01 December 2008

Don't expect nothin' & you'll be happy with what you get!

From the Soldier side: For those of you who watch 60 Minutes on Sunday nights...last night you saw the story about the Female Army Private who was awarded the Silver Star. I was not so much surprised as some where that a female got such an award...she did a good job...what I was surprised with is someone of such low rank got that award.
See, when I was in Iraq, if you were below E-7, the odds of you getting anything like a Bronze Star or higher (unless you were wounded) were about zero. Our "Camp Mayor" (the E-7 in charge of the rooms and buildings) never once left the camp, but was given a Bronze Star... several Fobbits were given Bronze Stars. We had Sergeant Majors who'd go on convoys hoping they'd be close, but not too close to something so they could get their C.A.B. (Combat Action Badge)
We actually had a few heroes with us...who I think should have gotten a Silver Star. How about the time one of our teams was out in Baghdad one day...just minding there own business...when they heard gun fire up ahead. An IP (Iraqi Police) patrol was getting shot up pretty bad.
The Staff Sergeant in charge of the SecFor (Security Force) saw one IP had been shot in the neck. The Staff Sergeant jumped out with aid bag, ran to the IP, patched him up, picked him up, and carried him back to the Humvee.
The IP was treated at the camp, by US Army Medics...saving his life. (we have really good medics)
Oh, did I mention that the Staff Sergeant was a female (and very hot I might add). Do you know what award she got?
Nothing. If she'd been an E-7 or an Officer, she'd gotten something good. She's a friggen Hero in my book.
That's just the way it was (or is?)


Hope said...

Man. That sucks.

Anonymous said...

1. 40 years back, E-4's got ARCOMS, E-5 and up BSM on their way home if you weren't a FU.
2. One E-4 in another platoon got a SS (and matching PH) -it was said he was pretty much a stud.
3. A couple of LT's got SS -didn't let us troops around for the awards ceremony, for good reason.
4. No achievement medal back then.
5. Heard about a female MP SGT in your war that earned a SS. Went down in a ditch and duked it out with IA troops -with fatal results for about 10 of them if I remember correctly. Sounded like she certainly earned her award.
6. Back on topic: later as a USMC officer, bragged to my cousin (an Army LTC) that the Marines had only awarded 14 decorations for Grenada, while the Army handed out about 8000.
7. He said that's what the medals are for. Give the young studs something to hang on their chests, make 'em feel proud of themselves.
8. Decided he was right.
9. Started writing my good young corporals and E-5's for Navy Achievement Medals, my Staff NCO's for Navy Commendation Medals.
10. Wrote two of the units I was in for Meritorious Unit Citations.
11. Two results: great loyalty and morale from my men (still hear from a bunch of them); WTF queries from Division G-1, since no one else was doing it.
12. Was a batchelor, so had time for stuff like this.
13. The admin pukes guard this stuff like it's the holy grail. A lot of deserving troops are passed up or awards down graded because they are being 'protected' by these people.
14. They handed out over 250 MOH for Vietnam. They've handed out, what, five? for your war.
15. Have heard lots of after action reports that merited major awards, maybe THE Medal.
16. The fact is that non-combatants have ratcheted up the standards to the point where the awards are sitting on the shelf, gathering dust instead of being used to exemplify heroic and soldierly conduct.
17. Thought I was immune to this stuff. After I got out of the Army, threw all of my stuff away including decorations, award certificates, etc.
18. When I joined the USMC had to jump through seven hoops getting the full-sized medals reissued (my Drill SGT actually came up with one from a pawn shop).
19. But what got to me was finding out I couldn't wear my CIB. The Marines have a ribbon they wear instead. Wouldn't have guessed that switching from the tin badge to a piece of ribbon would have bothered me -but it did.
20. Come to that, initially was against the CAB. For your war, those who are up against it are all pretty much doing the same job -one that infantry troops earn CIB's for. Probably ought to issue CIBS to all that qualify and forget this CAB stuff. That wasn't my initial thought -one I've come to.
21. Pushed a couple of my buttons with that article.

"D" AKA CI-Roller Dude said...

That's the kind of feed back I like to get! Thanks.
To get a CAB in the Army for the wars we have going on now, you have to get into or be close to bullets and or bombs being shot or blown up for your benifit.
Some "REMFS" put in for them for being somewhere on a camp or FOB that got a random mortor round...I had an assholeinsurgent stand up and fire a long burst with his AK at us...missing all of us. I was working with the Marines that week, and they didn't seemed too impressed...when I got back to my army unit, they had "no record" of the incident, so I let it go. WTF...

Sergeant Grumpy said...

It is total bullshit, we had all our BS below E8 turned down, regardless. Word was there was a quota, and the active unit we were subordinate too was saving as many as they could for there own boys.

That said, the one thing I was really proud of was to see on of our E4s get pinned a BS on our post deployment retreat up in the mountains. Man you should have seen the smile on his face.

"D" AKA CI-Roller Dude said...

I know Grumpy... I had soldiers who went out into Baghdad on over 150 MISSIONS!!! and they got jack...where as the REMFS E-7 and above got the Bronze Star....made me want to puke.
IN WWII, the bomber pilots only had to fly 25 mission then they could go home....(they raised it later)...but my guys just kept going like the friggen energizer bunny.