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18D4VRWB
07-14-2009, 19:26
I would like to propose a discussion concerning where the heck are some MOH awards from OEF/OIF? It truly seems our brass are afraid to award it? Why? Does everyone have to be killed? Look at the battles with the 173rd in AFG or 10 SFG recently. The Brits have awarded I believe three VCs? Some of these guys have put it on the line and represent the best in the Army.

dirtyshirt
07-14-2009, 20:44
I was wondering the same thing. It seems as if the Army is going out of its way to NOT award them to Army SOF,yet give the few that were awarded to the "conventional" Army (3rd inf off the top of my head),kinda like a morale thing, like the black beret fiasco.

I guess,it is like they want the focus on "regular" soldiers, as if they think SOF is undeserving cuz they are already "special".

This is just how I think they are thinking. But I think it is weird that more MOH's have been awarded in the Army, and it is like SOF has been excluded deliberately.

kawika
07-14-2009, 21:15
Alot of that goes into guys not being put in for one. Theres some deserving guys out there(O'Connor is a close one). But for whatever reason we stop it at our level and don't submit the award. USASFC downgrades alot of silver stars even, wonder how many MOH's have crossed the desk?

Richard
07-15-2009, 05:06
Bob Howard was put in three times before being awarded the MOH - Zak was awarded a DSC and it was upgraded upon review - same with a number of WW2/ROK vets - lots of guys just do their jobs and don't think much of it all - never knew anybody who went out looking for or demanded an award...and don't think I'd want to be around someone who did - the witness requirement sometimes gets in the way of being able to confirm and justify the award (Vern Klinger was one whose DSC was never upgraded because of that) - choosing someone from among a group of maybe hundreds who might technically qualify but are all just doing the job they volunteered to do and aren't glory seeking (e.g., SF) would be tough - etc. In other words, it can be complicated - and this is one station for whcih there is no prep manual or study guide. ;)

Richard's $.02 :munchin

dennisw
07-15-2009, 10:04
The witness requirement may be difficult and place a laboriously burden on others to wade through the difficult process, but it makes no sense to me that the only MOH's that have been presented have all been given posthumously. Of the hundreds of thousand who have served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and the untold amount of firefights and actions taken place, I cannot imagine that many more deserving soldiers and marines have merited the MOH. It is incomprehensible.

Therefore something else must be taking place. There must be a willful determination to insure that more MOH’s are not presented, and if so, only to those who have perished in the encounter. The lack of awarding MOH’s is so apparent, that some in government are also questioning the situation:

http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2009-06-17/news/local-county-news/rep-hunter-why-so-few-recipients-of-the-medal-of-honor

SAN DIEGO — Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-El Cajon, is questioning why there have been so few recipients of the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Duncan, a former Marine officer who served in both wars, announced Wednesday that he has inserted an amendment in defense spending legislation to force the U.S. secretary of defense to look at the reasons why.
According to Hunter, there has not been a single living recipient of the Medal of Honor since the start of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Five soldiers who were killed in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan have been posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, according to Hunter’s office.
“The lack of Medal of Honor awards in Iraq and Afghanistan suggest that either troops are not as brave as they used to be, which I don’t believe is true, or someone has to die in order to receive this honor,” Hunter said.
He cited the case of Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta, who was killed in Iraq in 2004 when he suppressed a grenade blast with his body. Peralta’s Medal of Honor nomination was downgraded to the Navy Cross after a review by an independent panel.

Hunter’s amendment to the fiscal year 2010 Defense Authorization Act would require the secretary of defense to review whether acts of valor that traditionally merit the Medal of Honor are being downgraded or the criteria has been raised to favor actions that only result in death.
Hunter sent a letter to President Barack Obama earlier this year regarding the lack of living Medal of Honor recipients.

Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Gail McGinn responded that technological advancements, like precision-guided weapons, have resulted in less risk to troops, according to the congressman.“It’s true that some aspects of warfare have changed, but what hasn’t changed is the close-quarter combat that is required to take ground from the enemy” Hunter said. “That is what our Marines and soldiers do. Those actions are no different today than they were at any other time before.”

It's nice to finally realize that our troops are subject to less risks. :mad: I think it is obvious why more MOH’s have not been awarded: the democratic congress does not want to make national heroes out of folks that are not in their club.

Richard
07-15-2009, 10:54
Like promotion boards - it's not a wholly objective process - and with valorous awards, one man's hero is another's idea of someone just performing IAW his duty description. Remember - rocket science ain't as exact as scientists would like us to believe, either. ;)

Richard's $.02 :munchin

f50lrrp
07-15-2009, 11:20
Roy Benivedes (sp) was the only SF Soldier that I know of who actively campaigned for his MOH. As much as he deserved it, one didn't campaign for any award in the Army during the Vietnam war.

I have met Rodger Donlon, Bob Howard and Delbert Jennings. They certainly didn't do anything to promote their awards.

rltipton
07-23-2009, 06:02
SOF is its own worst enemy when it comes to awards. The conventional guys that got slapped around in Herat, Afgh. in 2004 got silver stars and BSMw/V left and right. It took me a month to get my men air medals for flying back into that shit to rescue the ones who got the silver stars. I was told to put them in for ARCOMw/Vs by the Bn CSM and got called on the carpet when I refused and put them in for BSMw/V. Fortunately the conventional command took care of my team and the 23rd ID CG awarded them air medals, but I had to get my ass ripped by the chain of command for it. They deserved a hell of a lot more than what they got and our own chain of command who freely gave BSMs to mechanics and cooks in Khandahar got pissed off about it.

Considering that crap it would take a whole lot to even think about putting one of the boys in for even a silver star.

Probably the best thing to do is to write it like a CMoH and shoot for a BSMw/V. Hopefully someone up the food chain will see the need to upgrade.

There are more than a handful of SOF guys out there well deserving the CMoH.

The system is borked badly and needs to be fixed. Always has been.

dennisw
07-23-2009, 08:04
rltipton wrote I had to get my ass ripped by the chain of command for it. They deserved a hell of a lot more than what they got and our own chain of command who freely gave BSMs to mechanics and cooks in Khandahar got pissed off about it.
I guess I don’t understand why you got your ass ripped. Was it because you did not settle for the ARCOMs?

Richard wrote one man's hero is another's idea of someone just performing IAW his duty description.

I’m also having a hard time getting head around this one. If your MOS designation is 18 something or 11B, does that mean heroic acts should be overlooked or ignored? I guess it’s similar to the folks who fought in El Salvador. They were involved in some clandestine operations so they do not receive CIB’s. Well maybe that’s just part of the job description. However, there is a practical side also. How does not receiving a CIB or a deserving medal affect the chances of promotion when competing against the REMF’s, cooks and mechanics who have received medals for similar or less heroic deeds? What about the way we offer thanks and respect to the folks who are in the hero business?

Rltipton stated that the system is borked. Is it borked because it’s just one of those things that is allowed to happen in a big organization? Is it borked because the reigning powers that be don’t want to recognized heroes? If it’s the former, then it needs to be fixed. If it’s the latter, then it’s another reason why the dems and liberals need to be thrown out of office.

However I think maybe there is a third reason. One that is harder to express. If we present medals to deserving folks involved in the current conflict, have we failed ultimately by comparison to adequately honor those in the past whose deeds may be more pronounced, yet they went virtually unnoticed. For example, the SOG folks.

In my way of thinking, just getting on a Huey to be dropped behind enemy lines into Laos in itself warranted commendation. Forget what happened after they were there. The SOG stories are just the ones I know about from Plaster’s book. I’m sure there are untold stories where deserving folks went unrecognized.

I do not believe the SOG generation did their deeds because they thought they would receive medals. I don’t believe the El Salvador folks did what they did for medals either. However, if we have failed to adequately honor them, we have failed, not them. Does it justify falling short of our duty now?

I guess why someone does something is really not the issue. The threshold issue is,” Did they perform an unusually heroic act?” If so, they deserve a medal. However, I hope we are not failing to honor are current heroes, because we failed to do so in the past or have we set the bar so high that they only way one can be awarded the MOH is to die in the process. That doesn’t make any sense either.

On Memorial Day I went to the National Cemetery in Riverside, CA to visit my Uncle’s grave. I went early to beat the crowd and also took the time to walk through the MOH pavilion where the MOH awardees were listed. They were categorized by war or engagement. Some were from wars or engagements I was not familiar with. Some folks were awarded more then one MOH. I got the feeling that the criteria has changed over time or maybe changed as our culture changed.

I’m not saying we should cheapen the MOH. But to only give five or seven MOH’s with all the fighting going on doesn’t seem to be right.

FMF DOC
07-23-2009, 09:42
It shouldn't be a numbers game...ie: How many have been given out during this conflict or that conflict, ... If the situation warrants 10 guys being put in for it no matter how small the operation/mission than so be it. But as stated above it'll never be an exact science...

kawika
07-23-2009, 16:00
I hear you on the air medals. We did 1-2 air assaults per week the entire deployment all over the country. We never got the air medals and kept trying to put in for them. One person was stopping them and it was in our own chain of command before they even got sent up to USASFC.

bluebb
07-23-2009, 22:00
Fallen soldier to receive Medal of Honor

By Gina Cavallaro - Staff writer ARMY Times
Posted : Thursday Jul 23, 2009 16:58:08 EDT

Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti, who was killed in Afghanistan June 21, 2006, will receive the Medal of Honor for his actions in combat, his father, Paul Monti, told Army Times in a telephone interview Thursday.

President Obama called Paul Monti, a retired school teacher, Tuesday evening at his home in Raynham, Mass., Monti said.

“The talk was very short and to the point. He said ‘hello, how are you?’ and I said ‘fine, Mr. President’ and then he told me the secretary of the Army and the secretary of defense have approved Jared for the Medal of Honor,” Monti said. “He said he was proud of Jared.”

Sgt. 1st Class Monti, 30, was assigned to 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, when he was killed in Afghanistan.

He will become the sixth service member to receive the Medal of Honor during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and the first soldier to receive the nation’s highest award for valor in Afghanistan.

His father said he will receive the award on behalf of his son at a ceremony will scheduled for a date in September.

The announcement of the award and the call from the president, he said, is “bittersweet” after the loss of his son.

“I’m reliving all of this all over again. I’d much rather have him than any medal,” Monti said.

Sgt. 1st Class Monti was single and had aspired to be a school teacher like his dad.

He told his father he didn’t want to marry until his commitment to the Army was complete.

“He told me ‘I’m not getting married while I’m in the military, I don’t want to leave a widow behind, I’ve seen too many of my soldiers go through that too many times,’ ” Monti recalled.

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2009/07/army_monti_MOH_072309w/

lue

greenberetTFS
07-24-2009, 15:24
Fallen soldier to receive Medal of Honor

By Gina Cavallaro - Staff writer ARMY Times
Posted : Thursday Jul 23, 2009 16:58:08 EDT

Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti, who was killed in Afghanistan June 21, 2006, will receive the Medal of Honor for his actions in combat, his father, Paul Monti, told Army Times in a telephone interview Thursday.

President Obama called Paul Monti, a retired school teacher, Tuesday evening at his home in Raynham, Mass., Monti said.

“The talk was very short and to the point. He said ‘hello, how are you?’ and I said ‘fine, Mr. President’ and then he told me the secretary of the Army and the secretary of defense have approved Jared for the Medal of Honor,” Monti said. “He said he was proud of Jared.”

Sgt. 1st Class Monti, 30, was assigned to 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, when he was killed in Afghanistan.

He will become the sixth service member to receive the Medal of Honor during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and the first soldier to receive the nation’s highest award for valor in Afghanistan.

His father said he will receive the award on behalf of his son at a ceremony will scheduled for a date in September.

The announcement of the award and the call from the president, he said, is “bittersweet” after the loss of his son.

“I’m reliving all of this all over again. I’d much rather have him than any medal,” Monti said.

Sgt. 1st Class Monti was single and had aspired to be a school teacher like his dad.

He told his father he didn’t want to marry until his commitment to the Army was complete.

“He told me ‘I’m not getting married while I’m in the military, I don’t want to leave a widow behind, I’ve seen too many of my soldiers go through that too many times,’ ” Monti recalled.

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2009/07/army_monti_MOH_072309w/

lue

I sure would love to read how he earned his MOH.....Does anyone have the details yet? It always amazes me when you read their heroic account.....The static line has a posting every month regarding this........

Big Teddy :munchin

The Reaper
07-26-2009, 12:28
One thing is for sure.

If we keep making dying while earning it a pre-requisite, we are denying our children opprtunities to meet the role models we should be emulating.

We have not had a living MoH recipient since 1973, IIRC.

Given the number of American servicemembers engaged in combat since then, you would think that someone has met the standard, and survived.
Statistically, there have been fewer MoH awards for OIF and OEF than in any other conflicts in our history.

TR

HowardCohodas
07-26-2009, 14:56
I sure would love to read how he earned his MOH.....Does anyone have the details yet? It always amazes me when you read their heroic account.....The static line has a posting every month regarding this........

Big Teddy :munchin

The presentation is scheduled for September 17. Would the citation be available before that?

Monsoon65
07-26-2009, 20:54
I sure would love to read how he earned his MOH.....Does anyone have the details yet? It always amazes me when you read their heroic account.....The static line has a posting every month regarding this........

They have a thread about SFC Monti on lightfighter and someone posted what he did:

"On 21 June 2006, SFC Monti, then a staff sergeant, was the assistant patrol leader for a 16-man patrol tasked to conduct surveillance in the Gowardesh region. The patrol was to provide up-to-date intelligence, interdict enemy movement and ensure early warning for the squadron's main effort as it inserted into the province.

As nightfall approached, the patrol was attacked by a well organized enemy force of at least 60 personnel. Outnumbered four-to-one, SFC Monti's patrol was in serious danger of being overrun.

The enemy fighters had established two support-by-fire positions directly above the patrol in a densely wooded ridgeline. SFC Monti immediately returned fire and ordered the patrol to seek cover and return fire. He then reached for his radio headset and calmly initiated calls for indirect fire and close air support (CAS), both danger-close to the patrol's position. He did this while simultaneously directing the patrol's fires.

When SFC Monti realized that a member of the patrol, Private First Class (PFC) Brian J. Bradbury, was critically wounded and exposed 10 meters from cover, without regard for his personal safety, he advanced through enemy fire to within three feet of PFC Bradbury's position. But he was forced back by intense RPG fire. He tried again to secure PFC Bradbury, but he was forced to stay in place again as the enemy intensified its fires.

The remaining patrol members coordinated covering fires for SFC Monti, and he advanced a third time toward the wounded Soldier. But he only took a few steps this time before he was mortally wounded by an RPG. About the same time, the indirect fires and CAS he called for began raining down on the enemy's position. The firepower broke the enemy attack, killing 22 enemy fighters. SFC Monti's actions prevented the patrol's position from being overrun, saved his team's lives and inspired his men to fight on against overwhelming odds."

Awe inspiring. RIP, SFC Monti.

Razor
07-27-2009, 10:25
The son of a guy here at work was SFC Monti's FSO during their previous AFG tour. He said that upon returning to Ft Drum, Monti transferred to the other BCT there to go back to AFG. While not in the unofficial write-up, there's talk that Monti was hit on his first attempt to save Bradbury.

Rest easy, warrior.

rubend1
07-29-2009, 13:03
One thing is for sure.

If we keep making dying while earning it a pre-requisite, we are denying our children opprtunities to meet the role models we should be emulating.

Damn good point! I am surprised that has not surfaced in many articles in regards to the recent recipients...:confused:

greenberetTFS
08-01-2009, 14:26
Recently I read about a Marine that just received the MOH,but I'm unable to get the specifics........Anyone see that same story and can enlighten us on the details?

Big Teddy :munchin

Basenshukai
08-01-2009, 18:08
FEAR is the reason why these MoHs are not being awarded. Fear inside the hearts of men (leaders, mind you) who are afraid that a live Soldier will not be able to "live" up to what the MoH stands for. In other words, the MoH has apparently acquired unwritten standards whereas flawed live humans are likely undeserving of something that, it seems, is supposed to also convey the sheer "purity" of the consummate Soldier. If my assumption is correct, then it is interesting that anyone who has actually seen combat (been shot at and shot other live people with the intent of killing them - not sitting in a firebase where a rocket falls nearby) would even think to look for saints in a battlefield. Honorable heroics occur when a regular mortal human being does the unthinkable for the men and the mission without regard for his own life - and it has happened way too often already for it to not be recognized. It does not matter, though; the heroics I've seen performed by SF while deployed are way too high in merit for any medal to properly account for.

Angry Mike
08-01-2009, 19:46
I have observed a disturbing trend among the mid-level O-5/6 "leaders" who don't believe in giving awards as they don't have on themselves.
Just look at the current push from CG USASOC for all 18 series O-5's to either deploy or take retirement.

Shame that we aren't giving our guys the awards they deserve.

And I did hear from SMA that they are either finishing or have finished the investigation for a USMC infantry Gunny on the west coast who will be the first living MOH winner.

v/r
Angry

Basenshukai
08-01-2009, 22:01
I have observed a disturbing trend among the mid-level O-5/6 "leaders" who don't believe in giving awards as they don't have on themselves.
Just look at the current push from CG USASOC for all 18 series O-5's to either deploy or take retirement.

Shame that we aren't giving our guys the awards they deserve.

And I did hear from SMA that they are either finishing or have finished the investigation for a USMC infantry Gunny on the west coast who will be the first living MOH winner.

v/r
Angry

I don't think is that these leaders are somehow jealous of Soldiers who might be getting awards those leaders don't have. Rather, I think that there is an experiential gap whereas those leaders do not have the combat experience/perspective to know adequately what constitutes the requisite qualities for the highest military award the United States can ever award. There seems to be an inability to conceptualize what a living MoH recipient is all about. Once one appears, there will surely be others and there will be upgrades to existing awards as well. But, only about two, I would say.

PRB
08-01-2009, 22:41
I don't think is that these leaders are somehow jealous of Soldiers who might be getting awards those leaders don't have. Rather, I think that there is an experiential gap whereas those leaders do not have the combat experience/perspective to know adequately what constitutes the requisite qualities for the highest military award the United States can ever award. There seems to be an inability to conceptualize what a living MoH recipient is all about. Once one appears, there will surely be others and there will be upgrades to existing awards as well. But, only about two, I would say.


I agree with the above comment...many senior personnel are operating off of limited combat experience and really have more 3rd hand knowledge from lore/books/history etc and a false platform on which to judge.
They've created an almost mythical level of achievement based upon that lack of experience.

Brush Okie
08-01-2009, 23:48
Others have the same qusetion.



Eight years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. About 4,000 members of the U.S. military killed in action. More than 34,000 wounded. Just six considered worthy of America's highest military award for battlefield valor.

For some veterans and members of Congress, that last number doesn't add up.

They question how so few Medals of Honor -- all awarded posthumously -- could be bestowed for wars of such magnitude and duration.

Pentagon officials say the nature of war has changed. Laser-guided missiles destroy enemy positions without putting soldiers in harm's way. Insurgents deploy roadside bombs rather than engage in firefights they're certain to lose.

Those explanations don't tell the whole story, said Rep. Duncan Hunter, a first-term lawmaker who served combat tours as a Marine in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has sponsored legislation that directs the defense secretary to review current trends in awarding the Medal of Honor to determine what's behind the low count.

The bill passed the House. If Senate negotiators go along, Secretary Robert Gates would have to report back by March 31.

"It seems like our collective standard for who gets the Medal of Honor has been raised," said Hunter, R-Calif.

"The basis of warfare is you've got to take ground and then you've got to hold it. That takes people walking into houses, running up hills, killing bad guys and then staying there and rebuffing counterattacks," he said. "That's how warfare has always been no matter how many bombs you drop and how many predators you have flying around."

Military officials said they welcome the opportunity to conduct an in-depth review of the award process. Still, they dispute Hunter's theory.

"Nominations go through no more or less scrutiny than in the past," said Eileen Lainez, a Pentagon spokeswoman. "The standard for the Medal of Honor is high, as one would expect for our nation's most prestigious military decoration."

AMVETS, a veterans' advocacy group, said it supports Hunter's efforts. It held a banquet for Medal of Honors in January, and the low number of medals was a big topic of discussion, said Jay Agg, the group's communications director.

The Medal of Honor has been awarded 3,467 times since the Civil War. Almost half -- 1,522 -- were awarded in that conflict alone. The next highest tally came from World War II -- 464. In the Vietnam War, 244 were awarded.

To earn the medal, at least two eyewitnesses have to view a deed so outstanding that it clearly distinguishes gallantry above and beyond the call of duty. No margin of doubt is allowed. Nominations make their way through military channels until eventually they're approved at the highest levels of the Pentagon and then by the president.

Drew Dix, 64, of Mimbres, N.M., received the medal for actions taken during the Tet Offensive in Vietnam when he risked his life during a 56-hour battle to rescue civilians. He said he didn't feel comfortable judging the current Medal of Honor process.

"We've trusted the military to fight this war," Dix said. "We've got to trust the military in all aspects of it, including the awarding of medals."

Jack Jacobs, 64, received the award for actions taken in Vietnam to rescue wounded soldiers. He said the Pentagon's explanation for the low Medal of Honor count is logical, but he would not rule out other factors because of the subjective nature of the award.

"I'm not a fan of single factor analysis," Jacobs said. "There are lots of reasons why things occur and that is only one of them. Human attitudes also play a great role."

Jacobs, a military analysis at MSNBC, predicted the war in Afghanistan will involve more of the kind of close combat that leads to Medal of Honors being awarded.

It's unclear exactly how many soldiers have been nominated for the award from the two wars.

Seven have made it all the way to the defense secretary, and six were approved. The exception is Sgt. Rafael Peralta of San Diego. Hunter said the Peralta case shows that a higher standard is being used for the medal than in previous wars.

Peralta died on Nov. 15, 2004, during fighting in Fallujah, Iraq. The military's investigation showed he was probably hit by friendly fire from a member of his unit as they engaged insurgents inside a house.

Witnesses said Peralta, a Mexican immigrant who became a U.S. citizen while in the Marines, fell to the ground face first after being shot in the crossfire. A fleeing insurgent threw a hand grenade into the room, which bounced off a couch and landed near Peralta's head.

"Sgt. Peralta grabbed the grenade and pulled it underneath him while we took cover," said an unidentified soldier whose name is blacked out as part of the investigative file the military released publicly.

Peralta's nomination was sent back for further investigation after a preliminary autopsy report stated the head wound would have been immediately incapacitating and "he could not have executed any meaningful motions."

In the end, Lt. General Richard F. Natonski, stuck with his recommendation: "I believe Sergeant Peralta made a conscious, heroic decision to cover the grenade and minimize the effects he knew it would have on the rest of his Marine team."

Gates assemble an independent panel to review the nomination -- something he did not do in the other six cases sent his way. The reviewers included a former commanding general, a Medal of Honor recipient, a neurosurgeon and two pathologists.

"The reviewers each individually concluded that the evidence did not meet the exacting 'no doubt' standard necessary to support award of the MOH," Gates said in a letter to Hunter.

Robert Reynolds, a lance corporal at the time, was about three feet to five feet behind Peralta when the grenade exploded. He has no doubt that Peralta purposefully attempted to place the grenade underneath himself to save others.

"It wasn't just something he barely did. He physically reached out and pulled it into his body," said Reynolds, 31, and now a corrections office and father of two daughters in Ritzville, Wash.

In the end, Peralta received the Navy Cross, the branch's second highest honor. Several California lawmakers have petitioned President Barack Obama to order a review of Peralta's case. AMVETS said all recipients of the second-highest honor for bravery for their branch of the military should have their case reviewed to determine if their actions merit the Medal of Honor



http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/08/01/say-pentagon-awarding-medals-honor-iraq-afghan-valor/

whocares175
09-04-2009, 09:41
The award system is all messed up to begin with. Period. People get CIB's for nothing. I got mine issued when I went to Afghanistan. I earned it in Iraq. How can you issue a badge which requirements state "must engage and be engaged with small arms fire" for someone who simply showed up? Bronze Stars are handed out to anyone above the rank of E-6 simply for going on a deployment. With abuses such as these how can anyone justify a Medal of Honor these days without, tragically, the loss of life and someone going far far above and beyond any call of duty within their given MOS?
Just my $0.02. Like I said, the award system as a whole needs to be fixed to begin with.

tom kelly
09-05-2009, 06:35
I have met 5 of the 95 living MOH Recipients and know 3 of them well enough to correspond and or talk to them. The most recent contact was with Dave Dolby at the 82nd Airborne Association meeting on September 3, 2009. Col.(Ret) Roger Donlon I spoke to at the SFA Convention in Las Vegas in June 2009 and Sgt.Maj. (Ret) Jon Cavaiani was the Grand Marshal of the Memorial Day parade in The Port Richmond section of Phila. PA. 2 or 3 times. All of the times I have been in the company of these men they have never discussed the reasons for the award of the MOH, and I have never thought it appropriate to discuss the subject unless they initiated that topic of conversation, which they never have done. Regard's, Tom Kelly

SkiBumCFO
09-05-2009, 20:13
It is sad that we have so few living MOH winners. I was a brand new PFC Intelligence Analyst in 10th Grp MI co and had the pleasure of working with Jon Caviani on what was called the CASMAP program. also worked with him on exercises trying to get the teams ready to deploy. The man worked around the clock and typically only took a short nap on a table. he was totally committed to making sure the teams that were deploying on an exercise or live had everything he in his power could get for them. He probably would not remember me at all as i was just a young punk but I learned a lot from that man in the very short time i had the opportunity to work with him. However, i dont think it would have mattered whether he had an MOH or not i would have still looked up to him and he was the first one to downplay that he had it. I am sure that we have people that are just as dedicated today teaching the young guys regardless of what awards they are wearing. But with all that said i also question why so few have been given.:confused:

ODA 226
09-08-2009, 09:39
SkiBum,
Were you there when the wall locker fell on Caviani and broke his leg? I'm just trying to figure out when you were there. Might know each other.
Craig

LongWire
09-09-2009, 07:42
Most of the posts in this thread seem to address the real problems that are down at the ground level as far as awards go, I would like to address one other scenario that I believe is adding to this.

Thanks to the advances in technology Commanders have a tremendous advantage that they have never had before. In all theaters of conflict, we now have overhead ISR platforms showing what is happening on the ground in real time. Forget the fact that there is no running dialogue or soundtrack unless the FOB has those piped in to the endless number of feeds that they may be looking at. So what happens in the absence of sound? We make up our own soundtrack, we critique, and we judge what is happening as we are watching, without knowing specifically what the hell is actually happening.

Think not? I've been witness to this phenomena played out in a few different FOB's AOB's and the like. How many times have you seen it? Some one walks in the room, looks up at the screen, "whats going on there?" "Yeah I dont know, but its fucked up!" "Yeah why the hell are they doing that?" "Yeah I don't know, but its fucked up. They were supposed to go over there." "Look at that guy running!" "Wow, they aren't even chasing him!!!" "Yeah I Know"

Had it happen....AOB doesn't read the CONOP and all of a sudden they are taking over on the radio and you end up chasing your shadow around, cause someone up there thinks that every dude running away Has To Be Bad?!!!!!! WTF??

I'm thinking that if they wanted a hero, that they think, they would have seen one on TV by now, but thats just my $.02.

Until then we will continue to follow their award guidance, remembering to submit it at least 6 months out from redeployment, which means about 2 weeks in country we should be starting to put guys in for stuff so that they can get them downgraded to Certificates of Appreciation with V.

Pete
09-09-2009, 08:10
Others have the same qusetion.....


'........They question how so few Medals of Honor -- all awarded posthumously -- could be bestowed for wars of such magnitude and duration......."

From the D Day Museum site on just the battle of Normandy.


'......Over 425,000 Allied and German troops were killed, wounded or went missing during the Battle of Normandy. This figure includes over 209,000 Allied casualties, with nearly 37,000 dead amongst the ground forces and a further 16,714 deaths amongst the Allied air forces. Of the Allied casualties, 83,045 were from 21st Army Group (British, Canadian and Polish ground forces), 125,847 from the US ground forces. The losses of the German forces during the Battle of Normandy can only be estimated. Roughly 200,000 German troops were killed or wounded. The Allies also captured 200,000 prisoners of war (not included in the 425,000 total, above). During the fighting around the Falaise Pocket (August 1944) alone, the Germans suffered losses of around 90,000, including prisoners.

Today, twenty-seven war cemeteries hold the remains of over 110,000 dead from both sides: 77,866 German, 9386 American, 17,769 British, 5002 Canadian and 650 Poles.

Between 15,000 and 20,000 French civilians were killed, mainly as a result of Allied bombing. Thousands more fled their homes to escape the fighting...."

In all the fighting during WW II only 464 MoH were awarded. 266 posthumously.

SkiBumCFO
09-11-2009, 22:37
SkiBum,
Were you there when the wall locker fell on Caviani and broke his leg? I'm just trying to figure out when you were there. Might know each other.
Craig

226 - i do not remember the actual incident but my memory seems to be fading. I did have to pull SFC (at the time) Caviani out of Shirley lake into a RB after his water jump so may have been because of the leg. I hope he is enjoying life. I will shoot you a PM

wet dog
09-28-2009, 09:57
After much time out of the net, I'm back home and reading many, many threads. Seeing that this subject had not been to active of late, I did want to include my thoughts.

The words, "Received", "Win" and "Won" are often interchanged with medals. While my opinion does not warrent my vocabulary to use the word "won", it congurs up the feeling that medals are a contest, like my son's soccer tournaments. Medals of Valor, beit, Bronze, Silver, DSC, or MOH are not awards of contests, but symbols of heroism bestowed upon them by their fellow soldiers for actions above the call to duty.

Rarely have I met a soldier, who had awards for bravery that thumpt his own chest, but more often than not, I have witnessed humility, thanks, and graciousness.

Some of the earliest recipients of the MOH were quiet 'drummer boys' who never left their posts during extreme fighting periods of our own Civil War. Their bravery were marked as examples for soldiers and citizens alike.

If by chance history was different and Shughart and Gordon were not killed in Somolia, but were captured with Durant. If by chance they were still with us, their actions would be no less heroic. They stepped from the safety of high ground, (Blackhawk), and stepped in harms way to defend a fallen brother.
It is because they lost their lives that day we honor their memory and esteem them in the highest regards.

Like all things, things change - it should not surprise us that the Medal Awards Committee changes to. I would encourage all of us, not to use the words "Win" or "Won" when referring to our nations Medals.

The medals will fade with time, collect dust or end up in old shoe boxes stored in closets, but my graditude for their "recipients" will never diminish.

I thank all of you for your service, and may God's love comfort your families.

WD

greenberetTFS
09-28-2009, 10:30
After much time out of the net, I'm back home and reading many, many threads. Seeing that this subject had not been to active of late, I did want to include my thoughts.

The words, "Received", "Win" and "Won" are often interchanged with medals. While my opinion does not warrent my vocabulary to use the word "won", it congurs up the feeling that medals are a contest, like my son's soccer tournaments. Medals of Valor, beit, Bronze, Silver, DSC, or MOH are not awards of contests, but symbols of heroism bestowed upon them by their fellow soldiers for actions above the call to duty.

Raely have I met a soldier, who had awards for bravery that thumpt his own chest, but more often than not, I have witnessed humility, thanks, and graciousness.

Some of the earliest recipients of the MOH were quiet 'drummer boys' who never left their posts during extreme fighting periods of our own Civil War. Their bravery were marked as examples for soldiers and citizens alike.

If by chance history was different and Shughart and Gordon were not killed in Somolia, but were captured with Durant. If by chance they were still with us, their actions would be no less heroic. They stepped from the safety of high ground, (Blackhawk), and stepped in harms way to defend a fallen brother.
It is because they lost their lives that day we honor their memory and esteem them in the highest regards.

Like all things, things change - it should not surprise us that the Medal Awards Committee changes to. I would encourage all of us, not to use the words "Win" or "Won" when referring to our nations Medals.

The medals will fade with time, collect dust or end up in old shoe boxes stored in closets, but my graditude for their "recipients" will never diminish.

I thank all of you for your service, and may God's love comfort your families.

WD

WD,

Excellent post,very well expressed and I concur with you 110%........:D

Big Teddy :munchin

wet dog
09-28-2009, 11:07
WD,

Excellent post,very well expressed and I concur with you 110%........:D

Big Teddy :munchin

Thanks. This subject has been on my mind lately. I was visiting with my old man in Wyoming who served as a AF airmen during the Korean War. All my life, he has been soft spoken and reserved, must be a generational thing. His older half brothers served in the OSS/WWII, I met them before they died when I was just a kid. Perhaps it was these men and my father who provided the basics in me developing my own opinions on the subject of medals.

Finally, after so many years of trying to pull out of my father a few stories I could share with his grandchildren, did I learn that my father went down over the sea of Japan. While flying medical troop transport carrier of wounded US Army Infantry soldiers, flying from Korea to Japan for additional medical services. The pilot informing that all must bail out before crashing, my father aided the other airmen with parachutes, and a few patients that could jump. Having to leave the majority to die with the wreckage. My father was the last to leave, just prior to exiting the aircraft, he noticed a friend kneeling beside a litter offering a humble prayer to a wounded soldier. My dad said it was time to go. The Airmen said he was not leaving, that these wounded should not die alone. My father informed me that he considered staying himself, but only for a moment. An engine exploded, the aircraft rocked and my father fell out the door. The pilot, lone airmen and wounded went down.

By chance, a Swedish fishing ship recovered all who jumped. Water temperatures were so low, that life expectency was under 5 minutes. The pilot had plotted a ship by radar and kept the plane aloft for as long as he could.

According to my mother, my father had spent all these remaining years trying to locate the manifest for that flight: flight crew, airmen and wounded. He finally gave up only speculating that a manifest was never submitted by ground crews.

Heros, all of them.

afchic
09-29-2009, 16:04
Thanks, This subject has been on my mind lately. I was visiting with my old man in Wyoming who served as a AF airmen during the Korean War. All my life, he has been soft spoken and reserved, must be a generational thing. His older half brothers served in the OSS/WWII, I met them before they died when I was just a kid. Perhaps it was these men and my father who provided the basics in me developing my own opinions on the subject of medals.

Finally, after so many years of trying to pull out of my father a few stories I could share with his grandchildren, did I learn that my father went down over the sea of Japan. While flying medical troop transport carrier of wounded US Army Infantry soldiers, flying from Korea to Japan for additional medical services. The pilot informing that all must bail out before crashing, my father aided the other airmen with parachutes, and a few patients that could jump. Having to leave the majority to die with the wreckage. My father was the last to leave, just prior to exiting the aircraft, he noticed a friend kneeling beside a litter offering a humble prayer to a wounded soldier. My dad said it was time to go. The Airmen said he was not leaving, that these wounded should not die alone. My father informed me that he considered staying himself, but only for a moment. An engine exploded, the aircraft rocked and my father fell out the door. The pilot, lone airmen and wounded went down.

By chance, a Swedish fishing ship recovered all who jumped. Water temperatures were so low, that life expectency was under 5 minutes. The pilot had plotted a ship by radar and kept the plane aloft for as long as he could.

According to my mother, my father had spent all these remaining years trying to locate the manifest for that flight: flight crew, airmen and wounded. He finally gave up only speculating that a manifest was never submitted by ground crews.

Heros, all of them.

Your post is very timely for me. My uncle, who I love dearly and respect more than I can ever put into words, passed away last Wednesday, and was buried with full military honors on Saturday.

He was a quiet, unassuming man, who although fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars, with multiple tours, never really spoke of his service. Yes I know that he was a Sgt Major, yes I know he retired as a Major, yes I know he was a Ranger, and had a purple heart, but that was it. All that I know of his service was a book written about his platoon in Vietnam called "Charlie Mike".

At his viewing on Friday night, I saw him in his full dress uniform for the first time. On that uniform was a Silver Star, 5 Bronze stars (2 for Valor if rememner correctly through my tears) a Purple Heart, amongst many more. I was humbled that I never knew he recieved these awards, because it was not something he felt comfortable discussing. As far as he was concerned, he was only doing his job.

Wet Dog, as you have so eloquently stated, he didn't "win" anything, he simply did what he knew he should.

RIP Major (Ret) Gerald Colvin

Viper19114
08-06-2014, 16:29
Although it is not as bad as when Abrams was in command, politics play a very large part of any award for valor. Some units as in Bob Howard's case will award a DSC pending the award of the MOH. Other units will not award anything pending
Again as in Bob's case his first nomination ended in a DSC. His second ended in a Silver Star due to a jeolious sergeant. The third one went through. Also, the write up will also play a part in what award is to be awarded. This will always happen when you got Politics involved in the military.

scooter
08-06-2014, 23:10
Did you just revive a 5 year old thread?