Courageous Restraint

Somebody made mention that I should post my (belated) thoughts on the new proposed medal for Courageous Restraint (because we all know there isn't enough junk to throw on our uniform!)

Alright, this is my thought on medals in general. Medals are given out like Candy. Civilians can look at a military uniform and see all those pretty ribbons and think 'wow, that person is pretty well decorated!' I can tell you bull crap. Case in point, here's my uniform.

I've got four rows, FOUR ROWS of freakin ribbons. You know what they are? Nothing. they don't mean shit in the long run. They are just a pat on the back and an 'atta boy, er, girl' and if I had anything worth anything on there, you wouldn't know the difference because it's just getting obscured by the rest of the 'bling'. In other words, what I'm basically saying is, How Many Freakin' Ribbons do we need? There's even a medal for VOLUNTEERING!!! While we're at it, why don't we give out medals for showing up to work on time, oh wait, we got one of those too.

My thought on the whole thing, we got to many damn medals. They are losing their luster and the whole point behind them. Which brings me back to the original question of a medal for Courageous Restraint.

now granted, I probably shouldn't be voicing my opinion on this to the whole world, being a highly decorated Non Commissioned Officer *snort*. Hell, I'll voice my opinion on the matter anyway.

Ok, you can tell I'm already annoyed by the sheer numbers of medals and ribbons they throw at me already. Now look at the principal behind this type of medal.

First, i want to know where it goes in the heirarchy of giving out medals. Is it more prestigious then a Bronze Star? Because you know what it sounds like to me? It sounds like some politician that is trying to earn brownie points by creating a medal to show a kinder and gentler military but doesn't understand the whole nature behind the purpose of the military to begin with. But apparently it's being proposed by a British General, which makes me wonder if he's ever served in Combat or if he's spent his years commanding from a staff position.

See, the purpose is to encourage soldiers to put themselves in danger to prevent collateral damage. See, the reason why you give soldiers guns is to protect themselves and kill the enemy, because without a gun, the soldier is basically just cannon fodder. You see, in a time of war, when a soldier is getting shot at, it's his job to shoot back. If you are giving him an award for not shooting back, you're going to end up giving out a few purple hearts along with it, probably awarded posthumosly. There is nothing courageous about restraining from pulling the trigger to prevent civilian casualties. The reason why there are civilian casualties is because the enemy is in the area. The only reason why this award would need to be given out is because soldiers allowed themselves to be blown to bits for fear of fighting the enemy due to civilian casualties. How many times can I rephrase this? It is a STUPID AWARD! You aren't going to give it to soldiers who just walk around doing their patrols and don't fire on the population (because that is a war crime). Yes, the only reason why this award would be given is because a soldier didn't fire back when he came under fire with a civilian population was present. Courageous Restraint might be confused with cowardace. Who's to say the poor soldier came under his first gunfight and ended up in the fetal position sucking his thumb? Well, he didn't shoot any civilians, give that kid a medal!

Yeah, sounds dumb to me.

So, what's the latest news on this award anyway? Please tell me NATO changed their minds on the whole thing. But probably not. No wonder Afghanistan is such a mess. Can we keep political correctness out of wars and just let us do our job by eliminating the enemy? Oh yeah, the whole hearts and minds thing. Got it. Before you know it, the military will be deployed without their weapons because it looks to aggressive to the civilians.

War is a dirty and ugly thing. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense when you really come to think about it. But we got people out there who want to kill us. They will use our rules of engagement against us and hide out where they know the Laws of War won't allow us to go and shoot us from their mosques and hospitals and use innocent children for their dirty work. The whole region is a mess and these people are not like combatants we've seen before. My thoughts on the whole issue, Obama should have just pulled us out of there so we don't risk more lives or let us actually fight this war and bomb the crap out of it and kill those bastards. Because how we're fighting it now is completley ineffective. And a medal for Courageous Restraint isn't going to be helping matters anytime soon.

Maybe it's time for me to put my hat up and get out of the army? It's going to hell in a handbasket quick.


Bob Brannon said...

I do understand you frustration on the Military Award System.
But I have a different take on a Soldier’s uniform.
Here is just my simple opinion on the awards and other "bling" that goes to make up a correct Class "A" Uniform.

It is a Soldier's resume’. Another Soldier looking at it can tell much about what they have done and where they have been. What there background and training is and how much pride and attention to detail the Soldier has by how it looks.

As for not meaning shit in the long run you could say that about everything that has or will ever happen. After we are gone just who cares if we got a Good Conduct Medal or any other awards that make up are medal/ribbon rack or even Unit Awards let alone Skill Badges.

I have my few ribbons and I take pride in them even if non-military friends and family do not understand them. I did not do it for them nor myself, I accomplished the missions I was given and I subsequently received an award for doing so.

It is a funny thing as I stumbled across you blog I was putting together my own Class "A"s for my DA Photo and for the once a year wearing of the greens at the Unit Christmas Party. I was trying to find just how the German Shooting Badge is worn is how I found your site again.
So I understood the pain in assembling and then all the checks to ensure the Uniform is just as correct as humanly possible.

As for the medal for "Volunteering" there is more then just volunteering.
As per the 600-8-22 It may be awarded to members of the Armed
Forces of the United States and their Reserve Components, who subsequent to 31 December 1992, perform outstanding
volunteer community service of a sustained, direct and consequential nature.
b . To qualify for award of the MOVSM a servicemember’s volunteer service must meet the following
(1) Be to the civilian community, to include the military family community.
(2) Be significant in nature and produce tangible results.
(3) Reflect favorably on the Military Service and the Department of Defense.
(4) Be of a sustained and direct nature.

To meet all the requirements it is just more then raising your hand it is not a give me medal.

I'm glad to read that your life is going better then the time you had in FT. Knox with K Troop 1/81 Armor.

Risawn said...

Hey Brannon, thank's for your comment. And I do agree with you as well, but on the flip side, my frustration with my own uniform is I feel I have never been given the opportunity to earn anything above an AAM (which, after a point, get's to losing their luster). I've gotten to feeling that my time in the army has been wasted.

I think I have had a lot of frustration in my military career (Ft Knox numero Uno being one of them) and it is probably time for me to get out simply because my heart isn't in it anymore anyway.

In other news, just found out I married into the family of one of our troops in Kilo, I married his nephew. Small world this is.

Mr E said...

I've always said, the prettier the uniform, the worse the army. I am working on my fifth row, and earned one of them...the rest were for being somewhere at sometime for a certain length of time. The one I did earn was from fighting fires. A couple I was awarded was for my teams actions, not mine, and were lost soon after.


The era of the soldier is gone. The few of us that remain are called 'old timers' and 'stuck in the old ways'. I'm happy with that stigma.