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Medal Shortage (An incensed Vietnam Vet blasts the Pentagon)
Newsweek ^ | Feb. 2, 2007 | Dan Ephron

Posted on 02/02/2007 3:47:35 PM PST by DTogo

Circulating somewhere in the Pentagon is a list of dozens of soldiers and Marines who committed acts of supreme valor during the war in Iraq. One serviceman, for example, charged a row of Republican Guards under fire, killing 20 enemy soldiers. At least three others jumped on grenades to save their brothers. Yet relatively few medals have been issued in the 4-year-old war. The Medal of Honor, for instance, the highest citation a soldier or Marine can receive, has been handed out only twice since the war began, both times posthumously. By comparison, the military gave 245 Medals of Honor to combatants in Vietnam and 464 to veterans of World War II. Lesser medals, like the Distinguished Service Cross, have also been hard to come by for Iraq servicemen.

(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bravery; heroes; iraq; medals; soldiers; supportthetroops; veterans
Good article by Newsweek. Our HEROES in uniform, and my Band of Brothers, deserve better!!
1 posted on 02/02/2007 3:47:36 PM PST by DTogo
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To: SandRat; kellynla; river rat

* ping *


2 posted on 02/02/2007 3:54:38 PM PST by DTogo (I haven't left the GOP, the GOP left me.)
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To: DTogo

Bump = Will the Democrats recommend medals? If so, will they be for Soldiers and Marines?


3 posted on 02/02/2007 3:56:22 PM PST by Loud Mime ("She got her looks from her father. He's a plastic surgeon." - Groucho Marx)
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To: Loud Mime

Only to those who "speak out" against the war (and the CiC).


4 posted on 02/02/2007 3:58:48 PM PST by DTogo (I haven't left the GOP, the GOP left me.)
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To: DTogo

What is the holdup. If their Commanders send in the reports and they are eligible for these medals they should be given as soon as possible.


5 posted on 02/02/2007 4:04:46 PM PST by sgtbono2002 (I will forgive Jane Fonda, when the Jews forgive Hitler.)
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To: DTogo

Don't fall for this pap.

This is agitprop from newsweek to sow
discontent. Watch your back's people,
the revolutionary socialist democrat party
is moving to make up the time they have
lost for six years and the socialist
juggernaut is blowing an ill wind...


6 posted on 02/02/2007 4:06:16 PM PST by maxsand
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To: DTogo

when you look at the conduct of the war, the Haditha and Hamandia prosecutions, the rules of engagement, now this nonsense - I'm telling you, there is some cabal of clinton holdovers inside the pentagon and the military hierarchy.


7 posted on 02/02/2007 4:07:32 PM PST by oceanview
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To: sgtbono2002
This Vet makes several good points: we need to honor more of our uniformed heroes, quickly, and like we did in the past.

I often wonder why there is no (July 4th) ticker-tape parade for our heroes in New York City, with the heroes of New York City.

8 posted on 02/02/2007 4:14:38 PM PST by DTogo (I haven't left the GOP, the GOP left me.)
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To: maxsand

I didn't read it that way.


9 posted on 02/02/2007 4:15:21 PM PST by DTogo (I haven't left the GOP, the GOP left me.)
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To: DTogo

I have been told by soldiers coming back that Battalion Commanders and up are refusing to award the deserving...common theme heard; "junior enlisted are not going to receive Silver Stars or Bronze Stars with "V"..."
hey, when my husbands unit returned from the Iraq all the Battalion commanders were awarded Bronze Stars...


10 posted on 02/02/2007 4:18:29 PM PST by SAMS ("I may look harmless, but I raised a U.S. MARINE!" Army Wife & Marine Mom)
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To: DTogo

Any stats for an accurate comparison? If you compared the number of men in combat between World War II and the Iraq war, the numbers don't seem particularly low. Or compare combat fatalities as a measure of risk.

I'll try to pull some real numbers later this evening.

A specific comment on the jumping on grenades. Max Cleland did that. Does he deserve an MoH? He got a Silver Star and a Bronze Star, I'm not sure what he got for the grenade, and what he got for other acts.


11 posted on 02/02/2007 4:50:40 PM PST by PAR35
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To: PAR35
PAR35, A little clarification.. Max Cleland was awarded the Silver Star and Bronze Star for actions in the Khe Shah valley on/near April 4. The incident with the grenade occured on 8 April as he exited a helicopter. The grenade fell off of a troopers web gear and Cleland reached down to pick it up, thinking it was his. It blew up in his face resulting in the loss of 3 limbs. I don't believe he got anything for the grenade incident other than severly injured.
12 posted on 02/02/2007 5:05:08 PM PST by UPcrawfish
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To: DTogo

This ain't Vietnam. It's not the Pusan perimeter. It is not Bastonge or Tarawa. We're occupying a country where there are many terrorists. It is dangerous, and there is some fighting, but most of the dying is not done by remote control. It's tough to justify the Silver Star, Navy Cross or CMOH in this environment. There are PLENTY of Bronze Star w/V-devices being awarded.


13 posted on 02/02/2007 5:17:57 PM PST by MSF BU
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To: SAMS

The CSS units I'm familiar with are handing out Bronze Stars like candy; the V devices typically have to be earned. Also, there is such a thing as an ARCOM with a V device; we should make more use of it.


14 posted on 02/02/2007 5:19:29 PM PST by MSF BU
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To: DTogo

Seriously. "Newsweek"? You trust them?


15 posted on 02/02/2007 5:19:39 PM PST by Psycho_Bunny
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To: MSF BU

Maybe if it was allowed to be fought like WWII, it would be mostly over by now.


16 posted on 02/02/2007 5:21:55 PM PST by DTogo (I haven't left the GOP, the GOP left me.)
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To: DTogo

You are 100% correct. Remember, the French had Vietnam under control when they were letting German soldiers wearing French Foriegn Legion uniforms fight it for them. My worry is that we are feminizing the Army and Marines using this was as a benchmark. This war...my war...doesn't hold a candle to what my older cousins, father and great-...saw in 1915, 1943, 1952, 1967...not even close


17 posted on 02/02/2007 5:41:39 PM PST by MSF BU
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To: PAR35

The grenade with Cleland was one he dropped. It wasn't an enemy grenade if I'm correct.


18 posted on 02/02/2007 7:56:30 PM PST by art_rocks
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To: MSF BU

The problem is precedent. If a soldier earns a MOH for jumping on a grenade to save his buddies in Vietnam, why doesn't a soldier today who does the same thing not get a MOH.

Awards are a big morale issue. I have no doubt you have lower enlisted soldiers who are doing supply runs throughout Iraq. They rotate home and don't get an award, but a staff officer at Battalion and Brigade will get a Bronze Star even though they never left the compound.

We had this issue back in the first Gulf war. Another LT thought my boss deserved his Silver Star for the great job he did. I said my boss is the S3 of the battalion, all those great jobs he did are his duties as the S3. He did his job. He did a great job and it should reflect on his OER but as for the award, I didn't think so.

As for being as bad as Vietnam, I cant answer that. I'm sure we might have a soldier on FR who has been to Vietnam and Iraq.

.


19 posted on 02/02/2007 8:13:16 PM PST by art_rocks
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To: UPcrawfish

Thanks for the clarification. I didn't recall the sequence.


20 posted on 02/02/2007 9:15:23 PM PST by PAR35
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To: DTogo

Here are some numbers (rounded):

World War II

Total military force: 16.3 million
Combat Deaths: 292,000
Deaths/month 6,639

Viet Nam

Total force: 8.7 million
Combat deaths: 47,000
Deaths/month: 526

Based on the numbers, it doesn't look like MoH levels for Iraq are out of line.

Of course, there are always some undeserved medals given.


21 posted on 02/03/2007 12:08:23 PM PST by PAR35
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To: art_rocks

You are correct, every other person leaves with a bronze star and that is making them almost meaningless; they are pretty much the "standard" for PCS. In my opinion, the "V" device, even on an Arcom says much more. Awards for valor are an entirely different things.


22 posted on 02/03/2007 5:18:44 PM PST by MSF BU
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To: DTogo
Army awards statistics for OIF are here and OEF here.

Some months ago Army Times ran a story about this with statisics for the various branches of the service (this week's edition also has some awards stats): the one thing that struck me was that the Navy has awarded about a dozen Navy Crosses while the Army has given out three DSCs (but a lot more Silver Stars). Even taking into account that most of those Navy Crosses go to Marines, there is still a serious disparity there. As for my Cav Squadron, all the leadership got meritorious Bronze Stars (to include platoon leaders, troop commanders, first sergeants and many platoon sergeants) but not a single award for valor that I know of. We spent a year in theater and had five killed. Combat in Iraq is different than previous wars, but you can't tell me that some of our soldiers didn't distinguish themselves.

23 posted on 02/03/2007 6:01:27 PM PST by 91B (God made man, Sam Colt made men equal)
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To: PAR35

You didn't list how many MOH per war. I can't tell if its out of line.


24 posted on 02/03/2007 7:32:20 PM PST by art_rocks
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To: art_rocks
You didn't list how many MOH per war. I can't tell if its out of line.

Sorry, from the Newsweek story excerpted at the start of the thread, WWII - 464, VietNam - 245 Iraq, so far, 2.

25 posted on 02/03/2007 7:40:41 PM PST by PAR35
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To: SAMS
Good evening.
"hey, when my husbands unit returned from the Iraq all the Battalion commanders were awarded Bronze Stars..."

Were they valor awards or meritorious service awards?

Michael Frazier
26 posted on 02/03/2007 7:51:13 PM PST by brazzaville (no surrender no retreat, well, maybe retreat's ok)
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To: DTogo

The best recognition we can offer our warrior heroes, is to respect and SUPPORT the effort in which they have invested their lives..

If the Congress and the people can not stand with our warriors and give them the mission, moral support, ROEs and material support required to WIN THE WAR --- then we should pull them back home and let the enemy come to us...

At least when we're fighting on our own soil - which most leftists seem to prefer -- we will have the opportunity to kill off a lot of the leftist, cowardly sonsuvbitches and other "enemies within"....

Arm thy self neighbor --- it's coming soon.

Semper Fi


27 posted on 02/04/2007 12:47:47 AM PST by river rat (You may turn the other cheek, but I prefer to look into my enemy's vacant dead eyes.)
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