View Full Version : Too Many Medals Issued!

11-17-02, 09:35 AM
Article from Stars and Stripes--too long to post here....

11-17-02, 10:45 AM
I'd be interested in seeing some feedback on this after the article was read.

Personally, I feel we can do without the ones you get out of crackerjack boxes. The Bronze Star for Officers is the equivalent of an enlisted man's Good Conduct ribbon.

The stars on a Good Conduct ribbon are the equivalent of hashmarks an the dress uniform. You can tell at a glance how much time the guy has in. The ribbon and the hash marks are superflous. If he has the rank, he has the time in and the conduct.

In my book, attending a 30 day course, or entering a cooking competition does not rate a medal. Nor does an overseas tour, recruiting, D.I. or Embassy Duty.

I agree with the quiote,

"A lot of people are receiving recognition for just doing their damn job. Whereas awards should be presented to people who are truly deserving and have gone above and beyond, not just been there."

It helps to see Campaign Ribbons with stars, and meaningful personal awards, Purple Heart, and any award with a Combat V.

The rest of the vegetable bin is just for doing your job or passing through. Although they do impress the ladies.

And if I am so outstanding in doing the day to day job I was hired to do, don't give me a ribbon or a Certificate, promote me and/or give me a pay raise.

Semper Fi

11-17-02, 10:55 AM
articles like this written the last couple years, but I can never seem to find them when I'm looking for them--usually can find just about anything on Google, though.

I have this one piggybacked onto the thread about Hackworth, Boorda, Medals, etc. over on my boards for future reference.

Yeah, the responses to this one should be interesting.


11-17-02, 11:49 AM
The "Firewatch" ribbon seems to have taken on a life of it's own and picked up some colorful momentum, hasn't it ?

11-17-02, 01:14 PM
Interesting read and no arguments from this Marine!

it reminds me of some lyrics to a song I hear ... COUNTRY JOE AND THE FISH?

" ... I have a medal I won in the war ... it weights 500 pounds and sits by the front door"

I claim no heroic Marine Corps adventure but I did go overseas and accumulated a mere 6 colorful ribbons. I know the names and how they were earned! I had friends in the AF and Army who saw service in the States, Germany and Thailand and their chests were clusterred with rows upon rows of cabbage. When I asked about these ribbons most didn't know what they were and what special circumstances they were awarded for, always thought that a bit strange!

What irrates me the most is going into antique stores and seeing them for sale ... purple hearts ... silver stars .... distinquished flying cross .... for the right price anybody can be a hero! I like the British approach where the receipents name are etched right into the leading edge of the medal.

11-17-02, 08:43 PM

11-17-02, 08:59 PM
I'm still chuckling ...

The 1st Ensign "Don't Thread On Me" on your webpage ... well if you would have driving by my 30 ft flag pole on our 227 th b'day you would have seen that flag flying over the EGA. You bet your ase ...


11-17-02, 10:48 PM
Ribbons and Medals only reflect what in your SRB.
But its the citeria of those awards that at stake.
That's why, I was so upset on those 3 Amigo's in Kosovo getting all those medals.
Especially the Purple Heart medal.
Now with all these deaths in this war on terrorism.
The Purple Heart medal has lost it's meaning.
Initially the Purple Heart medal was for bravery.
Then it was changed as an award for being wounded.
But some might qualify, if they're injured while underfired.
Even if its a self-inflicted wound.
My Company Commander in Vietnam, told us that he would issue no medals for doing your job.
That's the way it should be.
The awards only mean something to the person who earned those awards.
Yet some were injured in performance of their duty, but it was before a war.
Case in point, Sgt. George H Morrow USMC was wounded in chest.
While on patrol in Laos in 1964 and had to be medvac out.
He never was awarded a Purple Heart, which he really did rate.
He never push the issue, but he was worthy of that award.
Valor and Honor go hand in hand.

Semper Fidelis

11-18-02, 02:11 PM
Twenty-eight years in the Corps and as you can see, I haven't been affected by the "too many medals" syndrome!:confused:

11-18-02, 03:28 PM
This was posted as a thread in part, a few months ago, but this present forum seems more appropriate.

So what do all these awards add up to?

Simply put, I saw a ton of action during a period in time when most of the written history suggests that times in Vietnam were relatively quiet with the exception of Op Starlite in August 65.

Lets start at the top and work down.

The Bronze Star with V device indicates that on at least one occasion while under fire, I was the only one in my unit that knew I was sacred SH!TLESS.

The Purple Hearts indicate that I was wounded in action on at least 3 occasions. One of those stars was self-inflicted, however it was officially awarded. You can read that story on my web site if yer interested.

The Combat Action Ribbon shows that I have clearly been shot at and returned enemy fire on at least two occasions, but after reading the criteria, I believe that I deserve at least 5 more stars.

The PUC indicates that President Johnson was pleased with my service in Nam and that we didnít kill any civilians.

The Navy Unit Commendation and Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation awards show that the Navy appreciated my service in Nam and that we didnít kill any civilians.

The Marine Expeditionary Ribbon was awarded because I arrived in Vietnam before July 5th 1965. The Marine Expeditionary Ribbon was replaced with the Vietnam Service medal on July 5th 65. I actually arrived in Nam on July 3rd, so this is actually a two-day award that Iíll be happy to trade for one more Star on my VNS medal.

The Marine Security Guard and the National Defense Ribbons are two that are very skeptical.

The Marine Security Guard ribbon is issued to Marines with one year of Marine Security Guard Duty without a write up. Fortunately I didnít get my 1st write up until my 13th month.

The National Defense Ribbon was issued to all branches of service upon successful completion of Recruit Training, but it was really only issued so you would have something to hold up your shooting badge.

The Vietnam Service Ribbon speaks for itself and was well earned by all who posses it.

The three South Vietnamese medals show that the S. Vietnam government was real happy that I didnít kill any civilians, or at least not any that didnít need killing.

The republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal may be redundant but the actual Medal looks real cool on the Dress Blues.

All these medals in only 4 years of service. Hell, Iím a little guy; if I had stayed for 20+ I would have needed another chest to display all my ribbons.

Iím with you Top - too many awards for just doing your job devalues the ones really earned.

As Lt General Lew Walt so eloquently stated when he pinned on my Bronze Star in early 1966,

ďCongratulations Marine, Job Well Done. But donít let this award go to your head, this Medal may get you a free beer at your local Gin Mill but a cup of coffee is still a Nickel. Weíve got a lot of hard work left to do here, so keep your head down MarineĒ

Semper Fi

11-18-02, 06:07 PM
I think the Corps of all services has been the best at holding down all those ribbons and medals.A Marine gets paid every two weeks for doing his job.