Skip to comments.Air Force Chaplain Awarded Bronze Star for PowerPoint Teaching Proper Sensitivity for the Koran
Posted on 03/11/2013 10:30:01 AM PDT by bigtoona
An Air Force chaplain has been awarded a Bronze Star for his service in crafting an especially good PowerPoint about how to treat Islamic religious materials with sensitivity, according to Ohios Dayton Daily News. After U.S. troops in Afghanistan accidentally burned copies of the Koran, sparking riots that took over 30 lives, Lieutenant Colonel Jon Trainer came to the rescue:
After the accidental burning last year of Qurans by U.S. troops in Afghanistan sparked deadly rioting, an Air National Guard chaplain from Springfield stepped in and potentially saved countless American lives.
For his effort, Lt. Col. Jon Trainer received the prestigious Bronze Star a medal given for heroic or meritorious achievement in connection with operations against an armed enemy.
And he did it with a PowerPoint presentation. . . .
Within 48 hours, Trainer developed a PowerPoint presentation on the proper handling and disposal of Islamic religious material that was seen by every American military and civilian alike in Afghanistan. The presentation then was distributed to the U.S. for use in all pre-deployment training.
The piece explains that Trainer also helped teach service members just how wide the breadth of their sensitivity had to be, covering what constitutes Islamic religious material in the first place. When a Muslim writes down even a few verses from the Quran on a piece of paper, he told the paper, that immediately gets that same protected status.
Trainer is a nondenominational Christian minister who has been in the Air Force for 17 years. He is also being recognized for his work running the Armys suicide-prevention program, in which hes trained more than 36,000 service members.
The Bronze Star is the U.S. militarys fifth most prestigious combat award, and can be awarded for acts of merit or valor in a combat zone (if the military deems it an act of heroism, the award is given with a V device).
To put the whole medal thing in perspective, there were 20 Medals of Honor awarded in a one hour battle in South Dakota in 1890. In that battle a Cavalry unit of about 500 soldiers managed to kill about 90 "combatants" and about 200 women and children. Most of the 25 fatal Army casualties were probably the victims of Friendly Fire.
You might clarify your point - what do the atrocities at Wounded Knee have to with this discussion? Are you trying to be insulting or are you just suggesting that medals don’t mean anything?
No, he’s saying that medals are captive to the rules for awarding them in the era in which they are awarded.
A sub-message would be that you know the basis of your own medal, and you should be proud of it regardless what other commanders and other eras have done.
All that said, chainmail, I wish they’d quit awarding bronze stars for service. It makes much more sense to award a service medal at the same level with the bronze star: The Meritorious SERVICE Medal.
They should attach some device to it to show it was for service rendered in or to a hostile mission.
I am pointing out that many medals are given under very questionable circumstances (such as John Kerry's Silver Star) and that medals are often given for political reasons rather than for what actually happened in the field.
There were 20 Medals of Honor that were given for alleged undaunted courage and bravery in literally massacring nearly 200 women and children in an open field. Those medals were purely political and were awarded not for bravery, but to cover up an embarrassing incident. No one was charged for gunning down children in the back, but instead everyone was given a hero's pat on the back.
The political climate at that time was such that people like General Sherman and L Frank Baum (the wizard of oz) were advocating complete extermination of the native Americans as late as the end of the 19th Century. This thread was started as a veiled attempt to undermine the contributions of a Chaplain in the war effort who had been given a bronze star for his efforts. A lot of people complained that only battlefield contributions should be given such a medal. But when it comes down to it, there are a lot of battlefield medals that were either not earned or given for the wrong reasons.
The military hasn't changed too much from what it was 100 years ago. There is still a lot of politics involved in the awarding of medals and commissions. As far as I know the medals awarded for the Wounded Knee Massacre are still on the books. The fact that they were not rescinded implies that the Wounded Knee soldiers were as brave and honorable as the 7 soldiers who received them for their efforts on Omaha Beach.
It's both good and lousy to talk about this stuff but as your comments have illustrated, the only people that will ever know what really was worthwhile are the ones who were there.
. That makes two of us.
Worse than nuts. Unfortunately.
I await a response to Post#88.