Quota rules rob troops of medals

#1
From The Sunday Times
January 31, 2010
Quota rules rob troops of medals
Tim Ripley

A WHITEHALL quota system that restricts the number of medals given to soldiers in wartime has resulted in more than half the recommendations for awards for bravery in Afghanistan being turned down.

Many senior serving and retired officers claim the system is outdated, fails to recognise the intensive fighting seen by British troops in Helmand and has resulted in hundreds of servicemen and women being denied recognition for their courage.
More
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7009680.ece
 
#2
Kemp said: “Medals are good for morale. They encourage people to go that extra mile.
Is this true? Do soldiers really think "If I can get over there, I'll be the only bloke in the unit with a MM." or does he think "If I don't get over there, we're going to be really fucked."?

The criteria for medal awards is necessarily woolly - not all actions are the same - and precedent doesn't apply. So what's the criterion that prevents devaluing previous awards? Must the soldier be a bit braver than the previous recipient?

Should the solution be the striking of a new medal - The Outstanding Effort Medal - with clasps for "50% risk of death", "75% risk of death", "miracle" and "posthumous", coupled with the cessation of issue of all other medals?
 
#4
Well,there has certainly not been much change in the system then! I recommended 3 guys in the 70s.They ended up with one MiD between them.However their mates knew exactly what they had done.
 
#5
It is an unfair system to some extent. Units are only allowed so many per tour. Many blokes lose out on awards because there isn't enough to go round. Getting a bravery award is basically a lottery which in all fairness it shouldn't be. You either deserve one or you don't. Simple really.
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
Hasn't it always been like that ?

I seem to remember reading about RN ships crew units nominating personell for the V.C from the ships company which IIRC would be limited to 1 or two ratings and the same for the officer

Like wise the MM & MC were brought in in WW1 to get round this for acts which didn't quite make V.C. or were limited by the alloted numbers

Slightly of topic but still on

IIRC Major Winters from BoB was recommended for the CMoH for his actions at Brecourt but the divisions allocated medal had already been won by a Col leading a bayonet charge
 
#7
It has always been the case that "X" ammount of soldiers, of whatever unit has done the fighting, had done tremendously brave things in combat and some have been quite rightly awarded whatever medal is recommended and the rest have gone unrecognised.

Everyone in that Regiment/Unit knows what the ones that never got an award did and it is just the cookie crumbles.
 
#8
johnboyzzz said:
Everyone in that Regiment/Unit knows what the ones that never got an award did and it is just the cookie crumbles.
Yep. That makes it fair then as it's just the way the cookie crumbles. Those that were worthy of an award but dipped out because there weren't enough, well fuck 'em eh! Maybe next time.
 
#9
Fallschirmjager said:
johnboyzzz said:
Everyone in that Regiment/Unit knows what the ones that never got an award did and it is just the cookie crumbles.
Yep. That makes it fair then as it's just the way the cookie crumbles. Those that were worthy of an award but dipped out because there weren't enough, well fuck 'em eh! Maybe next time.
Nobody says life is fair :smooch:
 
#10
Medals should be awarded on a case by case. Just because a unit has been awarded x amount of medals should not come into it.

Some units will see more acts of bravery than others. If a medal is warranted then it should be awarded.
 
#11
Medal citations get reviewed all the way up chain of command as well as going to an independant(ish) committee. It is about as fair as it can be in my opinion - if anyone can offer a better mechanism, I'm sure we would be happy to hear it.

I am proud of what I did to get my Battle of Jubilee Medal - it is those LS&GC types I have a problem with. I thought soldiers were supposed to be bad-arrse fighters - what use is good conduct and long service? They should be fighting and laying down their lives! Slackers.
 
#12
RBs comment said:
Equally however, for what it's worth I believe the medical corps are truly overrepresented in the VC list. Sure they go into combat to retrieve wounded, the wounded and their comrades have had to fight there far longer than the medics. But because the medics rush about under the noses of officers they get noticed.
what a penis!
 
#13
Filbert Fox said:
RBs comment said:
Equally however, for what it's worth I believe the medical corps are truly overrepresented in the VC list. Sure they go into combat to retrieve wounded, the wounded and their comrades have had to fight there far longer than the medics. But because the medics rush about under the noses of officers they get noticed.
what a penis!
Seconded, what a lot of tosh!
As to the current medal allocation, politicians want to play things down so lots of gallantry medals hitting the London gazette and the tabloids will just high light what the troops are up to and how much control the Government have lost. It was a bad news day for the Gov with Cpl Budds VC and then the admission that over a million rounds had been fired in a units deployment, that is not basic Counter insurgency Op it's a war!
 
#15
You have to take a view whether we want to change the traditional British system of "sparse-but-revered" awards into a US-style "medals for everyone", i.e. substitute "routine valour" for "exceptional valour".

Unfortunately, someone in MoD has to be unpopular by standing back and measuring current ops against historical precedent. Do current operations produce more awards per head than - say - the infantry fighting in NW Europe in WW2?
 
#16
Filbert Fox said:
RBs comment said:
Equally however, for what it's worth I believe the medical corps are truly overrepresented in the VC list. Sure they go into combat to retrieve wounded, the wounded and their comrades have had to fight there far longer than the medics. But because the medics rush about under the noses of officers they get noticed.
what a penis!
Agreed.

I was in Haslar last year, nice little wall display on the RAMC and its former incarnations VCs including the the bod' who got a bar to his VC, pretty nails for some Corps types who are in the rear with the gear, NOT.

Next thing we know someone will be complaining over split ass matalots running forward under fire to do the job they're paid for whilst saving soldier's lives being an act unworthy of an MCs!

I truely hope RBs needs the services of a medic under the conditions that warrent an award of gallentry as it's the only way idiots like him will change their opinion on the subject!

This c/s awards RBs the order of the Knobjocky with Cheesie Forskin and Weeping Herpe Sores!
 
#17
Going back, closer to the beginning, to get an idea of what was intended, someone remind me how many VCs were awarded for the action at Rourke's Drift.

B
 
#18
exile1 said:
It was not only the RN who drew lots to determine the recipient of the VC where all were equally brave. It has happened in the Army.
The VC is unique in this area, in that the Royal Warrant that established the award has a paragraph which states that should there be an occasion where the whole unit distinguishes themselves in an action worthy of a VC, the a ballot may be held under this paragraph (15(3)) rings a bell and the Officers will select one officer, the SNCO's will select one SNCO and the Other ranks will select (not sure if it is one or three) other ranks.

So, in these cases the selection of the recipients by ballot is a formal thing, not a unit decision.

No other Gallantry award is selected by ballot.

The raid on Zebbrugge in WW1 was one such occasion. Not sure if saving the Guns at Colenso (Boer War was another?)

MM
 
#19
Well, would you like the US system were you get a medal just for eating your wheaties in the morning or getting a boil on your arse?


I prefer our system…

If I see a Tom with some medal ribbons I think… 'Top bloke that'

If I see a Yank with the usual dazzling display on his chest that would put a Russian General to shame, I don't.
 
#20
Not one single ATO killed in Northern Ireland received any form of bravery award. I can't see how the operational awards system can possibly be fair. Though unfortunately it may be the best system we can devise.

Or maybe Major Calladene (for example) approaching a car bomb in flak jacket and helmet with a pair of snips isn't brave enough
 

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