Military members past and present...your thoughts on this article?

Military members past and present...your thoughts on this article?

This is a discussion on Military members past and present...your thoughts on this article? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Washington Times March 13, 2013 Pg. B1 In the Drone Wars, Everyone Gets A Medal Obama's military confuses honor with bravery By David G. Bolgiano ...

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  1. #1
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    Military members past and present...your thoughts on this article?

    Washington Times
    March 13, 2013
    Pg. B1
    In the Drone Wars, Everyone Gets A Medal

    Obama's military confuses honor with bravery
    By David G. Bolgiano and G. John Taylor, The Washington Times

    Before stepping down from his post last month as secretary of defense, Leon E. Panetta announced the creation of a new medal - the Distinguished Warfare Medal - to be given to drone pilots and other cyberwarriors for "flying" missions from the cool confines of locations such as Luke Air Force Base in Nevada. On Tuesday, new Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel ordered a 30-day review of the medal, in the face of public outrage. Scraping the surface off this action is revealing of the administration's efforts to emasculate our armed forces. It has potentially far-reaching implications, not only for individual soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, but also for the continued defense of our nation.
    The new medal now under review would be ranked above both the Bronze Star with Combat "V" and the Purple Heart. Mr. Panetta, who previously served as CIA director, said in a statement that he had "seen first-hand how modern tools like remotely piloted platforms and cybersystems have changed the way wars can be fought, changed the course of battle even from afar." Also touting the need for the medal, Air Force Maj. Dave Blair, an MQ-18 Hummingbird (drone) instructor pilot and AC-130U pilot argued in Air & Space Power Journal for a combat medal for drone operators, claiming that there had been no way previously to honor the efforts of the technicians with a military decoration.
    Both Mr. Panetta and Maj. Blair are wrong, but for different reasons.
    The military historically has honored service members for meritorious achievement in noncombat settings with awards like the Meritorious Service Medal and Legion of Merit. Maj. Blair is mistaking "honor" for "bravery." Hopefully, all of us in the service strive to serve honorably every day of our lives. All of us are not given the opportunity - nor do we possess the right skills - to serve bravely, however. Moreover, even if given the opportunity, we may fail. That is why the Bronze Star with "V" for valor and the Soldier's Medal mean something. Lastly, most of those who are in units, including conventional combat arms units at the tip of the spear, are not there for the badges and medals.
    Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in Great Britain do not feel the need to get a medal for every act of achievement or service. Rightly, they see it as just quietly and professionally doing their duty. Sadly, many Americans feel a growing sense of entitlement to both awards and badges. Thus, we see Combat Action Badges, Sapper Tabs, Iraqi Campaign Medals, Afghan Campaign Medals and now this latest act of self-indulgence, the Distinguished Warfare Medal.
    Mr. Panetta's comments, however, are demonstrative of a more serious problem: We truly have a Nero as commander in chief.
    History will remember three things about President Obama's impact on the military: forcing the acceptance of open homosexuality, mandating that combat arms branches accept women, and the degradation of heroism by inclusion and collectivism.
    The socialist levelers currently in power cannot understand or abide the inescapable truth that some deeds - and some people - are more worthy than others. Thus, the levelers desperately seek ways of deconstructing the institutions and traditions that cherish and celebrate such deeds and such men. At its heart, liberalism, progressivism, socialism, fascism or Marxism - call it what you will - is simply an ideological system built upon envy and resentment.
    By further watering down decorations for physical bravery and courage, the administration has attacked the traditional role of men in the infantry, special operations forces and other combat arms in a cynical ploy to show people how much 21st century warfare has changed. They now aim to prove that putting women in ground combat and allowing open homosexuals to serve have no impact on war's pursuits. This newest award for drone operators will allow women and homosexuals to better compete with men for positions of higher rank, since this "combat" award would be ranked higher than a Bronze Star or Purple Heart. It removes the physical element - something at which heterosexual men typically excel.
    Lastly, this award symbolizes selfishness and lack of humility. In a short but powerful book, "Created for Greatness," author and ethicist Alexandre Havard comments on virtuous leadership:
    "Magnanimity and humility are inextricably linked. They constitute a unique ideal: the ideal of the dignity and greatness of man. Magnanimity affirms our own personal dignity and greatness; humility affirms the dignity and greatness of others.
    "Magnanimity (i.e., greatness of heart), and humility are the fruits of a true appreciation of the value of man; pusillanimity (i.e., smallness of heart), which prevents man from understanding himself; and pride, which prevents him from understanding others, stem from a false appreciation of man's value. Leadership is a life ideal, which recognizes, assimilates and propagates the truth about man."
    By diluting the acts of brave men, Mr. Obama has again shown that he is a pusillanimous person, whom history will recognize as the tyrant he has become. Hopefully, the military will be able to reverse these errant regulations when his reign is over.

    David Bolgiano, a retiredArmy War College instructor and former paratrooper, is co-author of "Fighting Today's Wars" (Stackpole, 2012).
    G. John Taylor is a retired paratrooper and former legal adviser for 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (Delta Force).
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    Member Array billstaf's Avatar
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    I can understand the perceived need for political correctness when it comes to medal availability. I don't particularly like it, but I can understand how some people may feel that non-harm's way soldiers, sailors, and airmen who contribute to a war effort in such a way that the enemy is diminished should be able to receive some kind of award for exemplary service. In the military that award usually comes in the form of a medal. I can also understand how such an award may help in the promotion listings.

    What I don't get is the Distinguished Warfare Medal ranking. Warfare is all about combat arms. Everything else is support. Maybe it is just me getting older, but I find it hard to see just how some desk-bound joystick jockey can be rewarded higher than some grunt operating out where people are getting killed and wounded. Just my opinion and I do understand that the Air Force wants to get some medals too.
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    I agree with the article 100%. (and you too bill). I think to give the drone operators a medal that is higher than a Bronze Star and Purple Heart is outrageous and serves to cheapen all medals received for combat bravery.

    I can't imagine any AF officer being proud of getting this medal, knowing that it's considered higher than one given to a soldier who put his life on the line in combat.

    Many AF members have gotten medals for bravery and the Purple Heart...ones they earned by being there in real life, not on a computer screen.
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    Distinguished Member Array lchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeanlouise View Post
    I agree with the article 100%. (and you too bill). I think to give the drone operators a medal that is higher than a Bronze Star and Purple Heart is outrageous and serves to cheapen all medals received for combat bravery.

    I can't imagine any AF officer being proud of getting this medal, knowing that it's considered higher than one given to a soldier who put his life on the line in combat.

    Many AF members have gotten medals for bravery and the Purple Heart...ones they earned by being there in real life, not on a computer screen.
    AMEN! These drone directors will never know how it feels to hear bullets snapping or ricocheting past them. It takes no 'heroism' to play computer games. If their plane gets shot down, it's just ho-hum we need another drone. When real aircrews get shot down there is significant risk to life and limb.

    These "decorations" will certainly diminish the significance of medals worn by the real warriors. This is our current government's need to destroy the significance of military action.

    I think this is criminal action by our "leaders". "High crimes and misdemeanors" come to mind.
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    Being former aircrew I disagree with the ranking of this medal, pardon my bluntness but a drone pilot’s only real hazard is chapped buns from sitting or maybe a severe case of push-button fingers. Personally I would rank it the same as the National Defense Service Medal as they are never exposed to the same dangers as the ground troops or the aircrew members. The troops in country whether in the air or on the ground are in constant danger no matter what their assignment is, a drone pilot looses a drone he just gets another one there is no need for a SAR to find or recover him.
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    I don't agree with the medal's ranking at all. As other's have said the only hazard for these pilots is a sore ars. I think medals should only be given to those in harms way. IMO.
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    Another stupid idea. Just like giving everyone a black beret in the army. Stupid..... It is a feel good thing.
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    Everyone gets a trophy now.
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    It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

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    Distinguished Member Array lchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeanlouise View Post
    Everyone gets a trophy now.
    Ain't it the sick truth.

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    It is very easy to perform very well in the safety of a safe place, working 8 or 12 hours and going home to your family. When you know you could be killed at any moment 24/7, well that will "separate the men from the boys"' no reference to women in combat intended.
    When older people who served many years before me in the military see all the ribbons I have, in photos or my shadow box, they think I must be some incredible warrior. Not the case. Medals and awards are given away more and more freely, like Jean said. Everyone gets a trophy.
    Don't get me wrong. Drone pilots are doing great things and probably saving many lives. But the awards they receive can't be given the high place that they are.
    Sorry if I am not clear on this. This kind of thing touches a personal spot with me and makes me a little angry.
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    No, that's all I can nicely say about it.

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    Way back in history, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was in the U.S. Navy. I was stationed at a medium sized base in Sothern California filling a Base Security billet. Basically we were playing cops and robbers with real guns. After a period of time it was decided that someone in our unit was to get the Navy Achievement Medal. When it came right down to it there were two candidates. Patrolman 1 went above and beyond attempting to save an accident victim’s life by doing CPR and mouth to mouth. The victim’s head had been crushed and it was not a pleasant task, but Patrolman 1 kept it up until the paramedics arrived. Patrolman 2 saw a woman run a stop sign who he thought to be driving on a suspended license and chased her, to include leaving the base, until she hit a tree and totaled her car. He then placed her under apprehension. Patrolman 1 was of an unpopular religion and Patrolman 2 was the Department Head’s pet patrolman. Care to guess which one received the medal… Later talking to Patrolman 2 even he agreed the wrong decision was made in giving him the medal for making a woman wreck her car. After that I never gave much weight to Navy medals.
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    Good first post, Trucker Joe. Welcome from Memphis from a former OTR trucker.

    I could not agree more about the ranking of the medal. I have no problem with giving a medal to the drone operators. Maybe a pull tab off a Coke can or something. The ranking is definitely askew. Is it because Panetta was the CIA director and the drone operators are acting on CIA intel? Maybe. It doesn't really matter why, but there needs to be a military review board to look at this, not just a bunch of wanna be civilians in the Obama administration.
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    While I can agree that a drone operator who does his time providing overhead cover for the troops on the ground and may take out some significant targets during these missions deserves recognition such as the same campaign medals the cook in Iraq gets, I hardly see a token award of any medal without significant cause--whether with feet on the ground or eyes in the air.

    I put a lot of B-52s into the air that provided a lot of offense in SEA, and all I ever got was $2 a day per diem.
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    [QUOTE=lionround;2656433]Good first post, Trucker Joe. Welcome from Memphis from a former OTR trucker.

    Something is wrong with the counter around here, while it is true I don't post often I have been here for several years. My first screen name, Scrvoy locked me out for unknowreasonses, and I have posted several times under Trucker Joe.

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