US Army Awards

A few weeks ago, I had to detail off a young US soldier to go and help a neighbouring unit that was having real problems with some pretty complex radar kit. This young lad (Specialist E4 - roughly a LCpl Tech) set off on his mission and, honestly, I thought he'd just slink off and hide once he saw how much there was to do, far from it....

About a fortnight later I get an e-mail from a WO in this unit praising this lad to the skies; not only had he figured out the all the problems, he'd got a Capt to help him order all the right spares, fitted them himself then organised a teaching course for everyone (SNCOs included) on how to stop the whole mess happening again. Wow, thought JAFSO, how can I reward this lad?

The upshoot is, after a couple of pages of typing and a word with his CO our young supertech is out in front of the Battalion receiving a well-earned Army Achievement Medal for his efforts - all approved by the immediate chain of command and no waiting 6 months for Governmental endorsement and eventual disappointment.

It just set me thinking how our own awards system seems to have the engine of a Mini and the brakes of an Aston Martin sometimes. I don't want to cheapen the more prestigious awards or bring gallantry into the discussion but isn't there room for something that COs or Bde/Div Comds can approve on their own to recognise achievement and good work?

I know all about the 'Americans get medals for everything' argument (that's a whole new thread) but what do fellow Arrsers think?

JAFSO . Agree with you totally , as long as we had equlity throughout the army i.e. every co awarding for the same standards etc . I cannot see any of our guys doing what you US chap did. How ever i am sure they could given the support and backing from the powers that be . How would you do it JAFSO ? A reward scheme ( extra leave , certificate ) . As long as we dont go like Macdonalds with stars on badges or employee of the month . A good idea all the same . I would suggest a section in a C/R for such awards .
Sounds like the equivalent of our existing Commendation system, except we get a nice certificate to hang on the lavatory wall rather than a gash medal.
WOOFFY said:
Can't see the point realy. Isn't that what promotion is for? Do a good job, get results, move up the ladder a rung.
:lol: :lol:

If you believe thats how the system works you'll believe anything.

In the RAF we call it the 'bath of baked beans effect'. You can be crap at your primary task but hey, if you've done a sponsored walk from Lands End to John 'O Groats in a bra and knickers whilst eating peas with a cocktail stick then have a promotion.

WOOFFY said:
Can't see the point realy. Isn't that what promotion is for? Do a good job, get results, move up the ladder a rung.
Christ! What army are you in?!!!
There is an approved Army Commendation system, but it is poorly used because generally there's no means of backing up the commendation substantially (i.e. with cold, hard cash). It usually comes in the form of an announcement on Div/Bde/Unit orders with a nice framed certificate.

I understand that this is under review and that there is the possibility that GOCs may receive a discretionary fund for providing cash rewards (taxable, natch) for personnel achieving well beyond the norm.


Similar threads

Latest Threads