Thursday, October 8, 2009

Quickie: The Bronze Star, not an ‘atta boy’ medal

Bronze Star Medal; Decoration of the U.S.Image via Wikipedia

David Tate of The Battlefield Tourist had trouble with how the Bronze Star is handed out these days. He writes:

“Four guys see combat and 21 get the Bronze Star? The problem is the “V” device. Get rid of it. The Bronze Star is a hero’s medal; not an ‘atta boy’ medal. Stop giving it for meritorious purposes. Redefine it I say! It just sucks that there’s this whole slew of Bronze Star license plates out there that have the same meaning to the general public. It’s almost a disservice considering the average person can’t distinguish between a man who single-handedly knocked out two machine gun nests on Tarawa versus an admin clerk who served the general a great cup of joe.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OMG- I cannot tell you how nuts this makes me. I was in Iraq in 2004, and there was one particular instance where my gunner was the only person to see an insurgent with an RPG. My gunner lit up the insurgent just as he got a round off, which passed JUST over the vehicle behind us. He stayed completely cool the entire time, giving me directions as to where the insurgent was while he was firing, and allowing us to flank the position. His actions saved the lives of the five Soldiers in the vehicle behind us, and possibly more since we would have been stuck there and vulnerable had the RPG found its mark.

I was only able to get him approved for an Army Commendation Medal WITHOUT a "V" device.

I cannot tell you how many PAC (Personel) clerks, Senior NCOs, and Junior Officers I saw awarded Bronze Stars just for serving in a particular billet for a year.

Absolutely- Get rid of the "V". The various services' commendation medals were designed for this very reason.