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Army becoming stingier with awards?

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Very interesting indeed. I agree to a point that over the years of this conflict that all things being equal, awards are less. However, I think you will find more small unit operations with valorous deeds vice individual deeds as in the past. Warfare has changed as has the execution of it...that does not mean the valor is any less...but I think with technology in the warfughters hands, the bar is raised as to what defines the valor in an act. What constituted an extreme level of valor or extremely valorous deed 60 years ago might be closer to the norm or may appear to be less valorous today considering the technology and skills of soldiers today.

That being said, I do agree that regardless, the BS awards have to stop...and the true hero must be recognized so we can right the ship and bring back the "honor" and distinction of the individual decorations that they have lost over time.

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The Army has been shortchanged. I recommended 3 of my men for Silver Stars out of the 1500 that passed through my ranks. None of them were approved--even though they were sent with a 2-star division commander's recommendation for approval!! One Staff Sergeant earned three Bronze Stars for Valor as a result because of his downgrades. Now how is it he was not given a Silver Star? What did he have to do? Die?

My unit was awarded a Valorous Unit Award for its role in defeating the insurgency in Tikrit and the Capture of Saddam Hussein. Last time I checked, they were'nt handing out VUAs to be hung on unit colors. Now how is it that my unit can be awarded the Silver Star yet none of my soldiers? Pathetic.

Medals are meant to inspire the other soldiers as much as they are to recognize individual deeds. In World War II, commanders carried weight in their recommendations. Now some guy whose ass is shaped like a chair in Baghdad or DC makes the determination. Yet our generals, most of whom have never fought in small unit actions where they had to kill face to face, seem content to award only Purple Hearts. Even those have become unbelievable in terms of difficulty the get through our system. I had to write congressmen and nasty letters to the Army G1's office to get one of my medic's Purple Heart approved, even though he had the medical records that showed where a surgeon picked about 40 pieces of fragmentation out of his head, neck, arm and lower torso. He finally got his award last July. Good thing I pinned it on him anyway in January 2004 when he earned it.

We live in the day of the anti-hero. Everybody should feel good. Everybody is doing their part we say. Yet the killed and wounded continue to come from the very places they always come from. The combat arms guys on the ground. Sure, there are exceptions, but the numbers don't lie.

As you might surmise, this is a sore issue with me. I don't care what the Marines or the Air Force or the Navy awards. That is their business and they seem to understand the value of awards a fair bit bitter than the Army. But why the Army doesn't listen to commanders in the fight is beyond me. Steve

Edited by Steve Russell
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I don't care what the Marines or the Air Force or the Navy awards. That is their business and they seem to understand the value of awards a fair bit bitter than the Army. But why the Army doesn't listen to commanders in the fight is beyond me. Steve

AMEN to that...

Hit it right on the head Steve...I had the same experience back in Desert Storm even...my well deserving Cav Troopers got the same treatment...not sure why the commander in the field is questioned particularly on the battlefield...imagine how many deeds go unrecognized by them...and the soldiers only know they are diong their job and their duty, and they do it simply because it's the right thing to do.

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