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Roguish Lawyer
11-04-2005, 11:57
I have not heard of anyone receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor during the GWOT. I find this surprising given that we have been at war now for four years, and there undoubtedly have been a number of men whose valor warrants the honor. CPT (IIRC) Brian Chontosh is one person whose exploits seem to warrant the honor.

Am I wrong that no one has received the CMOH during this conflict? Can someone explain how this process works and why no one has received the award? One would think that the Republicans in Congress would be all over this, not only to reward the deserving, but to publicize the exploits of our people in uniform.

The Reaper
11-04-2005, 12:13
Already one Army winner, and several nominees.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1006552/posts

Your google-fu is weak today, Counselor.

TR

Bravo1-3
11-04-2005, 12:15
SFC Paul R. Smith was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumosly for for actions at Bagdhad International Airport.

Marine Corps Sgt. Raphael Peralta is currently in the review process for his actions in Fallujah.

Roguish Lawyer
11-04-2005, 12:17
Already one Army winner, and several nominees.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1006552/posts

Your google-fu is weak today, Counselor.

TR

I plead guilty to weak google-fu. But part of my point is that I am disturbed by the lack of publicity -- should people have to google to learn about the heroism going on in the GWOT?

The first comment in the article you linked sums it up well for me:

I wonder why the press doesn't make stories like this known? Oh we probably heard about him dying, but not about the heroics invovled.

BTW: That's a rhetorical question. No answer required.

Roguish Lawyer
11-04-2005, 12:24
Not only is my google-fu weak, but I also failed to search the best place for this sort of information.

http://www.professionalsoldiers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6364

:o

HOLLiS
11-04-2005, 13:15
A little confused here, Isn't it the MOH, and CMOH is a misnomer? Thanks.

lksteve
11-04-2005, 13:22
A little confused here, Isn't it the MOH, and CMOH is a misnomer? Thanks.CMOH prior to the Vietnam era...i seem to recall the name was officially changed in the early 60s....i believe Roger Donlon was the first to be awarded the MOH, as opposed to the CMOH...i could be wrong...

B36reconman
11-04-2005, 15:11
IIRC, SFC Paul smith received the MOH last year...

QRQ 30
11-04-2005, 15:50
CMOH prior to the Vietnam era...i seem to recall the name was officially changed in the early 60s....i believe Roger Donlon was the first to be awarded the MOH, as opposed to the CMOH...i could be wrong...

It was CMH. GOOGLE and you will see that now has another meaning. In addition we used to tell people who were acting reckless that they were in line for a CMH, Casket w/ Metal Handles.As a result it became simply the Medal Of Honor.

I believe the marine who single handedly asaulted and over ran entrenched troops is also pending final approval for the MOH. Sometimes the DSC is given as an interim award and upgraded when the MOH is approved. I don't know of this being the case for posthumous awards but IIRC Zabitowski was awarded a DSC for the same action and it was upgraded to MOH.

Team Sergeant
11-04-2005, 16:22
I have not heard of anyone receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor during the GWOT. I find this surprising given that we have been at war now for four years, and there undoubtedly have been a number of men whose valor warrants the honor. CPT (IIRC) Brian Chontosh is one person whose exploits seem to warrant the honor.

Am I wrong that no one has received the CMOH during this conflict? Can someone explain how this process works and why no one has received the award? One would think that the Republicans in Congress would be all over this, not only to reward the deserving, but to publicize the exploits of our people in uniform.


Too busy watching basketball....... Very Sad.




ATTENTION TO ORDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of Congress the Medal of Honor to

Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith
United States Army

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy near Baghdad International Airport, Baghdad, Iraq on 4 April 2003. On that day, Sergeant First Class Smith was engaged in the construction of a prisoner of war holding area when his Task Force was violently attacked by a company-sized enemy force. Realizing the vulnerability of over 100 fellow soldiers, Sergeant First Class Smith quickly organized a hasty defense consisting of two platoons of soldiers, one Bradley Fighting Vehicle and three armored personnel carriers. As the fight developed, Sergeant First Class Smith braved hostile enemy fire to personally engage the enemy with hand grenades and anti-tank weapons, and organized the evacuation of three wounded soldiers from an armored personnel carrier struck by a rocket propelled grenade and a 60mm mortar round. Fearing the enemy would overrun their defenses, Sergeant First Class Smith moved under withering enemy fire to man a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on a damaged armored personnel carrier. In total disregard for his own life, he maintained his exposed position in order to engage the attacking enemy force. During this action, he was mortally wounded. His courageous actions helped defeat the enemy attack, and resulted in as many as 50 enemy soldiers killed, while allowing the safe withdrawal of numerous wounded soldiers. Sergeant First Class Smith’s extraordinary heroism and uncommon valor are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the Third Infantry Division “Rock of the Marne,” and the United States Army.

I will not forget SFC Smith.

Airbornelawyer
11-04-2005, 18:06
The lack of publicity given to SFC Smith and other heroes brings discredit on the media.

Besides SFC Smith's MOH, and the pending nomination of Sgt. Rafael Peralta, there have also been a few awards of the next tier of decorations that have gotten little attention. So far, the Army has awarded 3 Distinguished Service Crosses, the Air Force has awarded 2 Air Force Crosses and the Navy has awarded 10 Navy Crosses.

One DSC was for Afghanistan, and was posthumous. The other two were for Iraq and were to living recipients. All three were involved in ARSOF.

Both Air Force Crosses were for Afghanistan and were posthumous (and both were to special operations personnel).

Two of the Navy Crosses were posthumous awards to SEALs for Afghanistan. One other Navy award was to a corpsman serving with a Marine unit in Iraq. The other 7 were to Marines in Iraq. Several of these were posthumous, but I'm not sure of the exact number.

The citations may be read here: http://homeofheroes.com/verify/02_wot/index.html

The Reaper
11-04-2005, 18:19
I know two of the DSC winners.

Both are SF officers, both are still alive. I was unaware that the MSG who got his with the Marines was killed. The one from OEF was awarded his at a ceremony held at USSOCOM. I thought that they all survived.

There have been few public pronouncements.

TR

HOLLiS
11-05-2005, 09:50
QRQ and lksteve, thanks. I check a Army site, "Center for Military History". There is no mention of the change but it seemed to have changed around the RVN period. There is another site too, both on the History, citations. The Army site had some interesting stats, seems prior to WWII receiving the Medal and still being alive to receive it was very common, after WWII, that was not the case. In my Battalion we had three Marines who received the MOH, two from my company. They were all KIAed.

On Fox news, they said only about 4% of the coverage of the war is positive. I think the media is doing a GREAT disservice to the American People.

Tuukka
11-06-2005, 05:35
Of the three DSC recipients that I have seen published, none of them were posthumous.

Sinister
11-06-2005, 11:31
We are in the process of re-naming a re-activated range at Fort Benning, Georgia. If approved Brinson Range (formerly a TOW/DRAGON tracking range named for the post Range Officer) will become Krilling Range (Close Quarters Combat Marksmanship) for Master Sergeant Bill Krilling, Distinguished Service Cross.

In researching his award and citation we found the original recommendation for "The Blue Max" came down to a General Officer asking "Will he survive his wounds?"

The answer was "Yes," and I am told it was then down-graded to the DSC.

Sinister
11-06-2005, 11:33
We are in the process of re-naming a re-activated range at Fort Benning, Georgia. If approved Brinson Range (formerly a TOW/DRAGON tracking range named for the post Range Officer) will become Krilling Range (Close Quarters Combat Marksmanship) for Master Sergeant Bill Krilling, Distinguished Service Cross.

In researching his Korean War award and citation we found the original recommendation for "The Blue Max" came down to a General Officer asking "Will he survive his wounds?"

The answer was "Yes," and I am told it was then down-graded to the DSC.

The Reaper
11-06-2005, 12:15
Lew Millett and Ola Lee Mize made it.

OTOH, the MOH standards prior to WWII were not what they are today. Even then, MacArthur was awarded one for his unsuccessful defense of the Phillipines. Lindburgh was awarded the MoH, as was Buffalo Bill Cody and Admiral Byrd.

Most of the pre-WW I MOH awards were significantly less valorous that the later criteria. That is because most of the valor medals were created during or after WW I, and the MOH was the only one they had from 1862 till the DSC was created in 1918. During the Civil War, they were handed out like candy. During WW I, a Marine was awarded both the Army MOH, and the Navy MOH for the same action. Another Marine won the two (Army and Navy) in one day. The Silver Star was created for lesser acts in 1932, and the Bronze Star in 1944. That hierarchy of the top valorous awards remains today, and despite the spate of questionable valorous awards since Korea, the MOH has remained at the top, infrequently awarded.

There was 2% or less chance of awardees earning the MOH posthumously prior to WW I. 0% of awardees died in the Spanish-American War, 26% in WW I, 57% in WW II, 71% by Korea, 62% in Vietnam, and 100% for the 3 awarded since then. Based on the following stats, it would appear that the standard has unofficially been raised several times, beginning in WW I and generally trending upwards since then..

Civil War 1,527 MOH, 25 posthumous
Indian Wars 428, 6
Spanish American War 109, 0
Philippines Samoa 91, 1
Boxer Rebellion 59, 1
Vera Cruz 1914 55, 0
Haiti 1915 6, 0
Dominican Republic 3, 0
Haiti 1919-1920 2, 0
Nicaragua 1927-1933 2, 0
Peacetime 1865-1870 12, 0
Peacetime 1871-1898 103, 0
Peacetime 1899-1911 51, 0
Peacetime 1915-1916 8, 1
Peacetime 1920-1940 18, 4
World War I 124, 32
World War II 440, 250
Korean War 131, 93
Vietnam War 244, 150
Grenada 0,0
Panama, 0,0
Somalia 1993 2, 2
DS/DS 0,0
OEF 0,0
OIF, 1,1
Unknown Soldiers 9, 9
Total 3,432, 575

HTH.

TR

Spook
11-06-2005, 12:15
My take on the CMH issue is as such: There are alot of our brothers that are on the front lines in the GWOT, whether or not CMH's are awarded and what the Congress motivation may/may not be for awarding them, the fact still remains the same...US Marines, Soldiers, Airmen and Sailors are making the sacrifice day in and day out. They do so in harms way not asking after personal decoratons, awards, etc. They do so because somewhere in their AO a terrorist is looking to kill them. They work swiftly, diligently and stead fastly so as to kill the terrorists first and protect our freedoms. while there are probably alot of men who make that sacrifice and aren't awrded the CMH, the people who they mattered to most...their brothers on their left and right...know what they did and the true value of their sacrifice and dedication to their country. Those in the know...know.

My younger brother is a Marine in A/1/3, same unit as Sgt. Peralta. The Sgt truely made the ultimate sacrifice for his fellow Marine brothers that day. I'm sure it's a sacrifice that can be appreciated by all of us here today.

A week into the battle for Fallujah, the Marines were still doing the deadly work of clearing the city, house by house. As a platoon scout, Peralta didn't have to go out with the assault team that day. He volunteered to go.


According to Kaemmerer, the Marines entered a house and kicked in the doors of two rooms that proved empty. But there was another closed door to an adjoining room. It was unlocked, and Peralta, in the lead, opened it. He was immediately hit with AK-47 fire in his face and upper torso by three insurgents. He fell out of the way into one of the cleared rooms to give his fellow Marines a clear shot at the enemy. During the firefight, a yellow fragmentation grenade flew out of the room, landing near Peralta and several fellow Marines. The uninjured Marines tried to scatter out of the way, two of them trying to escape the room, but were blocked by a locked door. At that point, barely alive, Peralta grabbed the grenade and cradled it to his body.


His body took most of the blast. One Marine was seriously injured, but the rest sustained only minor shrapnel wounds. Cpl. Brannon Dyer told a reporter from the Army Times, "He saved half my fire team."


Kaemmerer compares Peralta's sacrifice to that of past Marine Medal of Honor winners Pfc. James LaBelle and Lance Cpl. Richard Anderson. LaBelle dove on a Japanese grenade to save two fellow Marines during the battle of Iwo Jima. Although he had just been wounded twice, Anderson rolled over an enemy grenade to save a fellow Marine during a 1969 battle in Vietnam.


Peralta's sacrifice should be a legend in the making. But somehow heroism doesn't get the same traction in our media environment as being a victim or villain, categories that encompass the truly famous Jessica Lynch and Lynndie England respectively. Peralta's story has been covered in military publications, a smattering of papers including the Seattle Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune, ABC News, and some military blogs. But the Washington Post and the New York Times only mentioned Peralta's name in their lists of the dead. Scandalously, the "heroism" of Spc. Thomas Wilson — the national guardsman who asked a tough question of Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld that had been planted with him by a reporter — has been more celebrated in the press than that of Peralta.


Kaemmerer recounts how later on the night of Nov. 15, a friend approached him and said: "You're still here; don't forget that. Tell your kids, your grandkids, what Sgt. Peralta did for you and the other Marines today." Don't forget. Good advice for all of us.

Airbornelawyer
11-07-2005, 09:29
Of the three DSC recipients that I have seen published, none of them were posthumous.
You're right. For some reason, I was mixing Maj. Mitchell up with someone else.

CoLawman
11-07-2005, 10:01
While at the museum at Fort Benning I visited the exhibit on the Medal of Honor. There was a lengthy read on the history. Apparently alot of the MOH that were awarded during the civil war were downgraded many years later. Not sure if TR's post reflects the number prior to the downgrading. I would think not, which means that there were even more awarded than reflected in his post.

Airbornelawyer
11-07-2005, 12:26
While at the museum at Fort Benning I visited the exhibit on the Medal of Honor. There was a lengthy read on the history. Apparently alot of the MOH that were awarded during the civil war were downgraded many years later. Not sure if TR's post reflects the number prior to the downgrading. I would think not, which means that there were even more awarded than reflected in his post.A review board convened in 1916, chaired by LTG Nelson Miles, who had himself won the Medal of Honor as colonel of the 61st New York Infantry at the Battle of Chancellorsville. Their report was released in 1917, and 911 names were stricken from the rolls. These were the 864 men of the 27th Maine, who were given the Medal of Honor for reenlisting, the 29 officers and men of Abraham Lincoln's honor guard, 6 civilians (a surgeon and 5 scouts), and 12 other persons considered unqualified. A few, including "Buffalo Bill" Cody's, were later un-stricken. He and the other civilians had theirs returned in 1989.

There were also 17 rescindments of Navy Medals of Honor, mainly for desertion or misconduct.

The Reaper
11-07-2005, 12:51
Somehow, the awarding of the MoH as a reenlistment bonus seems disturbing.

Yes, I know the circumstances, and what happened.

Still strange.

Miles also distinguished himself on the frontier after the War.

TR

CoLawman
11-07-2005, 13:53
Thanks!

Spartan359
11-09-2005, 07:38
Did Neil Roberts Bronze Star ever get upgraded to a MOH? I know when he first died they gave him the Bronze Star for the time while they reviewed the case. I looked on google and I found nothing that said it was upgraded.

The Reaper
11-09-2005, 07:39
Did Neil Roberts Bronze Star ever get upgraded to a MOH? I know when he first died they gave him the Bronze Star for the time while they reviewed the case. I looked on google and I found nothing that said it was upgraded.

No. The only one from OEF/OIF so far to be approved and awarded is SFC Smith.

TR

Roguish Lawyer
11-09-2005, 11:10
Did Neil Roberts Bronze Star ever get upgraded to a MOH? I know when he first died they gave him the Bronze Star for the time while they reviewed the case. I looked on google and I found nothing that said it was upgraded.

That would be quite an upgrade.

Airbornelawyer
11-09-2005, 11:45
That would be quite an upgrade.
Authority to award the Bronze Star is often devolved to local commanders. So someone at one or two-star level can immediately award it as an impact award, and then request that DOD upgrade it later once more information is available. For the MOH, this is actually important, as there is a three-year statute of limitations in the U.S. Code. So no MOH will be given for the operations in Afghanistan in 2001-02 unless it is already in the works, or if it represents a "correction" to an existing award.

That said, I don't think anything MOH-related is happening as regards Roberts, though I think his BS with "V" might have been upgraded to a Silver Star.

Airbornelawyer
11-09-2005, 11:51
Another Navy SEAL, Senior Chief Britt Slabinski, received the Navy Cross for the Battle of Takur Ghar, or "Roberts' Ridge." And both of the posthumous Air Force Crosses for OEF, to T/SGT John Chapman, a combat controller, and to SRA Jason Cunningham, a PJ, were also for that action.
Slabinski's citation: http://homeofheroes.com/verify/02_wot/nc_slabinski.html
Chapman's: http://homeofheroes.com/verify/02_wot/afc_chapman.html
Cunningham's: http://homeofheroes.com/verify/02_wot/afc_cunningham.html
A number of others received the Silver Star, including special operations soldiers with the QRF:
CPT Nathan E. Self, 1st BN, 75th Ranger Regiment
SSG Raymond DePouli, 1st BN, 75th Ranger Regiment
SSG Harper Wilmoth, 1st BN, 75th Ranger Regiment
SSG Arin K. Canon, 1st BN, 75th Ranger Regiment
SSG Eric W. Stebner, 1st BN, 75th Ranger Regiment
SGT Matthew LaFrenz, 1st BN, 75th Ranger Regiment
SGT Joshua J. Walker, 1st BN, 75th Ranger Regiment
SPC Aaron Totten-Lancaster, 1st BN, 75th Ranger Regiment
S/Sgt. Kevin Vance, AF combat controller, 17th ASOS, attached to 1-75
T/Sgt. Keary Miller, AF pararescueman, 123rd Special Tactics Squadron
S/Sgt Gabriel Brown, AF combat controller (also 17th ASOS, I think)
The pilots and WSOs of the two F-15s that flew CAS also received Silver Stars:
Capt. Kirk "Panzer" Rieckhoff, 335th Fighter Squadron
Capt. Chris Russell, 335th Fighter Squadron
Maj. Chris "Junior" Short, 335th Fighter Squadron
Lt. Col. Jim "Meat" Fairchild, 335th Fighter Squadron
As did an F-16 pilot called in as the F-15s ran out of ammo:
Lt. Col. Burt "Divot" Bartley, 18th Fighter SquadronThose are the ones I know about. There might have been others.

While several sites have MOH citations and the site linked to above has DSC/NC/AFC citations, it's hard to find the full citations for most Silver Stars. Here are some:

Keary Miller, the AF PJ, who by the way is a Kentucky Air National Guardsman:Technical Sergeant Keary J. Miller distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force near Marzak, Patkia Province, Afghanistan, on 4 March 2002. On that date, Sergeant Miller was the Air Force Combat Search and Rescue Team Leader assigned to a Quick Reaction Force tasked to recover two American servicemen evading capture in austere terrain occupied by massed al Qeada and Taliban forces. Shortly before landing, his MH-47E helicopter received accurate rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire, severely disabling the aircraft and causing it to crash land. Sergeant Miller and the remainder of the assault force formed a hasty defense and immediately suffered four fatalities and five critical casualties. Despite intense enemy fire, he moved throughout the battlefield, crossing open danger areas on numerous occasions, in order to assess and care for critically wounded servicemen. As the battle drew on, Sergeant Miller removed M-203 and 5.56 rounds from the deceased and, in multiple acts of extraordinary courage, proceeded through some of the day’s heaviest rocket-propelled grenade, mortar, and small arms fire, while distributing the ammunition from position to position. Shortly thereafter another attack erupted, killing one pararescueman and compromising the casualty collection point. Sergeant Miller braved the barrage of fire in order to move the wounded to better cover and concealment. His intrepidity and skill led to the successful delivery of ten gravely wounded Americans to life-saving medical treatment and to the recovery of seven servicemen killed in action. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Miller has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Lt. Col. Jim "Meat" Fairchild:Lt. Col. James E. Fairchild distinguished himself by gallantry in military operations against an opposing armed forced at Shahi Kot Valley, Afghanistan, on March 4, 2002. Flying as Twister 51, Fairchild contacted Slick 01, who reported they were taking fire from enemy troops 75 meters from their position. Slick 01 requested strafe passes only, due to danger-close friendly troops within minimum risk distances of injury and death from friendly weapons expenditures on enemy locations. Target recognition and accurate delivery were imperative. Twister 51, without regard for his own safety, made four strafe passes at 1,500 feet above ground level, well within the threat envelope of small-arms fire and surface-to-air missiles. Out of high-explosive incendiary ammunition, Twister 51 became the forward air controller-airborne, targeting Twister 52 on four more low-altitude strafe passes employing 20-millimeter ammunition. Twister 51, again acting as forward air controller-airborne, cleared Clash flight into the target area. Due to the expeditious target handoff, Clash 71 was able to make the first strafing pass five minutes after arriving in the target area. With Slick 01’s concurrence, Twister flight attempted to walk each of their successive bombs closer to Taliban and al-Qaida forces without injuring United States forces 75 meters away. Twister 52 dropped 400 meters away from the friendly location, followed by Fairchild, who dropped a single laser-guided bomb 200 meters from the friendly location. By inflicting direct losses to al-Qaida and Taliban forces and subjecting himself to enemy fire to suppress the same and provide cover for downed friendly troops 75 meters from enemy forces, Fairchild’s aviation prowess was responsible for the eventual rescue of 23 personnel and for advancing the goals of the United States’ war on terrorism. Fairchild remained on-station for more than five hours, two hours past the scheduled coverage time, combining to make it a 12.3-hour combat sortie with three night and five day air-to-air refuelings per fighter.Lt. Col. Fairchild was the backseater on Twister 51, piloted by Short. Twister 52 was Rieckhoff (pilot) and Russell (WSO). Clash 71 was Bartley's F-16. I think Slick 01 was Gabe Brown, but there were other combat controllers involved as well, including Vance.

The Reaper
11-09-2005, 12:13
IMHO, the pilot awards cheapen the decoration and lower my opinion of the AF.

They did their jobs, the risk was to those on the ground.

TR