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.