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thedrifter
12-05-06, 09:32 PM
December 05, 2006
Congress to examine war medals criteria

By Rick Maze
Staff writer

Two Marine Corps veterans who have been studying inconsistencies in military awards for valor will testify before Congress tomorrow, along with defense and service personnel officials.

The House Armed Services military personnel subcommittee will look at the consistency and timeliness of awards after hearing complaints of growing discrepancies that include similar acts of valor resulting in vastly different awards.

Rep. John McHugh, R-N.Y., whose congressional district includes Fort Drum, N.Y., will chair the hearing.

Leading off the witnesses at the hearing will be Joseph Kinney, a Vietnam War veteran and author who has been researching award citations, and Korean War veteran Gerard “Jerry” Jonas, who has worked to help get awarded upgraded. Both are decorated Marine Corps veterans.

Michael Dominguez, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and service personnel officials, also will testify.

Because of the complaints, the Defense Department launched a comprehensive review of awards in early September that is expected to take eight months. Full details are not expected to be announced at the hearing, but some of the problems will be discussed, such as how to clarify criteria for awards and minimizing differences among the services.

Defense officials are trying to write unified guidance for some awards, such as the Purple Heart and Bronze Star, so that all services have the same policies. Whether combat awards can be given for people serving outside of combat zones — something the Air Force has been pushing — also will be part of the Pentagon review.

Lawmakers are expected to push the services on whether criteria for receiving the Medal of Honor has morphed over the years to the point where it is only awarded to those who die in a heroic act. Since the Vietnam War, the only awards of nation’s highest military medal have been posthumous.

Two of those awards have come since Sept. 11, 2001 — one for Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith and the second for Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham. Medal of Honor nominations for two other deceased Marines are still under review.

Ellie

SuNmAN
12-05-06, 09:55 PM
I still get goosebumps when I see the names - Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith, Corporal Jason Dunham and Congressional Medal of Honor

I have a tingling in my spine right now


GOD BLESS AMERICA

Sgt Leprechaun
12-06-06, 07:54 AM
Very interesting. This phenom. is relatively recent, IMO, and I think the Army 'led the way' because of all the hate and discontent they got for giving away Bronze Stars, like candy, starting with Grenada '83. Things continued downhill with Panama, Desert Storm I, Somalia, Kosovo. I know there were USAF personnel who got the Bronze Star, who never left CONUS on that one.

Still, I think while it's something to be looked into, I don't think we need to relax standards. Of course, the Corps is notoriously stingy with personal decorations, anyway, so when I see a Marine wearing an award for valor...I know it means something.

I see a soldier wearing a Bronze Star, heck, it could mean he got it for pushing paper at Ft Drum.

drumcorpssnare
12-06-06, 08:19 AM
Sgt Leprechaun- And don't forget...the Army and Air Force award the Purple Heart for paper cuts.:D

Seriously, the Marine Corps is comparitively VERY STINGY when it comes to awards for valor. Suffice it to say, if the "other" services had such high expectations when it came to awards for valor....the "other guys" would be walkin' around with Good Conduct and National Defense ribbons...and that's all.

Hey, true story...An Army cook in WW II got a piece of egg shell in his eye, and went to sick call. It got written up-"Shell fragment in eye..." The guy got the Purple Heart. I read it in a book so it HAS to be true!

drumcorpssnare:usmc:

Sgt Leprechaun
12-06-06, 08:28 AM
One of the kids that work for me, an OIF I vet, told me a PH story...one of his soldiers slammed his finger in the gun turret hatch on an up armored hummvee...because it happened during a rocket attack approx 2 klicks out, he became a 'combat wounded' vet...

BEARMANNN
12-06-06, 09:05 AM
..

BEARMANNN
12-06-06, 09:07 AM
To this day I have a bullet in my back that I received while serving in Vietnam in 1967. Because of that, I feel that I earned every medal I received. I have no regrets...

I have been and will continue to be a Proud Marine!

Sgt Leprechaun
12-06-06, 09:44 AM
S/F sir!

SuNmAN
12-06-06, 10:28 AM
Very interesting. This phenom. is relatively recent, IMO, and I think the Army 'led the way' because of all the hate and discontent they got for giving away Bronze Stars, like candy, starting with Grenada '83. Things continued downhill with Panama, Desert Storm I, Somalia, Kosovo. I know there were USAF personnel who got the Bronze Star, who never left CONUS on that one.

Still, I think while it's something to be looked into, I don't think we need to relax standards. Of course, the Corps is notoriously stingy with personal decorations, anyway, so when I see a Marine wearing an award for valor...I know it means something.

I see a soldier wearing a Bronze Star, heck, it could mean he got it for pushing paper at Ft Drum.

You can get the Bronze Star for meritorious peace time service, just not the Combat "V" device.

Sgt Leprechaun
12-06-06, 10:54 AM
True..but very, very rarely. It's typically a 'combat' or 'combat related' decoration. The appropriate award for Meritorous peacetime service is usually a Meritorous Service Medal (the one with the pink ribbon LOL) or something along those lines.

I would actually say the BSM is rarely, if ever, awarded for service during peacetime. As a longtime militaria collector/geek, if you have examples of that, I'd be interested to see them.

SuNmAN
12-06-06, 11:06 AM
True..but very, very rarely. It's typically a 'combat' or 'combat related' decoration. The appropriate award for Meritorous peacetime service is usually a Meritorous Service Medal (the one with the pink ribbon LOL) or something along those lines.

I would actually say the BSM is rarely, if ever, awarded for service during peacetime. As a longtime militaria collector/geek, if you have examples of that, I'd be interested to see them.

lol wasn't trying to prove you wrong...was just saying :D

Sgt Leprechaun
12-06-06, 11:09 AM
No, no, I didn't take it that way at all. No worries..was just thinking you may know something I don't...like I said, as a collector, I always want to see new info.