the advent of other awards aimed at such high level leadership--none of which carry the utmost respect afforded the MOH. Certainly by the Vietnam War, the MOH was regarded as the highest award for actual combat bravery of an exceedingly high degree such that there are very strict standards for determining if one is eligible for it.

Obviously in such matters as "bravery" it is difficult to quantify how much is "enough" for a given award, especially in the very extreme violence of combat action usually involved in the situation where a MOH nomination might arise.

In my experience of reading many MOH citations and having the privilege to personally count several recipients as friends, I liken it to what one of our Supreme Court Justices said in a case grappling over what constituted "obscenity." He said in effect, "you will know it when you see it" and I think that has been generally true since the Korean War.
 
#10
SSG Sal Giunta, a paratrooper w/ the 173rd Airborne Brigade, will be awarded the first Medal of Honor given to a living recipient since the Vietnam War. He earned this by charging a group of Taliban who were trying to make off with a wounded comrade in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan. His actions broke the Taliban’s attack and allowed him to regain control of SGT Josh Brennan. He also saved the lives of the many other members of his unit who had been caught in a fixed ambush by the Taliban. Giunta didn’t hesitate one second before advancing on his own to ensure the enemy would never take one of ours, sadly Josh Brennan was too badly wounded to survive. His cousin PVT Joe Brennan recently graduated airborne school and has joined the same unit proudly carrying on Josh’s memory.
 
#12
Interesting that a nation that seems to award non gallantry awards with such gay abandon should be so picky when it comes to awarding the real deal for such an unselfish act.

Do they also check what the bloke is like in order to avoid later 'inconveniences' such as knowledge coming out about his stealing a car or taking drugs etc, etc? To me, just like the award of the Victoria Cross to Johnson Beharry, the award goes to the person for the act. No more, no less. The receipiant may or may not be a son of a bitch or even the least popular man in his unit. So what ?

The question also has to be asked about how many MoHs would have been awarded yesterday if today's criteria were applied to them .......

But this war is different. Unlike WW2 where the population was all totally geared to war and united in its' support of the troops, this is not the case here and PerSec is also different. The enemy is also on home soil now so should awardees names be made known at all ?

Regardless, every man and woman in harms way gets my respect and thanks.

D_B
 
#14
Lower_Jumper said:
It's no surprise the first lving recipient is an Army Paratrooper! ;)


But in all seriousness, I had hoped Brian Chontosh would be upgraded as well.

ATW!
Airborne all the way.

Of course Chontosh didn't get the MOH--after all, he only did this:

For extraordinary heroism as Combined Anti-Armor Platoon Commander, Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 25 March 2003. While leading his platoon north on Highway I toward Ad Diwaniyah, First Lieutenant Chontosh's platoon moved into a coordinated ambush of mortars, rocket propelled grenades, and automatic weapons fire. With coalition tanks blocking the road ahead, he realized his platoon was caught in a kill zone. He had his driver move the vehicle through a breach along his flank, where he was immediately taken under fire from an entrenched machine gun. Without hesitation, First Lieutenant Chontosh ordered the driver to advance directly at the enemy position enabling his .50 caliber machine gunner to silence the enemy. He then directed his driver into the enemy trench, where he exited his vehicle and began to clear the trench with an M16A2 service rifle and 9 millimeter pistol. His ammunition depleted, First Lieutenant Chontosh, with complete disregard for his safety, twice picked up discarded enemy rifles and continued his ferocious attack. When a Marine following him found an enemy rocket propelled grenade launcher, First Lieutenant Chontosh used it to destroy yet another group of enemy soldiers. When his audacious attack ended, he had cleared over 200 meters of the enemy trench, killing more than 20 enemy soldiers and wounding several others. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Chontosh reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
 
#15
dogs_bollox said:
Do they also check what the bloke is like in order to avoid later 'inconveniences' such as knowledge coming out about his stealing a car or taking drugs etc, etc?
It is possible it could be denied on that basis. Here is the process;

http://www.army.mil/MEDALOFHONOR/process.html

Here is an example from the Vietnam War of the package that is initially submitted:

http://www.valorremembered.org/SWP_MOHRecommend.htm

Ironically and tragically, Major Pless was killed soon after receiving his medal in a motorcycle "accident." the official story is:

"Pless, just 29 at the time of his death, was serving in Pensacola, Fla. He died while driving his motorcycle across the bridge leading from Pensacola to Pensacola Beach. The bridge was a drawbridge with a center span that opened horizontally to allow large ships to pass.

As Pless approached the bridge's center span, he did not notice until too late that the span was open. Pless was unable to stop in time and his motorcycle went off the bridge and into Pensacola Bay. After a seven-hour search, divers pulled Pless' body from the water.
but others who knew him speculated that he died as he lived, trying to jump the gap and beat the draw bridge before it raised too far.
 

BugsyIII

On ROPS
On ROPs
#16
jumpinjarhead said:
Lower_Jumper said:
It's no surprise the first lving recipient is an Army Paratrooper! ;)


But in all seriousness, I had hoped Brian Chontosh would be upgraded as well.

ATW!
Airborne all the way.

Of course Chontosh didn't get the MOH--after all, he only did this:

For extraordinary heroism as Combined Anti-Armor Platoon Commander, Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 25 March 2003. While leading his platoon north on Highway I toward Ad Diwaniyah, First Lieutenant Chontosh's platoon moved into a coordinated ambush of mortars, rocket propelled grenades, and automatic weapons fire. With coalition tanks blocking the road ahead, he realized his platoon was caught in a kill zone. He had his driver move the vehicle through a breach along his flank, where he was immediately taken under fire from an entrenched machine gun. Without hesitation, First Lieutenant Chontosh ordered the driver to advance directly at the enemy position enabling his .50 caliber machine gunner to silence the enemy. He then directed his driver into the enemy trench, where he exited his vehicle and began to clear the trench with an M16A2 service rifle and 9 millimeter pistol. His ammunition depleted, First Lieutenant Chontosh, with complete disregard for his safety, twice picked up discarded enemy rifles and continued his ferocious attack. When a Marine following him found an enemy rocket propelled grenade launcher, First Lieutenant Chontosh used it to destroy yet another group of enemy soldiers. When his audacious attack ended, he had cleared over 200 meters of the enemy trench, killing more than 20 enemy soldiers and wounding several others. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Chontosh reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Nails, wouldn't like to see him angry.
 
#17
JJH:

Thanks for posting the Navy Cross citation. I have always noticed how close Navy Cross citations are to MoH citations. People with either are pretty awesome in my view.

Thanks for posting the pic too. Looks like the little fella likes daddy's new
Navy Cross.
 
#18
BugsyIII said:
jumpinjarhead said:
Lower_Jumper said:
It's no surprise the first lving recipient is an Army Paratrooper! ;)


But in all seriousness, I had hoped Brian Chontosh would be upgraded as well.

ATW!
Airborne all the way.

Of course Chontosh didn't get the MOH--after all, he only did this:

For extraordinary heroism as Combined Anti-Armor Platoon Commander, Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 25 March 2003. While leading his platoon north on Highway I toward Ad Diwaniyah, First Lieutenant Chontosh's platoon moved into a coordinated ambush of mortars, rocket propelled grenades, and automatic weapons fire. With coalition tanks blocking the road ahead, he realized his platoon was caught in a kill zone. He had his driver move the vehicle through a breach along his flank, where he was immediately taken under fire from an entrenched machine gun. Without hesitation, First Lieutenant Chontosh ordered the driver to advance directly at the enemy position enabling his .50 caliber machine gunner to silence the enemy. He then directed his driver into the enemy trench, where he exited his vehicle and began to clear the trench with an M16A2 service rifle and 9 millimeter pistol. His ammunition depleted, First Lieutenant Chontosh, with complete disregard for his safety, twice picked up discarded enemy rifles and continued his ferocious attack. When a Marine following him found an enemy rocket propelled grenade launcher, First Lieutenant Chontosh used it to destroy yet another group of enemy soldiers. When his audacious attack ended, he had cleared over 200 meters of the enemy trench, killing more than 20 enemy soldiers and wounding several others. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Chontosh reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Nails, wouldn't like to see him angry.
He also stands about 192cm and 16 stone.
 
R

Reversionary_Modes

Guest
#19
JJH: is it usual for the review process for an MOH to take so long? The action itself predates President Obama's inauguration by at least 1 year.
 
#20
There was controversy on here and elsewhere over Johnson Beharry's VC, insinuations that he got it because he's black. I read Matt Croucher's memoir about 3 month's ago: he was the Royal Marine that won the George Cross for smothering a grenade with his rucksack. In it IIRC, he said that just the facts of the act of bravery are reported to some sort of outside committee who decide on the award. Those that report it do not make recommendations themselves as to what the award should be. This suggested anonymity wrt the soldier/sailor/airman being recommended, so making questions over politics/race etc irrelevant. Would be interesting to know if anyone can confirm this, just to settle any argument.
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top