A California congressman who served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan convinced the House Armed Services Committee to order a full review of the criteria used for giving awards for gallantry and valor after a senior defense official said technological advancements and new combat tactics might be the reason fewer of the highest medals are being issued.While we are discussing today the evils of Transformationalism - will somebody please hit Gail McGinn with a ClueBat?
At the urging of Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, R-Calif., a Marine combat veteran elected to Congress in November, the armed services committee has asked for a review of trends in awarding the Medal of Honor to determine if the low number of awards in the current wars is the result of “inadvertent subjective bias amongst commanders.”
The committee also wants the Defense Department to survey officers and noncommissioned officers in leadership positions to look at attitudes about acts of valor. Hunter is looking for the reasons behind not just fewer nominations, but also a trend since the Vietnam War in which the only Medal of Honor awards have been for people who died during an act of valor.
In a June 2 letter to Hunter that was released Wednesday, Gail McGinn, acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, said defense officials see nothing amiss in the Peralta decision.Not only is that not based on fact (perhaps she should talk to Gen. Mattis) that is a huge insult to all those who have taken ground and engaged the enemy the same as others have throughout our history: face to face, hand to hand.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who made the final call, “was advised by five independent reviewers who all individually concluded that the evidence included in the [Medal of Honor] recommendation did not support the award,” McGinn wrote.
The reviewers included a former commanding general of Marine forces in Iraq, a neurosurgeon, two pathologists and a Medal of Honor recipient, McGinn said.
Her letter also responds to Hunter’s larger question about whether the criteria have changed over time. A 2008 review of guidance used in making the awards “found no evidence of a posthumous requirement, either written or unwritten,” she said.
What has changed, McGinn said, is warfare. U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq “are inherently different from previous major conflicts,” she said.
We could spend hours with examples from Iraq and Afghanistan alone that would prove that from the tactical standpoint (Where Medal of Honor are won), there is no difference between the fighting now and the fighting in 1969, 1951, 1944, 1918, 1898, 1863, 1066 .... amazing someone at that level in that position could say something so out of alignment with reality,
BZ Rep. Hunter - go get 'em.