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    Interesting medal group....


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    The Desert Storm POW/MIA is Michael Scott Speicher. He was a Lieutenant Commander when he was shot down, but has subsequently been promoted to Captain. He was a naval aviator with Strike Fighter Squadron Eight One (VFA-81), flying off the USS Saratoga. He is still listed as a POW, although what happened to him remains unknown.

    During the major ground operations phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom, eight American soldiers were taken prisoner by Iraqi forces - six from the ambushed convoy of the 507th Maintenance Company and two from a crashed AH-64 Apache. One of the eight, Pfc. Jessica Lynch, was rescued by special operations forces on April 2, 2003. The other seven were rescued by U.S. Marines on April 13, 2003, who were tipped by Iraqi civilians to their whereabouts after their captors abandoned them as U.S. forces approached Tikrit.

    The current OIF MIA was captured during the insurgency phase, on April 9, 2004. He was PFC Keith M. Maupin (subsequently promoted to sergeant), of the 724th Transportation Company, U.S. Army Reserve. http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/04/17/missing.s...oted/index.html

    :angry::angry::angry::angry::angry: Horrendous!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Just out of interest when is it likely that any awards might be published?

    QUOTE: "The unit only deployed in August 2005, arriving in Iraq in early September, so it is a bit early for most awards, which take time to process. They have had two soldiers killed in action and at least one wounded in action.

    By the way, it is not "2nd Battalion of the 127th National Guard"; it is 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry, Wisconsin Army National Guard, or 2-172 IN in the Army's shorthand. It is an element of the 32nd Infantry Brigade (Separate) (Light), descendant of the 32nd Infantry Division. Here is a link with better images and a description of the 127th Infantry's distinctive unit insignia: http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/Inf/127I...iment.htm"

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    The link is to the Army Institute of Heraldry; you can also find the distinctive unit insignia for every other current unit there, as well as any other official insignia such as medals, qualification badges and rank insignia. Here is the main page: http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/

    When awards are made is complex and convoluted. Certain awards are pretty much immediate, like the Purple Heart. Others require an approval process. The lower the award, the lower the approving authority necessary (battalion commanders can approve Army Achievement Medals on their own authority, for example). Also, during wartime, approval authority normally required at HQ Department of the Army level is often devolved to field commanders.

    For example, this MILPER message addresses delegation of wartime awards approval authority to the Commanding General, Multi-National Force ? Iraq (MNF-I) and his further authority to delegate awards approval authority to his subordinate commanders:


    For service medals as opposed to decorations, generally, as soon as you meet the qualifications (minimum time in theater, for example), the award is automatic and no official orders are required. The medal is added to your personnel record by the unit personnel clerks, and you can add it to your ribbon bar immediately. Sometimes units like to have official ceremonies, often when returning from a deployment, when the medal is handed out, but technically the soldier is already qualified.

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    As a practical matter, the time it takes for an award to be recommended, processed and conferred varies.

    Here are some examples:

    Neil Prakash, a 1LT with 2-63 AR (2nd Battalion, 63rd Armor), received a Silver Star Medal at a ceremony on January 14, 2005. The action for which he was honored took place on June 24, 2004, so about seven months. Article here. Here is 1LT Prakash:

    On May 26, 2005, two of Prakash's NCOs, Staff Sergeant Terry and Sergeant Pritsolas, received Bronze Star Medals for their actions in Fallujah in November 2004, when Marines and Army troops retook the city.

    SGT Pritsolas receiving BSM

    SSG Terry receiving BSM

    1LT Prakash and SGT Pritsolas, before Pritsolas received his BSM

    Note that at the awards ceremony, SSG Terry and SGT Pritsolas are wearing woodland BDUs. Their unit returned to Germany at the end of February 2005.

    SSG Terry had previously received a Bronze Star Medal with "V" for valor for the June 24, 2004 operation where 1LT Prakash earned the Silver Star Medal. He received the BSM w/"V" at the end of December 2004. It's possible the award was approved earlier, but the awards ceremony delayed because his unit was in combat in November-December 2004.

    SSG Terry receiving BSM w/"V"

    Here is Prakash's description of the awards and the bureaucracy that sometimes intervenes:

    Today on 26 May 2005, we held a battalion formation in the motor pool and SSG Terry and SGT Pritsolas received well-deserved Bronze Stars for their actions in Fallujah. You're reading about it here first so I don't need to elaborate. But I do want to say that I am extremely proud of them. This wouldn't have been possible without Chris Boggiano's help. I had these awards kicked back 4 times by 2-2 IN BN. And 4 times I had to re-write them. TF2-2, even though they loved the 2-63 AR tankers in the heat of the battle, the same old grunt-tanker rivalry resurfaced when it was all over. And the powers that be in TF2-2 just didn't think anything a tanker did is worth a damn in terms of awards. That's because they know nothing of our work and bringing tanks into the narrow streets of Fallujah and standing ball defilade to get your bearins. Thank God we are in a tank BRIGADE. With Boggiano's help, these 2 awards were submitted directly to Brigade through the BRT (which is a brigade asset) and we skipped 2-2IN BN. It's not easy for junior NCO tankers to get much higher than an ARCOM but SGT P is as good as they get in the ranks of junior NCOs, bar none

    SSG Terry, of course. Need I say more? That crazy SOB kicked a damn anti-tank mine.

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    Cheers Dave, I always find your posts very interesting, thank you.

    I think that the Bronze Star, is my most favourite US Medal, because it is awarded for such a diverse spectrum of things from pure crazy valor to being a good egg.

    Going back to the 127th, I hope some of their guys pick up a few gongs, as they had a tough job to do. I had the utmost respect for them, and the task they preformed out there in Iraq. :beer:

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    RE: The above Bronze Star

    Cullen U Gulko

    General Gulko entered the army as an enlisted man in November 1941 and served in that capacity until he was commissioned as a second lieu ant, Transportation Corps, from OCS in June 1943. His assignments included Troop Movement Officer, Admin Officer, Executive Officer, Superintendent, Water Div, and Deputy Base Port Guinea and Yokohama: and Superintendent Water Div, Otaru, Japan. He was released from active duty in Feb 1946.

    In the US Army Reserve Component Status, Gen Gulko served as an enlisted man in the Army National Guard from August 1933 to June 1936. In March 1946 he joined the Army Reserve and has served as Superintendent Water Div, Cargo Ops Officer and Director Port Ops of the 368th Major Port: Supt Water Div, Assistant Chief of Staff, G3, and Chief of Staff 368th Transportation Terminal Command: Transportation Officer, Director of Supply and Maintenance, acting Commander, 311th Log Com ?. He entered his present assignment in Jan 1968 and was promoted to Brig Gen effective 26th Sept 1969.

    Military Education, Transportation School OCS 1943 Amphibious Trg 1951,58: Command Officer Course 1954, Officers Advanced Course 1957: Command and General Staff College 1962, refresher 1963-69, Industrial College of Armed Forces 1963, Nuclear Weapons Employment Orientation 1963,64 and refresher 65,67,69, Army Logs Man Course 1967, Logs Cert 1970, Army War College Nonresident Course 1972.

    Military Decorations, Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation: Philippine Distinguished Unit Citation.

    Cullen U. Gulko


    No funeral services will be held for 17-year Bishop resident Cullen U. Gulko. Interment will be at the Home of Peace Memorial Park and Mausoleum in Los Angeles.

    Born in San Pedro May 2, 1916, Cullen died at the Bishop Care Centre in Bishop on Oct. 17, 2005. He was 89.

    Cullen retired from the Army Reserves as a Brigadier General.

    He is survived by his wife, Madalyn Gulko of Bishop; sister, Rita Syman of San Rafael; niece, Judy Halpern; and nephews, Gary Syman, Ken Gulko, Steven Gulko and Arlan Gulko.

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    Here is news release of one of the people I was overseas with... I will try to find a photo to post

    For Immediate Release

    Office of the Press Secretary

    August 6, 2003

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge honored Lt. Christopher Barrows at a ceremony today for his actions during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    "Lt. Barrows and his crew carried the fight away from America's shores, and, in the best traditions of the Coast Guard, they denied the enemy any opportunity to harm our nation," said Secretary Ridge.

    Barrows earned the award while serving as the Commanding Officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Wrangell, a 110-foot patrol boat normally stationed in Portland, Maine. Wrangell represented the first line of dense for Coalition Naval Forces providing protection for mine hunters in the waters of Iraq.

    In addition, Barrows, who graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1993, earned the award for his "impressive tactical skill and unparalleled leadership" during escorts of humanitarian aid shipments to Umm Qasr that ensured the expeditious flow of food and medicine to the people of Iraq.

    Wrangell was one of eight Coast Guard patrol boats deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom. In addition to conducting coastal security patrols and boardings to prevent the movement of Iraqi military forces or equipment, Coast Guard forces provided security to Iraqi oil terminals; ports in Bahrain, Kuwait and Iraq; and humanitarian aid shipments. Approximately 1250 Coast Guard personnel were deployed at the height of operations; about 350 remain, including a new crew for Wrangell and three other patrol boats that continue to provide security in Iraq's waters.

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    Here is another Bronze Star with "V" awardee that went to a Coast Guardsman I was over there with.

    Nathan Bruckental

    On April 25, 2004, Damage Controlman Third Class Nathan Bruckenthal, USCG, from Smithtown, New York, and two U. S. Navy sailors were killed in the line of duty while conducting maritime intercept operations in the North Arabian Gulf. He and six other coalition sailors attempted to board a small boat near the Iraqi Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal. As they boarded the boat it exploded. Petty Officer Bruckenthal died later from injuries sustained in the explosion. Petty Officer Bruckenthal was the first Coast Guardsman killed in action since the Vietnam War. He was assigned to Tactical Law Enforcement South in Miami, Florida and deployed with Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia aboard the USS Firebolt. This was his second deployment to the Arabian Gulf for Operation Iraqi Freedom.


    Here is the service magazine that has a lot of info and pics.


    He was a great guy!

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    Another interesting Bronze Star Medal.........

    If it is a legit set, the only thing I can think of is it belonged to a Junior Saudi Officer working directly with the US... Maybe a liason officer during Desert Shield/Storm? How is it being offered?

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    If it is a legit set, the only thing I can think of is it belonged to a Junior Saudi Officer working directly with the US... Maybe a liason officer during Desert Shield/Storm? How is it being offered?

    But a Saudi Arabian would surely not have worn a foreign (US) award first. My guess is this is either a pure (inpure?) fantasy or a miniature pair someone had made up to wear whenever he wore them, leaving out all but the "pretty two".

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    But a Saudi Arabian would surely not have worn a foreign (US) award first. My guess is this is either a pure (inpure?) fantasy or a miniature pair someone had made up to wear whenever he wore them, leaving out all but the "pretty two".

    I think your guess is probably right, but there are some countries where precedence is odd, such that native decorations precede foreign decorations and native service medals precede foreign service medals, but occasionally a foreign decoration might precede a native service medal. That said, I can't tell conclusively, but the full-sized KLM looks to be on a crimp brooch. Aren't Saudi-issued medals normally on French-style prongs? That would make this a U.S.-produced one, not Saudi.

    An alternative interpretation is that it is the bottom row of, say, a French officer's rack, with his US and Saudi awards.

    Of course, for odd precedence, there's always this guy. If anyone knows who he is, speak up. The Air Force doesn't even know (he's classed as "unidentified" on the AFHRA website).

    Edited by Dave Danner
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    As of 30 November 2005, the Army has awarded ....

    As of April 28, 2005, ... the Marine Corps had awarded ....

    Updated numbers:

    U.S. Army, as of December 31, 2005:

    Operation Iraqi Freedom:

    Medal of Honor - 1

    Distinguished Service Cross - 2

    Silver Star Medal - 192

    Legion of Merit - 21

    Distinguished Flying Cross - 37

    Soldier's Medal - 73

    Bronze Star Medal with "V" - 1,026

    Bronze Star Medal for service/achievement - 36,608

    Air Medal with "V" - 384

    Air Medal for service/achievement - 8,212

    Army Commendation Medal with "V" - 2,773

    Army Commendation Medal for service/achievement - 101,172

    Combat Infantryman Badge - 22,408

    Combat Medical Badge - 6,416

    Combat Action Badge - 14,352

    Operation Enduring Freedom:

    Medal of Honor - 0

    Distinguished Service Cross - 1

    Silver Star Medal - 39

    Legion of Merit - 3

    Distinguished Flying Cross - 54

    Soldier's Medal - 16

    Bronze Star Medal with "V" - 508

    Bronze Star Medal for service/achievement - 8,915

    Air Medal with "V" - 253

    Air Medal for service/achievement - 2,499

    Army Commendation Medal with "V" - 357

    Army Commendation Medal for service/achievement - 16,151

    Combat Infantryman Badge - 9,369

    Combat Medical Badge - 912

    Combat Action Badge - 1,717

    U.S. Marine Corps, as of December 18, 2005:

    Operation Iraqi Freedom:

    Medal Of Honor - 0

    Navy Cross - 8

    Silver Star Medal - 35

    Legion Of Merit with "V" - 23

    Legion Of Merit - 7

    Distinguished Flying Cross with "V" - 14

    Distinguished Flying Cross - 3

    Bronze Star Medal with "V" - 617

    Bronze Star Medal for service/achievement - 1126

    Air Medal with "V" - 411

    Air Medal for individual action - 157

    Air Medal Strike/Flight - 2288

    Navy And Marine Corps Commendation Medal with "V" - 2877

    Navy And Marine Corps Achievement Medal with "V" - 4901

    Operation Enduring Freedom:

    Medal Of Honor - 0

    Navy Cross ? 0 (note, this is now 1)

    Silver Star Medal - 1

    Legion Of Merit with "V" - 0

    Legion Of Merit - 2

    Distinguished Flying Cross with "V" - 0

    Distinguished Flying Cross - 0

    Bronze Star Medal with "V" - 25

    Bronze Star Medal for service/achievement - 46

    Air Medal with "V" - 75

    Air Medal for individual action - 4

    Air Medal Strike/Flight - 503

    Navy And Marine Corps Commendation Medal with "V" - 33

    Navy And Marine Corps Achievement Medal with "V" - 63

    Combat Action Ribbon - 5084

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    By the way, I took a little time yesterday to see how many of the recipients of higher awards I could ID, whihc was an interesting insight also into how well (or badly) their acts have been publicized.

    I already knew SFC Smith, the MOH recipient, and all the Navy Cross and DSC recipients.

    For Army Silver Star recipients, I have been able to identify 35 OEF ones but only 80 OIF ones. Also, a few I identified received theirs after January 1, 2006, so they are not included in the totals above. I also have two names for which I don't know whether they are OIF or OEF recipients - Sergeant 1st Class Colin Boley of 3rd Ranger Battalion and Sergeant Brian Wilson of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

    For Afghanistan, at least, the interesting thing is how many special operators are represented. While this is an SOF-heavy conflict, there are also lots of conventional forces there as well, and special operators are traditionally given fewer awards than conventional troops. But of the 35 I know of, 15 were awarded to Special Forces soldiers and 11 to Army Rangers. Of the other nine, 5 were to paratroopers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, and four were to soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division. The other was to an aviator of the 12th Aviation Brigade.

    For Iraq, I have a much smaller sample, so it is hard to draw conclusions. Most awards have been to infantrymen and combat medics, or soldiers in other branches serving in an infantry role. There have also been a number to armor/cavalry soldiers. Of the 80, 11 were to Special Forces soldiers. I only have names for two Rangers, but that's because the 75th Ranger Regiment hasn't released the names of several others.

    One officer, 1st Lt. Karl E. Gregory, managed to earn a Silver Star, a Soldier's Medal, a Bronze Star with "V" and an Army Commendation Medal with "V" - four separate valor awards, during his tour in Iraq with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, part of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division (the "Big Red One"). Combined with another Bronze Star for merit and a Purple Heart for wounds he received, and he's possibly the most decorated OIF veteran out there now.

    Edited by Dave Danner
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    One officer, 1st Lt. Karl E. Gregory, managed to earn a Silver Star, a Soldier's Medal, a Bronze Star with "V" and an Army Commendation Medal with "V" - four separate valor awards, during his tour in Iraq with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, part of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division (the "Big Red One"). Combined with another Bronze Star for merit and a Purple Heart for wounds he received, and he's possibly the most decorated OIF veteran out there now.

    Any more info on this guy!!!!!!! :jumping:

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    With regards, to the Bronze Star and Saudi Medal, I just liked the look of it. As you say I think its a made up group, but the ribbons look old. Did the Saudi`s get the Kuwait Medal too? I must say I like the idea of the French bottom row. I intend to look into this as there surely can`t have been that many Bronze stars without V, issued to the Saudi`s or the French?

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    I would suggest Googling 1LT Gregory's name; there are a fair number of articles on Army websites and blogs about him.

    On foreign awards of the Bronze Star Medal, I'm not sure if there are any comprehensive publicly available statistics, though a FOIA request to the offices in the Pentagon and State Department which approve such nominations might bear fruit. There certainly have been a number of French and Saudi recipients of the BSM.

    One country I know a little about is Australia. According to Brigadier Mike Hannan, prior to the beginning of OEF, 116 Australians had received permission to wear the Bronze Star Medal. He did not indicate whether this was all Bronze Star Medals or just meritorious ones (he was speaking in the context of Lt. Col. Tink's award, described below), but I think he meant just meritorious ones. I think this because the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia states that 69 Bronze Star Medals with "V" for valor and 83 Bronze Star Medals for merit were received by Australians in Vietnam alone (30 Australians received Silver Star Medals and one, WOII Keith Payne VC, also received the Distinguished Service Cross).

    In July 2002, Lt. Col. Rowan Tink, an SASR officer commanding the Australian Special Forces Task Group, became the 117th. Story and photo here (he doesn't look too happy in that photo, possibly because its existence is evidence that his career as an SAS operator is over). Five other SASR soldiers received U.S. Army Commendation Medals, but their names were not released.

    No. 118 was Maj. Steve Jobson, a helicopter pilot who had completed a tour as an exchange officer with the 82nd Airborne who also served in Afghanistan. Defence release here.

    There have been quite a few since, but I don't have a full list. OIF recipients include:

    As you can see, most of these are field grade officers. Foreign recipients of U.S. decorations are often exchange officers or staff officers on multinational task forces (in peacetime, they often get the noncmbat version of the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal).

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