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Old 12-13-2012, 08:51 PM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
26,058 posts, read 22,780,245 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Army_Guy View Post
Officers decorate each other with awards like Halloween!

Rank and MOS play a part in who is approved for awards.

He was a Sgt in a tank division during WW2.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:58 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,130 posts, read 38,859,608 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjh View Post
I just learned a couple of days ago that an uncle was awarded the Bronze Star during WW2. I am gathering paperwork to request his military records. (It's been >62 years since his discharge.) Those records may shed some light on why he received that decoration. In the meantime, I was wondering how unusual or for want of a better phrase, how big a deal is a Bronze Star award?
You should be proud of your Uncles service... I know a Sergeant First Class who was awarded two Bronze Stars while serving three tours in Vietnam. Here is some actual realistic background on the Bronze Star Medal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:50 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,130 posts, read 38,859,608 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Army_Guy View Post
Officers decorate each other with awards like Halloween!
Bet you don't have the Cojones to say that face to face with U.S. Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sergeant Robert A. Busto. He was
presented the Bronze Star Medal with Combat 'V' for heroic actions. He conducted more than 70 combat mounted patrols and 13
direct fire enemy engagements... He doesn't look too Halloween to me....

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Old 12-13-2012, 09:59 PM
 
13,496 posts, read 13,971,597 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke_Jaguar4 View Post
Medals have morphed into a graphical display of a person's military record on their shirt. With a quick glance I can tell or estimate:

# of campaigns they've been in.
# of overseas tours/sea service.
# of PCS/PCA moves they've had and whether their leadership through they were above average, average, or below average troops (Distinguished Service/Commendation/Achievement Medals)
Any "special" assignments (Humanitarian, Recruiter, Homeland Security...)
All of the above are fairly routine.

Then there's the no-kidding, real combat/valor medals. This includes the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Silver/Bronze Star with V, Purple Heart, POW Medal, Combat Action Medal/Ribbon/Badge, Presidential Unit Citation, Air Medal.

Learning how to "decode" today's awards is an acquired skill. For guys who earned their medals during WWII/Korea/Vietnam, it can definitely appear like today's military members are over-decorated.
this^^
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:18 PM
Status: "Bountiful pine needle harvest" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Near Manito
19,272 posts, read 20,151,367 times
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I have to chuckle when I remember how I "missed out" on a Bronze Star. It was in the spring of 1968, in the middle of the Tet offensive, and everybody in III Corps in RVN were caught up in the firefights and battles going on around Saigon and up and down highway 13. I was just an E-4 eleven bravo grunt, but I was cited for some things that happened near An My during the three-day battle there. Lots of KIA on both sides. My harried CO offered me a three-day pass to Vung Tau in place of the BS, just to cut down on the paperwork load on him and his company clerks.

Needless to say, I grabbed the pass and caught space available on a dustoff chopper that was headed that way. I hit the beach the same day.

Here's the kicker, though -- the second night I was there, damn if Charlie didn't hit friggin Vung Tau with rockets and mortars! First time that had ever happended in the war.

But seven months later I made it home, and figured I didn't mind so much getting discharged without the BS. A CIB, my RVN campaign and service ribbons, and a NDSM are all I got -- and they were plenty!!!
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
14,095 posts, read 22,963,452 times
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I agree, they give out too many worthless medals. I have several I don't feel I earned. The only award I received that I feel I earned is one I can't wear on my chest. It's a silly little letter of commendation. I was our division's DCPO (damage control petty officer). My responsibility was our division's fire fighting equipment, water tight doors, hatches, and scuttles, and emergency lighting. I took this responsibility very seriously and got all our stuff working properly. The award was for not having a single hit on a major operations inspection. To me, that's not what the award is for. To me, it's because every time we had a fire, not one of my fire fighting equipment failed when needed, which was often considering the age and condition of the ship's engine room. My first ship was technically in a combat situation, Desert Storm. We were shot at by a Scud missile (but was shot down before it could hit us) and we went through a mine field (two US ships were hit by mines but not ours though we came close). I still don't feel I deserved the medals connected to Desert Storm. Also have combat action, "didn't get caught" medal, NATO (for Bosnia), sea service, national defense, and several others. They're all in a box under my bed.

Are there service members whose job is to fold and pack parachutes or is that the job of the ones doing the jump? My job as DCPO would be sort of like that kind of job. If the job isn't done properly, someone could die. You don't get medals for heroism or things like that. But if you take pride in your work, you get the sense of a job well done knowing you didn't make a mistake that got someone killed.
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:50 AM
 
30,736 posts, read 16,968,992 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjh View Post
I just learned a couple of days ago that an uncle was awarded the Bronze Star during WW2. I am gathering paperwork to request his military records. (It's been >62 years since his discharge.) Those records may shed some light on why he received that decoration. In the meantime, I was wondering how unusual or for want of a better phrase, how big a deal is a Bronze Star award?
Back then, he earned the Bronze star......he and you should be proud of that, again, it was earned....

Today (in the Army) the bronze star is given to most all officers for being over there....that is the PCS award....

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the award system is broken to the point that they (the Army) has diminished what awards stand for....

Again, at my retirement, a CW3 and me an E-7, the CW3 recieved the LOM, I recieved the MSM....why, because I was told I was only an E7....yes, in private I was told this.....

The Order of Saint Michael I recieved, is worth more to me than all the other medals I have recieved in the Army....
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
2,633 posts, read 4,391,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucksnee View Post
Today (in the Army) the bronze star is given to most all officers for being over there....that is the PCS award....
I think you are mixing up Bronze Star w/V for valor with Bronze Star.

That's because the Bronze Star without a V is considered equivalent to the MSM. A bronze star of that category is just for meritorious service or achievement, not for valor.

In other words, Bronze Star (Without a V for valor) in combat zone = MSM out of combat zone.




You'll find Bronze Star w/V are not all that commonly awarded. Bronze Stars are given to a lot of people- and yes, usually officers, warrants, and more senior NCOs.

No, lower enlisted typically don't get them, because lower enlisted typically aren't ever in a position to have that big of an impact. It's not a slam on their contributions: it's simply that a SPC who is a rifleman probably never had the oportunity to have quite the same impact as, say, a First Sergeant or platoon sergeant or Company Commander. That's the way the military is structured, and that's the way the cookie crumbles.

It shouldn't be all officers-but it probably *should* be many, and many senior NCOs, on deployments because in combat they will have more of an opportunity to shine than at, say, Ft. Riley.

Last edited by Poncho_NM; 12-14-2012 at 09:45 AM..
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:03 PM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
26,058 posts, read 22,780,245 times
Reputation: 119709
Thanks for the answers. I look forward to learning more about his service experiences. He's passed and didn't ever talk about it. Typical of so many vets. Still it was a surprise to find out.
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:36 AM
 
30,736 posts, read 16,968,992 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgiaTransplant View Post
I think you are mixing up Bronze Star w/V for valor with Bronze Star.

That's because the Bronze Star without a V is considered equivalent to the MSM. A bronze star of that category is just for meritorious service or achievement, not for valor.

In other words, Bronze Star (Without a V for valor) in combat zone = MSM out of combat zone.




You'll find Bronze Star w/V are not all that commonly awarded. Bronze Stars are given to a lot of people- and yes, usually officers, warrants, and more senior NCOs.

No, lower enlisted typically don't get them, because lower enlisted typically aren't ever in a position to have that big of an impact. It's not a slam on their contributions: it's simply that a SPC who is a rifleman probably never had the oportunity to have quite the same impact as, say, a First Sergeant or platoon sergeant or Company Commander. That's the way the military is structured, and that's the way the cookie crumbles.

It shouldn't be all officers-but it probably *should* be many, and many senior NCOs, on deployments because in combat they will have more of an opportunity to shine than at, say, Ft. Riley.
Post 19 is not talking about the Bronze star/w valor....
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