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Afghan Medals Process (merged)

paracowboy

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y'know what my medals mean to me?
Every one is a dead friend.
3 tours, 3 dead friends.
I don't look at them unless I have to.
I don't want any more, if that's the price I have to pay.

This discussion is stupid.
 

APOLLOVet

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As one of the people who have supposedly been "cheated" out of a gong (Op APOLLO, ARCHER R0, both under the auspices of Op ENDURING FREEDOM - thus 1x SWASM), I have to say that it is not that big of a deal. While it is always nice to get another gong for your rack, what is more important is that we are in a small army. You and your peers know what you have done, and the word of what you have done will precede you to every other posting that you go to.

We all want to have the three-four row rack for formal parades, but in the end, your reputation is more important. You will receive that from your tour efforts regardless of whether you get another gong or not.
 

John Nayduk

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The Canadian Press
 
Updated: Tue. Aug. 11 2009 6:49 AM ET

OTTAWA — The military is recommending an overhaul of its medal system to address a growing number of complaints that have overshadowed the glittering honours awarded to troops who serve overseas.

National Defence has conducted a "sweeping review" and put forward recommendations for the federal cabinet which are expected to include the creation of a single medal to recognize all overseas service, The Canadian Press has learned.

The military's senior policy adviser on medals and citations said the proposals are meant to simplify a system that has become "complicated" by different deployments, under different mandates.

The confusion and lack of recognition for some soldiers has led to bitterness and the occasional letter of protest from members and their families.

"We've done a major review that will have significant consequences in the way we recognize our people," said Maj. Carl Gauthier, who is in charge of creating new medals and modifying the rules for existing ones.

"We're going to make some recommendations to try (to) simplify the recognition framework for Afghanistan."

Defence sources say one of the key proposals is the creation of an overseas service medal, similar to the Volunteer Service Medal given out to Canadian soldiers who served at least 18 months away from home during the Second World War.

Gauthier would not talk about specific recommendations, but said the Defence Department has heard the complaints of soldiers, sailors and aircrew whose missions are not covered by the existing set of awards, such as the General Campaign Star and the Southwest Asia Service Medal.

Some troops also want recognition of multiple tours -- an important acknowledgment for men and women who have been faced with up to four six-month stint in Kandahar in less than 10 years.

"There are still gaps in the way we recognize service overseas that we are trying to address," said Gauthier.

Who gets recognized and under what circumstances is often the subject of intense, emotional debate among those uniform, who sometimes complain the regulations governing awards arbitrary and political.

Hundreds of soldiers who were part of the first battle group into Kandahar at the beginning of the latest mission in 2006 were denied a long-promised campaign star medal because they did not serve enough time under NATO command.

Instead, members of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry battle group -- who spent most of their tour under U.S. command in Operation Enduring Freedom -- were awarded the Southwest Asia Service Medal.

An outside observer may not see much difference between the two medals, but front-line soldiers tend to covet the campaign star, which with its International Security Force (ISAF) bar.

It is recognition that they've been in Afghanistan facing a hostile enemy, unlike the Southwest Asia medal which is also awarded to shipboard crews and headquarters staff who've served at posts as far removed as the U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla.

Unlike the United States and Britain, Canada has no specific service recognition for combat soldiers. There are bravery medals for specific acts of heroism, including the newly minted Canadian Victoria Cross.

Former chief of defence staff Gen. Rick Hillier aimed to change that with the creation of a combat infantry badge, but the plan was quietly dropped last spring.

It is not the first controversy over military medals.

The Conservative government launched, with much fanfare, the Sacrifice Medal, which was meant to recognize those wounded and killed in combat. But the first ceremony was postponed indefinitely because the award only recognized soldiers who'd fought in Afghanistan and not on sometimes perilous peacekeeping missions.

Gauthier was not swayed on the question of awarding Princess Patricia's troops a campaign star.

"When we're in the business of medal design and medals criteria, we're in the business of drawing lines. You either qualify or you don't. We have to balance recognition for recognition for people and also the respect and integrity for the honour system. For the medals to be worth something, we have to make sure the criteria is clear, that is applied consistently and fairly for everyone."

The changes to be considered by cabinet and eventually the Governor General would not be retroactive, nor affect medals already handed out.

"We will not rewrite history. We are not going to try to untangle the past. We're going to try to make the future simpler,"Gauthier said.
 

McG

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I've seen a simplified version of the proposal.  I like it, and it should satisfy most.
 

Dennis Ruhl

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My father and most other overseas WWII veterans received 4 medals for essentially the same thing while many received 5 and those who were also in Italy often received 6.  In WWI they received 2 (or 3 if they joined in 1914 or 1915.)  In Korea they received 2 and whined and got 3.  I think lots of medals are appropriate for wars.  1 campaign medal would be the least for a war in about 107 years.

What bothered me were the gimme medals such as centennial, jubilee, etc medals that had no apparent criteria.

The CD is a good medal.  A Special Service Medal with an Alert bar - we're not too sure.  At least we don't give one for excelling in basic training unlike our neighbor.

 

X-mo-1979

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MCG said:
I've seen a simplified version of the proposal.  I like it, and it should satisfy most.

Care to elaborate?Is there a different medal for combat troops or one simple medal across the board with a bunch of bars?

very interested.
 

George Wallace

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Dennis Ruhl said:
What bothered me were the gimme medals such as centennial, jubilee, etc medals that had no apparent criteria.

The CD is a good medal.  A Special Service Medal with an Alert bar - we're not too sure.  At least we don't give one for excelling in basic training unlike our neighbor.

Obviously you haven't done any research.  There are criteria for all of the above medals.  Just because you may not know about them, or disagree with them, doesn't mean that some sort of criteria wasn't set.

Here are some of the points you may have missed:

Canadian Honours System

Canadian Orders, Medals and Decorations

 

McG

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X-mo-1979 said:
Care to elaborate?Is there a different medal for combat troops or one simple medal across the board with a bunch of bars?
Don't want to elaborate too much.  Mostly because I don't want to misrepresent the plan based on the simplified version I saw.  GSM & GCS will still exist, but imagine a system more like UN tours where there was only one medal but unique campaign ribbons.
 

Michael OLeary

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Dennis Ruhl said:
My father and most other overseas WWII veterans received 4 medals for essentially the same thing while many received 5 and those who were also in Italy often received 6.  In WWI they received 2 (or 3 if they joined in 1914 or 1915.)  In Korea they received 2 and whined and got 3.  I think lots of medals are appropriate for wars.  1 campaign medal would be the least for a war in about 107 years.

What bothered me were the gimme medals such as centennial, jubilee, etc medals that had no apparent criteria.

The CD is a good medal.  A Special Service Medal with an Alert bar - we're not too sure.  At least we don't give one for excelling in basic training unlike our neighbor.

In addition to George's comments about each medal having established criteria and that your perception of medals awarded for "essentially the same thing" is misleading, you are also incorrect about the United States awarding a medal for basic training.

The US has a very different award structure to our own, which includes both medal awards and "ribbon only" recognition.  The Army Service Ribbon is awarded for completing of basic training - it does not have an associated medal.


Edited to add, for reference on Second World War medals:

Canadian Army Routine Orders, 16th August, 1946
6719 --- CAMPAIGN STARS, CLASPS, THE DEFENCE MEDAL AND THE WAR MEDAL 1939-45

Of specific note:

Service qualifying for one of the Stars cannot run concurrently with service qualifying for another of the Stars.
 

Fishbone Jones

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Dennis Ruhl said:
My father and most other overseas WWII veterans received 4 medals for essentially the same thing while many received 5 and those who were also in Italy often received 6.  In WWI they received 2 (or 3 if they joined in 1914 or 1915.)  In Korea they received 2 and whined and got 3.  I think lots of medals are appropriate for wars.  1 campaign medal would be the least for a war in about 107 years.

What bothered me were the gimme medals such as centennial, jubilee, etc medals that had no apparent criteria.

The CD is a good medal.  A Special Service Medal with an Alert bar - we're not too sure.  At least we don't give one for excelling in basic training unlike our neighbor.
And I'm guessing these opinions of yours are based on your long years of service and personal experience?  By the bye, how does one retire as a 2Lt?  I thought 23 years as Cpl was bad, but that's the epitome of under achievement.

 

vonGarvin

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recceguy said:
And I'm guessing these opinions of yours are based on your long years of service and personal experience?  By the bye, how does one retire as a 2Lt?  I thought 23 years as Cpl was bad, but that's the epitome of under achievement.
Actually, I'll disagree on the one point of the 23 year Cpl ("Career Corporal", or "CFL-Corporal for Life").  I have a minimum of 4 CFLs in my company.  Without them and their extensive knowledge and strong work ethic, the company would have a very difficult time to recover.  Their PERs reflect strong grades in performance, although their potential for promotion is low. 

Having said that, 2Lts do not receive PERs, it being a probationary rank and all.

Edited to fix spelling error
 

Dennis Ruhl

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Jammer said:
"Retired" 2Lt in Armoured Reserve = EPIC FAIL.

It's called a career move.  If I lived anywhere other than Northern Alberta with its 3 armouries  in 2 cities for 1 3/4 million people there probably would have been a militia unit to parade with.  I simply state that I was a 2Lt because it is a fact not because I equate it to being a general.
 

Dennis Ruhl

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George Wallace said:
Obviously you haven't done any research.  There are criteria for all of the above medals.  Just because you may not know about them, or disagree with them, doesn't mean that some sort of criteria wasn't set.

Here are some of the points you may have missed:

Canadian Honours System

Canadian Orders, Medals and Decorations

The commemorative medals were all political and nothing more.  The most generous criteria was "The Medal was awarded to Canadians who have made outstanding and exemplary contributions to their communities or to Canada as a whole."  Hardly objective criteria.  A lot of political hacks and grandmothers that did good knitting got them.
"
 

Dennis Ruhl

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Michael O'Leary said:
In addition to George's comments about each medal having established criteria and that your perception of medals awarded for "essentially the same thing" is misleading,

He got 4 medals for going to war.

They all have separate criteria but with only odd exceptions, everyone who went to war got 4, 5, or 6 medals.  Those who did not go to war but spent over 30 days in the military got at least one.
 

George Wallace

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Dennis Ruhl said:
He got 4 medals for going to war.

They all have separate criteria but with only odd exceptions, everyone who went to war got 4, 5, or 6 medals.  Those who did not go to war but spent over 30 days in the military got at least one.

???

Your point?
 

George Wallace

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Dennis Ruhl said:
The commemorative medals were all political and nothing more.  The most generous criteria was "The Medal was awarded to Canadians who have made outstanding and exemplary contributions to their communities or to Canada as a whole."  Hardly objective criteria.  A lot of political hacks and grandmothers that did good knitting got them.
"

Even though many of our "Honours and Awards" may seem to have been cheapened by such practices of 'weak' criteria, they still have criteria.  The people who nominate and approve the awards should be responsible for seeing that they do not cheapen an Award/Honour by not meeting the intent of the criteria for the Awards.

Perhaps you can remember the controversy on this site with the new Sacrifice Medal.

People must be held responsible for the proper administration of Honours and Awards, and criteria have been set into place to assist in that.  (Please note the highlighted words.)
 

1feral1

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Dennis Ruhl said:
What bothered me were the gimme medals such as centennial, jubilee, etc medals that had no apparent criteria.

Gimme medals? That sure cheaps them Dennis, and thats wrong. Bad choice of words.

I refer to them more like peace-time medals, and yes there is plenty of criteria for peace-time medals, they just don't hand them out like speeding tickets on the 401. All medals are earned or deserved through specific work accomplished for them. Your above post on grannies who 'got them for knitting' is rather offensive to say the least.

Example for warlike service: Australia for war like operations has the AASM (Australian Active Service Medal) , which is awarded with clasps such as ICAT, Iraq, Timor, etc, and this is followed up by a general campaign medal, such as for Afghanistan or Iraq. Simple, although certain criteria for time in country must be met.

I don't see what all the back-biting is about WRT soldiers/medals in Canada, as here the medal culture is 180 degree different in attitude, the problems you are having are literally non-existant here.

Perhaps Canada should look to some of its BCW friends and learn from them. Look at the Combat Badge disaster, that speaks for itself. Something turned from simple to outragously complicated, hence scrapped. We have the two combat badges here, and they work fine for over many decades of being in use.

Off the air for 10 days, going away. Hope all have a good wknd and week coming up.

Regards,

OWDU

EDITed for spelling.
 
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