US issuing too many medals?

#1
As its an often heard cry on ARRSE, its interesting to see this report thinking that the Americans may be having similar thoughts.

Note that this is just for valourous awards and not the (IMHO ridiculous) practice of giving recruits medals for signing up in times of war.


Is the U.S. giving out too many medals? - World news - Brave New World | NBC News

'Medals inflation?'
More than 69,000 awards and other honors have been handed out by the Air Force for the Iraq war, according to Air Force Capt. Richard Johnson. The list also includes four Air Force Crosses, one step below the Medal of Honor, plus 21 Silver Stars and over 1,900 Bronze Stars.
The Army trails just behind with 40,000 medals issued and approved, including 111 Silver Stars and more than 13,000 Bronze Stars.
“It’s absolutely outrageous,” says retired Army Col. David Hackworth, who styles himself as the most decorated soldier in U.S. military history as well as the unofficial watchdog of military heraldry.
“In World War II, when I saw a Distinguished Flying Cross, that meant the guy had made 25 or 30 missions over dangerous places like Hamburg or Berlin,” he says. “Those places sometimes had 50 percent casualty rates.
“Now, they give medals out to guys who fly bombers invisible to radar whose bombs miss Saddam and kill civilians in a restaurant. It’s an outrage.” The Air Force awarded Distinguished Flying Crosses to the crew of a B-2B bomber that destroyed a Baghdad restaurant last April thought to contain Saddam Hussein. Saddam was not there, but 16 civilians, including an infant, died in the attack.
If anyone hasn't come across him, Michael Yon is a respected Yank photographer and ex-SF bloke who brought my attention to this. If you're on facebloke, "add" him and you'll get good links to ongoing news stories with perspectives that we in the UK may sometimes miss.

Its remarkable that the USAF is the leading medal issuer amongst the four services!
 
#4
Funny Hackworths been dead since 2005. this also counts campaign medals, Combat Infantrymen badges, Combat medic Badges, etc. Yons wrong as usual. Yon was expelled from the US Special Forces after he completed the qualification course for murdering a civilian in bar fight.

Of the 4 Air Force Crosses, Jason Cunningham and John Chapmans were both Posthumous for Afghanistan, none awarded for Iraq. Here's a Living AFC winners citation:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Senior Airman Zachary J. Rhyner, United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an armed enemy of the United States while serving with the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, at Nuristan Province, Afghanistan on 6 April 2008.

On that date, while assigned as Special Tactics Combat Controller, Airman Rhyner executed a day rotary-wing infiltration with his Special Forces team to capture high-value insurgents in a village on the surrounding mountains. While climbing near vertical terrain to reach their objective, the team was attacked in a well-coordinated and deadly ambush. Devastating sniper, machine gun, and rocket-propelled grenade fire poured down on the team from elevated and protected positions on all sides, immediately pinning down the assault force.

Without regard for his life, Airman Rhyner placed himself between the most immediate threats and provided suppressive fire with his M-4 rifle against enemy fire while teammates were extracted from the line of fire. Airman Rhyner bravely withstood the hail of enemy fire to control eight United States Air Force fighters and four United States Army attack helicopters.

Despite a gunshot wound to the left leg and being trapped on a 60-foot cliff under constant enemy fire, Airman Rhyner controlled more than 50 attack runs and repeatedly repelled the enemy with repeated danger close air strikes, several within 100 meters of his position. Twice, his actions prevented his element from being overrun during the intense six and a half hour battle. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Airman Rhyner reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


An Airman in the USAF is a Low ranked enlisted man similar to a Private to Lance Corporal in Pay. service length
 
#5
Yanks issuing too many medals ain't news, neither is Yon doing his thang. The DFC for a B2B mission reflects the airmanship involved in a round trip from the continental US to Iraq, getting in and hitting your target successfully and getting out undetected. The fact Saddam wasn't there is down to either poor int, targetting or both. The airmen got their job done and I bet their forebears wouldn't begrudge an undetected mission with an accurate drop at the end - the B-17 crews cooking boche cities at gas-mark Dresden probably would have liked to do the same themselves.
 
#7
Used to follow Yon's Facebook and Twitter updates etc but they started getting a little bizarre and more of a rant at times than anything reasoned or intelligent.

Shame. His earlier work was brilliant


Sent via Heliograph from the Jebel Birkenhead
 
#8
Funny Hackworths been dead since 2005. this also counts campaign medals, Combat Infantrymen badges, Combat medic Badges, etc. Yons wrong as usual. Yon was expelled from the US Special Forces after he completed the qualification course for murdering a civilian in bar fight.
I had heard that was the case. However, his Iraq commentary was remarkably prescient before the issues in Afghan, notably irritating the McCrystal staff to such an extent that he was kicked out.
However, I like to ignore his more vitriolic statements about Milkooks etc and take the links to interesting articles.

Nor was I stating that individuals such as Airman Rayner have not deserved their recognition, just that the article brings up some interesting points, such as the USMC not awarding ANY valour medals for Iraq to date. I'm sure there are individuals there who may be as deserving (Operations in Fallujah etc), but to date have received no recognition of their bravery.
 
#9
By the way a 2004 article? quite timely
Oops, good point.

That Yon has brought it up now suggests he may be swinging an axe soon in his dispatches.

His early Afghan dispatches were awesome.
 
#11
I had heard that was the case. However, his Iraq commentary was remarkably prescient before the issues in Afghan, notably irritating the McCrystal staff to such an extent that he was kicked out.
However, I like to ignore his more vitriolic statements about Milkooks etc and take the links to interesting articles.

Nor was I stating that individuals such as Airman Rayner have not deserved their recognition, just that the article brings up some interesting points, such as the USMC not awarding ANY valour medals for Iraq to date. I'm sure there are individuals there who may be as deserving (Operations in Fallujah etc), but to date have received no recognition of their bravery.
The USMC HAS in fact awarded Valor Medals for service in Iraq. the Navy Cross to Bradley Kasal



Wounded Marine in iconic Fallujah photo awarded Navy Cross > Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton > News Article Display

SSG Popaditch with the Silver Star as well, that's the problem with old articles
 
#12
Nor was I stating that individuals such as Airman Rayner have not deserved their recognition, just that the article brings up some interesting points, such as the USMC not awarding ANY valour medals for Iraq to date. I'm sure there are individuals there who may be as deserving (Operations in Fallujah etc), but to date have received no recognition of their bravery.
The US system for approving gallantry awards is very, very slow for the higher level awards. There might not have been any at the time of the article but the USMC awarded 20 Navy Crosses for Iraq and I am not sure if that even includes the ones awarded to Navy Corpsmen attached to the Marines.

http://valor.defense.gov/Portals/24/Documents/ServiceCross/USMCNavyCross-Iraq.pdf
 
#13
The USMC HAS in fact awarded Valor Medals for service in Iraq. the Navy Cross to Bradley Kasal



Wounded Marine in iconic Fallujah photo awarded Navy Cross > Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton > News Article Display

SSG Popaditch with the Silver Star as well, that's the problem with old articles
Jeez Goldbricker, lay off with the guilt, I've already admitted the mistake! Which on this website is like finding the tooth fairy blowing a unicorn at the end of a rainbow.
 
#16
The whole ex-VET thing stinks as well - usually youngsters (with issues before and after joining) who served a couple of years and then believe that the good people of the US of A owe them a living. To me, a VET is a soldier who has served 20+ years with distinction and deployed on multiple tours in different theatres.
 
#17
The whole ex-VET thing stinks as well - usually youngsters (with issues before and after joining) who served a couple of years and then believe that the good people of the US of A owe them a living. To me, a VET is a soldier who has served 20+ years with distinction and deployed on multiple tours in different theatres.
You can be discharged before finishing phase 1 training and you'll still be classed as a veteran in the UK, and get a nice shiny Veteran badge to prove it. Not that I disagree with you though.
 
T

Taffd

Guest
#18
Yon was expelled from the US Special Forces after he completed the qualification course for murdering a civilian in bar fight.
I never realised there might be a course for murdering civilians.

It explains a lot.


Bugger, didn't see the previous mention of this.
 
#19
The whole ex-VET thing stinks as well - usually youngsters (with issues before and after joining) who served a couple of years and then believe that the good people of the US of A owe them a living. To me, a VET is a soldier who has served 20+ years with distinction and deployed on multiple tours in different theatres.
In my opinion, a sofa is one that's at least 8 feet wide and made of leather.

Moron.
 
#20
The whole ex-VET thing stinks as well - usually youngsters (with issues before and after joining) who served a couple of years and then believe that the good people of the US of A owe them a living. To me, a VET is a soldier who has served 20+ years with distinction and deployed on multiple tours in different theatres.
Good point, a 22 year Lance Jack with multiple tours on the piss as bedding storeman in Lisburn, Bosnia and Cyprus is definitely far more worthy of the respect of being a 'vet' than an 8 year rifleman who's only bothered his arse to do three tours of Helmand.
 

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