Thursday, July 01, 2010

Overdue; let's break the seal at last ...

Good. Very good.
The Pentagon has recommended that the White House consider awarding the Medal of Honor to a living soldier for the first time since the Vietnam War, according to U.S. officials.

The soldier, whose nomination must be reviewed by the White House, ran through a wall of enemy fire in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley in fall 2007 in an attempt to push back Taliban fighters who were close to overrunning his squad. U.S. military officials said his actions saved the lives of about half a dozen men.

35 comments:

LT B said...

Huzzah!  Huzzah!  There have been heros and heroic action in both of these wars.  One can honor those alive and dead w/o it being a political statement for/against Obama or Bush.  One does not have to die to be awarded the honor.  It is time.

Spade said...

So...it took 9 years of war to somehow find one guy still alive who deserved the MoH and then it took them three years to get the paperwork done.

Byron said...

I'll make you a bet: IF approved, I bet that SECDEF vice POTUS does the award.

Byron said...

Well, that's better than the procurement-delivery time line...

Redeye80 said...

The article sounds more like an political opportunity for the President than the celebration of one's bravery.

From the article, "Gates "finds it impossible to believe that there is no one who has performed a valorous act deserving of the Medal of Honor who has lived to tell about it," said Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell, who declined to comment on specific nominations. "

Isn't this the same Gates who refused to forward a MoH recommendation for a Marine because HIS panel of experts said it could not have been done even thought all the witnesses said different.

IMHO, the award system is broke.  Read some of the Navy Cross citations from OIF/OEF and compare them with some of the MoH citations from WWII or Vietnam, I have a hard time seeing the difference.

LT B said...

Nah, I think POTUS can't give up the chance to get a photo chance like that.  Politics is politics and photo ops and speaches is job #1 in politics.  grrrrrr

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Overdue. 

What is long overdue is to shorten the chop chain down to any eyewitness, Commanding Officer, ISIC, (fill in the blank) component CDR, Service Chief/Commandant and the response time to 30 days. The Joint imperial general staff and upwards have no reasonable input to make. 

A symptom of the shortage of Leaders and the surplus of micro managers, IMHO.

Toaster802 said...

But honoring a living soldier with the nation's highest award for valor would give the president an opportunity to ease some of the military's feelings of estrangement from the rest of U.S. society.

First, there is no estrangement of the military from AMERICAN society. The citizens of this country have never not been behind their countrymen in uniform. The crypo-marxists, the frauds, those who hate themselves and their country are the one's estranged. You would not know it from the outright in the bag media, but the American people are supporting servicemen like never before since WW2.

Obama and his loathsome supporters are the ones who are off base and out of touch.

http://greenmnts.blogspot.com/

Barelyawake said...

Isn't this the incident described in Junger's "War" book?  I won't be cynical and suggest that publicity/third party non-military descriptions had any decision making impact.

XBradTC said...

No way. Obama likes that part of the Presidency. The fun stuff. Giving awards and such. 

Mind you, I'm sure he'll say something stupid, or act inappropriately, but he'll do it. 

And as the article and LT B say, he can't afford to pass us the PR potential of it. 

Kristen said...

Totally, totally, totally agree.

Kristen said...

I've heard about Junger's book.  Do you recommend it?

Kristen said...

I guess I'll disagree with the general sentiment here about the turnaround time.  I read about the process and how very painstaking it is and I like that.  This is a sacred award and I want it to be VERY carefully vetted before it is handed out.  I'll agree though that there has been a ridiculous reluctance to award it to living heroes.

Kristen said...

He'll definitely be the one to award it, but I doubt if he'll go off of his teleprompter.  This is a guy who used a teleprompter to address a staff meeting.  He won't try to ad lib a huge media event like this.

Vigilis said...

Heartily agree; would be good for both our military and country.  Not such an easy mantel for living recipients; in a way, they continue to earn it for the remainder of their lives. With older recipients fading, living examples are sorely needed.

LT B said...

I just bought it and am only 20 pages into it.  He is a decent writer and it flows pretty well.  I think it is in his book, at least geographically, it is the same location.

LT B said...

I just hope the young man isn't a corpse-man.  Won't that be some embarrassing stuff?  AGAIN!

Anonymous said...

I highly recommend the book.  I felt like he honestly collected and explained what goes on inside infantrymans' heads during their tour.  And that's not easy.  Not really political nor preachy  . . . didn't really seem to be any agenda other than presenting insights into the personal experiences of young men in a difficult situation.

Wstr said...

From earlier post I made at Blackfive with minor changes:

<span>80% way through the book myself and finding it very interesting ('enjoying it' seems disrespectful esp. as I'm sat back on my lard arse in safety). Highly recommended and I'll definitely be looking out for the film RESTREPO. As pointed out in the reviews its not just a straight forward chronology of firefights -although there are an awful, awful lot of gut-wrenching contacts- Junger also ruminates on the nature of: courage, sacrifice, brotherhood and the addiction of combat. Don't worry, these pieces are carefully thought out and add to, not distract from, the main story; backed up with historical studies it reminds me of the writing of Lt Col Dave Grossman in his book On Killing.</span>

Wstr said...

<p>And yes to answer the original question (as we've all rightly diverted into praising the book), despite the vague wording of the article and no name, I'm assuming its the same incident described in the book for Junger's time with Battle Coy was covering the period of June 2007 - June 2008.
</p>

sid said...

You can see that with his haphazard salutes when debarking Marine One.

Somebody should school him on what to to with his thumb.....

Anonymous said...

Jim Hanson names the soldier:

http://tinyurl.com/263ulug

C-dore 14 said...

LT B, It's on my wish list too.

C-dore 14 said...

It's about time.

sid said...

Its about time the pendulum has begun to swing back....

The opposite end of the arc was at Vera Cruz....

Redeye80 said...

Check out the WWII citations, act to presentation was very short.  So, I'll infer those were handed out carelessly?

Mike M. said...

I still maintain that we need to form a commission of MOH winners to review all Navy Cross and equivalent awards for the last decade and see if any need an upgrade.

Which some do.

Kristen said...

Thanks, guys, that's very helpful.  My father and my husband both love military history so I'll keep this in mind for gifting.

Kristen said...

LOL!  I had forgotten all about that.  You're right, when it involves military culture, the President can mess up even when reading from the 'prompter.

Kristen said...

Actually, yes, I've been told by some in the military that some MOHs were handed out for morale purposes during WWII and weren't necessarily as deserved as others.  I couldn't name you such a recipient and I wouldn't want to, but I definitely don't think this award should be given out without due process.

One other thing...I come here because I really like the quality of the people who gather and chat on this site.  I don't recognize your name and I almost didn't respond because you sounded unnecessarily snippy in your reply.  You don't have to be contentious here in order to disagree - you can be polite about it.

祐白祐白 said...

pleasure to find such a good artical! please keep update!!.................................................................

Tom Poole said...

I think this is great, but unless he is either hispanic or black expect Obama to disapprove it.

ShawnP said...

LIKE GERALD FARRIOR.............sorry for yelling but he deserves it.

Kristen said...

Oh my, Redeye80.  That's a very gracious response.  :)

MAJHAM@GTMO said...

There are giants among us who deserve this honor.  Lets hope he paves the way for more.