Yank pilot Is Given DFC For Saving Lives in Afghanistan, but Denied Citation Paperwork

So I was reading “Stars and Stripes” Heroes insert to the July 4th issue and I came across CPT Brian Jordan, USMC, and his story of derring-do. He is a helicopter pilot who was awarded the UK’s Distinguished Flying Cross (and quite rightly too) for evacuating two British guardsmen who had been injured by IEDs in a scrap in Helmand Province in Asscrackistan in 2012. Well done that man I thought. He wasn’t the official medevac chopper; his mission had been to lay down suppressive fire while the guardsmen were advancing. When he saw the men go down though he acted in a moment to carry them back to safety as he knew the official medevac chopper would take at a minimum 30 minutes to reach the location.

From the article:

“Both of the British soldiers survived. For his bravery and lifesaving efforts, Jordan was presented with Britain’s Distinguished Flying Cross on February 12, 2014, by UK Ambassador Sir Peter Wesxtmacott at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Unfortunately, Jordan may not get to wear his British DFC again because Marine Corps regulations prohibit the wearing of foreign medals except under rare circumstances. In another strange bureaucratic twist, he wasn’t given a copy of his award citation after it was read to him.

It is British Government policy that copies of such citations aren’t made available to medal recipients until 30 years later, British officials told Jordan at the ceremony. They didn’t explain to him the rationale behind the policy.

“I wasn’t going to ask any questions. I was just honestly completely humbled to be there,” he said.


Well I would have said something if I had been there. It’s customary in the US Army that the recipient of a medal always is given a copy of the citation; often it is the original printed up on a nice bit of parchment paper and slid into a green presentation folder. Tis only right. How is it that this brave man who saved two British guardsmen was fobbed off with the excuse that “we don’t do that, Old boy. You’ll have to wait for 30 years to get your copy. Official Secrets act and all that don’t ye know?”

Comments anyone?
 

DaManBugs

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What a fückin disgrace! He risks his life to save a couple of Woodentops and then gets no citation? What an insult. And what's with the 30-year rule? Anyone know why?

Mind you, knowing the traditional disdain of the FO for "colonials", I'm surprised that they had a presentation ceremony and didn't just nonchalanty skim it across the mess to him while he was having his din-dins. "Oi, mush, cop this!"

MsG
 
If he's USMC then what does it matter what customs the US Army has?
He was awarded the medal, he knows what he did to get it. Does he need more?
 
If he's USMC then what does it matter what customs the US Army has?
He was awarded the medal, he knows what he did to get it. Does he need more?
JJH would be the best man to answer this question as he has been in his share of medal ceremonies I'm sure, but here's something to consider.

I worked for the US Navy as a civil servant for 10 years after I took off my Army uniform and I attended a fair few medal ceremonies during that time and in each one they were passing out citation folders with the medal sets as appropriate; the only difference was the folders were blue and not green.Last I heard, the Marine Corps was a part of the Navy so I'm guessing that they just follow Navy practise as far as citation certificates are concerned.
 

DaManBugs

On ROPS
On ROPs
Book Reviewer
I still can't see the point of retaining the citation (apparently only for UK gongs) for 30 years. Does that also apply to bravery gongs awarded to members of the British Army?

MsG
 
Yes. It's apparently British government policy. Stop whining.

He knows what he did to get it, as do his mates and the guardsmen involved. Why does he need a piece of paper?
In US forces when you are awarded a decoration besides the medal and fancy citation certificate you get written orders to go into your official records, the orders would have a reference number say "Orders Number 107-23" as an example.

Without written orders to back an award it would not be able to be recognized and the individual could be charged under the UCMJ for wearing an unauthorized award. Under USA & USMC regulation unless approved he would have to surrender the award for disposal by Defence Department as DOD sees fit..
 
If he's USMC then what does it matter what customs the US Army has?
He was awarded the medal, he knows what he did to get it. Does he need more?
Actually pretty much the same 'custom', neé regulation, for the US Marines.

For those of us with unauthorized, or partially authorized (accept but not wear) foreign medals it is still acceptable to wear said medals and accoutrements when at a related function with the nation presenting the award. So his CO, or higher ranking buddy, is probably OK even if he is lacking a proper citation as well.
 
In US forces when you are awarded a decoration besides the medal and fancy citation certificate you get written orders to go into your official records, the orders would have a reference number say "Orders Number 107-23" as an example.

Without written orders to back an award it would not be able to be recognized and the individual could be charged under the UCMJ for wearing an unauthorized award. Under USA & USMC regulation unless approved he would have to surrender the award for disposal by Defence Department as DOD sees fit..
If that were going to be the case, why would the USMC permit Capt Jordan or Maj Chesarek to attend the Embassy/Palace to receive the medal in the first place? In both cases, the marines were flying Brit helos under Brit command on exchange.

If the reverse had happened, and WO1 Jones AAC was flying a UH60 of the US Army, picking up SPC Smith and SPC Martinez under fire, despite it not being his mission, and was awarded the Silver Star for such gallantry, I think it highly unlikely that WO1 Jones would be prevented from going to Grosvenor Square to pick up his gong.

IIRC, there was a picture of Maj Chesarek receiving his DFC at the Palace, wearing the ribbon in pole position. That would be incorrect, but later pictures (e.g. the one above) show him wearing it below his US decorations. i.e. appropriately.
 
In US forces when you are awarded a decoration besides the medal and fancy citation certificate you get written orders to go into your official records, the orders would have a reference number say "Orders Number 107-23" as an example.

Without written orders to back an award it would not be able to be recognized and the individual could be charged under the UCMJ for wearing an unauthorized award. Under USA & USMC regulation unless approved he would have to surrender the award for disposal by Defence Department as DOD sees fit..
Yes. Sort of.

Some foreign awards do indeed have to be surrendered and can never be worn.

South Korea has some of my favorite examples...

The ROK Service Medal was created and awarded to a bunch of US troops back in '74. Because it was not awarded to ROK troops as well, it's acceptance and wear are prohibited on the uniform.

The ROKA Ranger Badge bears a slight resemblance to the US Army Combat Infantry Badge (2nd Award), the ROKMC Ranger Badge is similar with a red background and EGA in place of the star. It waivers between 'accept, but not wear' and 'authorized when awarded with certain citations', but never seemed to remain authorized long enough for some of us to get Orders cut for permanent wear.
 
I still can't see the point of retaining the citation (apparently only for UK gongs) for 30 years. Does that also apply to bravery gongs awarded to members of the British Army?

MsG
I'm guessing that someone may have got a bit confused and brought in a completely unrelated policy.
That of NI citations and details not being promulgated at the time of the award, for security reasons.

Good to see you back, Bugsy
 
Are they? The awards are published in the supplements but I have never seen the actual citations. Where do you find them?
 
If that were going to be the case, why would the USMC permit Capt Jordan or Maj Chesarek to attend the Embassy/Palace to receive the medal in the first place? In both cases, the marines were flying Brit helos under Brit command on exchange.

If the reverse had happened, and WO1 Jones AAC was flying a UH60 of the US Army, picking up SPC Smith and SPC Martinez under fire, despite it not being his mission, and was awarded the Silver Star for such gallantry, I think it highly unlikely that WO1 Jones would be prevented from going to Grosvenor Square to pick up his gong.

IIRC, there was a picture of Maj Chesarek receiving his DFC at the Palace, wearing the ribbon in pole position. That would be incorrect, but later pictures (e.g. the one above) show him wearing it below his US decorations. i.e. appropriately.
A bootneck CSgt was awarded the CGC during a TELIC instead of the Silver Star/Navy Cross in pretty much similar (but reversed) circumstances:


"Colour Sgt Tomlinson was commanding a US Marine Corps assault force on the Euphrates River near Fallujah in November 2004 when they came under fire from a numerically superior and well defended enemy position.His decision to turn his lead craft towards the attack created an element of suprise,which unhinged the enemy.He was the on the river bank and he engaged in close quarter battle,enabling his men to encircle the enemy.

When it became clear the insurgents were reinforcing themselves,Colour Sgt Tomlinson called for fire support on the enemy rocket propelled grenade position and he planned and led a decisive assault on the key enemy position.On realising his force was running low on ammunition,Colour Tomlinson executed a safe withdrawal to the river bank where he personally provided cover to ensure his men boarded the boats.He also marked his position so that air support could counter strike the enemy.

The Citation reads..."Colour Sergeant Tomlinson's sure aggresive and decsive actions throughout saved the lives of many in his US Marine Corps patrol.He displayed courage,determination,and remarkable presence of mind throughout and his actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Royal Marines.

Colour Sgt Tomlinson Joined the Royal Marines in June 1989 and trained as a landing craft specialist.The majority of his career to date has been spent as a small boat coxswain with operational tours i Northern Ireland,Zaire,the Congo,Sierra Leone,Hong Kong.He also served in Afghanistan on the operation against the Taliban.

From 2003 to 2005 Colour Sergeant Tomlinson served on exchange with the United States Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune,North Carolina.During this time he deployed to Iraq with the USMC to carry out operations on the Euphrates River around Fallujha."
 
If that were going to be the case, why would the USMC permit Capt Jordan or Maj Chesarek to attend the Embassy/Palace to receive the medal in the first place? In both cases, the marines were flying Brit helos under Brit command on exchange.

If the reverse had happened, and WO1 Jones AAC was flying a UH60 of the US Army, picking up SPC Smith and SPC Martinez under fire, despite it not being his mission, and was awarded the Silver Star for such gallantry, I think it highly unlikely that WO1 Jones would be prevented from going to Grosvenor Square to pick up his gong.

IIRC, there was a picture of Maj Chesarek receiving his DFC at the Palace, wearing the ribbon in pole position. That would be incorrect, but later pictures (e.g. the one above) show him wearing it below his US decorations. i.e. appropriately.
Bizarrely US regs first try to encourage a service member to refuse to attend such a ceremony and to decline foreign awards, but even If allowed to attend the regs say him accepting the award isn't really official acceptance if you can believe that doublespeak.

b. Law. Section 7342 of title 5, USC (5 USC 7342) provides for employees of the U.S. Government, including
members of the Armed Forces of the United States, to accept gifts or decorations from a foreign government under certain conditions. No employee of the Department of Defense, however, may accept, request, or otherwise encourage the offer of a decoration from a foreign government. When possible, employees will refuse to accept such decorations.
Subject to restriction, an individual may participate in a ceremony and receive the tender of a foreign decoration. The receipt of the decoration will not constitute acceptance of the award by the recipient.
 
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