I concur wholeheartedly.

David French writing at The Corner at NRO:

This weekend’s New York Times Sunday Magazine contains a fascinating article that hits quite close to home for me. Centered around the story of a 25-year-old Marine who — despite horrific wounds — had the presence of mind and courage to scoop a live grenade under his body to save the lives of his comrades, the article asks a simple question: Why is the military awarding so few medals of honor? Are we less courageous now? Or is the military stifling valor awards in a labyrinthine bureaucracy dominated by rear echelon second-guessers? The numbers are stunning:

Despite its symbolic importance and educational role in military culture, the Medal of Honor has been awarded only six times for service in Iraq or Afghanistan. By contrast, 464 Medals of Honor were awarded for service during World War II, 133 during the Korean War and 246 during the Vietnam War. “From World War I through Vietnam,” The Army Times claimed in April 2009, “the rate of Medal of Honor recipients per 100,000 service members stayed between 2.3 (Korea) and 2.9 (World War II). But since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, only five Medals of Honor have been awarded, a rate of 0.1 per 100,000 — one in a million.”

Go read the whole thing.

5 thoughts on “I concur wholeheartedly.”

  1. We aren’t less couragous. It has been my experience in three deployments that Soldiers are valorous and do valorus things every day. The unfortunate thing is I thing the chain of command holds people to an unreasonable standard as to what is award worthy. They almost seem to have an attitude that they are having to pay for these things out of their own pocket.

    I have also heard things coming out of Division regarding award submissions for aviators like: “I don’t give a private who’s vehicle gets struck by an IED a Bronze Star, why should I give a pilot an air medal for landing a shot-up helicopter?” If you want me to write up the kid that got blasted by an IED I’ll do it, but what does one have to do with another? But it’s comments like that, which illustrate the mindset we are dealing with when it comes to awards and decorations.

  2. Outlaw, sorry you were stuck in the spam bucket. I guess WordPress just doesn’t like Warrant Officers.

    But I am in agreement with you. In the case of LT Finn, who recently passed, it took a whopping total of 9 months to consider, approve and present the Medal of Honor.

    I think some senior leaders are wary of the inflation of medals from Vietnam (and the wholesale barrage of medals in Desert Storm) and have sadly taken that caution to a level that prevents the recognition of valor and intrepidity that is common among the young troops we have in the field today.

  3. I think one poster over on Lex’s porch has a point when he says it’s about glorifying valor, something the present group of thugs in office have a serious problem with. One of the other problems is, as I pointed out, is spelled “REMF.” A refusal to write someone up for doing something extra-ordinary is really a dereliction of duty. I am reminded of what napoleon said about such things, and I paraphrase, “I could conquer the world with just a little bit of ribbon.” The recognition of such things among the warrior class is a very serious motivation for the rest. It also is good for those keeping the home fires burning.

  4. I think one poster over on Lex’s porch has a point when he says it’s about glorifying valor, something the present group of thugs in office have a serious problem with.

    I’m no fan of the current administration, but this isn’t their fault. It was a problem under the previous admin as well. And to be honest, I’m not certain if the problem is at the level of the services, or in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

    There are rumbles that a Marine will be approved shortly, but I keep hearing that, and not seeing anything happen. And in any case, I think there’s probably at least a half dozen or so incidents that, in earlier wars, would have been no-brainers.

  5. The criteria is set very high to be PC In this world a John Basilone at Guadalcanal with a medal of honor would have been torn apart by the press long before he got anywhere near Iwo Jima to die. Lets not even think about what would have happened to Ira Hayes politically.
    For our day any Patton is well cowed politically long before he can inspire his men and any that aren’t are not around long.
    Now at this point in time the current admin is not looking for heroes just as they are not seeking an end that can be construed as victory for the US in Astan. What the current leaders are lookinmg for are men who will be willing to die to save civilians and be killed to save civilian lives by not shooting back.
    medal of Honor? No the POTUS is seeking a courageous restraint recipient to award That medal to.
    I wonder just what colors and medal the courageous restriant medal looks like?

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