Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Combat Action Medal Urged

The VFW passed a resolution urging the SECNAV to create a medal to accompany the Combat Action Ribbon (CAR) noting that the Navy and Marines are now the only service without a combat decoration.

The CAR was authorized for naval personnel by SECNAV John Chafee (who went on to have a mediocre career as a liberal GOP Senator from Rhode Island) back in '69 and made it applicaple back to '61. Clinton retroactively applied it back to 1941. (Amazing how the only thing this guy ever did militarily was drop bombs on Christians in Serbia and yet he gave out decorations to some albeit very deserving people that fought in wars long before his term.)

The Air Farce came up with a gawdawful medal for their shot at airmen that looks like something Hermann Goering would have cooked up:

The Army has an entirely different view of recognizing combat service. The Combat Infantryman Badge, Combat Medical Badge and the new Combat Action Badge are awarded to soldiers that meet the requirements of coming under fire in combat. Additionally, Soldiers wear the unit patch that they served with during wartime on their right shoulder while the left shoulder displays their current unit.

Never having served in "combat" per se, and only having served on "peacetime" "training" missions I can only speculate here but it seems to me:

While there can be a degree of medal "inflation" during conflicts (Supply O-3's getting a meritorious Bronze Star), the amount of personal awards being given out to Marines and Sailors who are under the gun on a daily basis is terrible. Given the numbers of combat incidents in both Iraq and Afghanistan, our naval (and military) forces deserve far more awards for heroism and valor. Sometimes, I think the Bush Administration conspires with the DoD to keep recognitions low in order not to let the folks back home that there is a war on.

Bravo Zulu to the VFW for standing up for our men and women afloat and afield!

Now, if we can just get this Navy Expeditionary Medal for federal veterans preference question settled......

No comments: