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Sacrifice Medal Mega Thread

Which do you prefer


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Loachman

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Personally, I will opt for long-standing traditions unless there is a good and valid reason for change - and I see none here.

Secondly, individual medals in a long row do not tend to stand out. Many people just note the overall number and not what each is. Wound stripes do stand out. The first one that I ever saw certainly geve me pause and made me think. They are far more distinctive.
 

Red 6

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I can tell you when folks look at ribbon bars who know what they're looking at, the Purple Heart jumps right out there. I don't rate one, but my dad wore two, one from World War 2 and the second from Korea. 
 

Cdnronin

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I guess I'll add my two cents worth.

In reference to US or foreign medals.  Back in the early 70's a new recruit in my unit was a a Canadian who served in the US army in Viet Nam. He served two x 1 year tours. The first tour was a gunner of a Huey with the 1st AirCav. His second tour was as an MP at Danang.  He was awarded 4 air medals, CIB, Bronze Star(v), Silver Star, Purple Heart, VN service medal, volunteer medal etc.

When he joined the CF he requested he be allowed to wear his US medals. The application went through the change of command and a few months later he was allowed to wear the Bronze Star, Silver Star, Purple Heart and VN Service Medal. Everthing else was denied. He was realy upset about the CIB. As you know US army vets are very proud of the CIB.

My opinion about a medal vs a wound stripe: I prefer the medal.  I served during the 60s and 70s and there were very few serving soldiers that had a wound stripe and they were from the Korea era.  They were discouraged from wearing them and most young soldiers knew nothing about them since they were not talked about or taught in basic training. The only soldiers who knew about a wound stripe  were older soldiers who had served in Korea or WWII.  As a matter of fact a lot people confused them with years of service stripes (similar to the stars a RCMP wears for each 5 years of service).

Finally, a vet currently has nothing to show he was wounded when he wears his medals on Rememberance Day and I know many would like a decoration.  I particularly like the suggestion by Don Cherry - a red maple leaf on a white background.

 

The Bread Guy

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The latest, from Oral Statements in the House of Commons, 6 Oct 06
http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=39&Ses=1&DocId=2392284#toc1690025

Mr. Jeff Watson (Essex, CPC): 

    Mr. Speaker, recently, Corporal Bruce Moncur, one of eight current Essex-Kent Scottish in Afghanistan, became the first soldier from our region wounded in our effort against global terrorism. After two brain surgeries, the corporal's injuries have left him struggling to remember names. Corporal Moncur's name is one we will not forget for his service to our communities in Essex and to Canada.

    While saying thanks to our combat wounded is important, we can do more.

    LaSalle resident Murray Sinnott has begun a campaign to see our wounded veterans and soldiers receive an official medal. The Crimson Maple Leaf, as he calls it, would be an enamelled crimson maple leaf set against a white enamelled background, to replace the current blue-gold braid limited to the dress uniforms of those wounded in combat.

    Our Essex-Kent Scots, Canadian Forces, and veterans were all willing to spill their blood for the life and freedom of others. I call on members of this House to support the Crimson Maple Leaf medal to honour our combat wounded.

*   *   *

 
1

17thRecceSgt

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I voted for "a medal".

For the nay-sayers...maybe "we" can recognize a Wound Stripe and respect it accordingly...and maybe those that EARN that stripe want it that way...but I think the stripe is not noticed by "our citizens".

A medal, however might be. 

I know I am wrong, but it's hope and thats something.  Something is better than nothing.

How many citizens know what a Mentioned in Dispatches or anything like that is?

Medals?

They get it means something. 

I think I am looking at this from the wrong angle and aware of it...so I guess I am against myself...but for the right reason.
 

Teddy Ruxpin

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Well, Mr. Watson should read the posts in this thread and check out the poll results before shooting his mouth off...  IMHO, of course. ;)
 

geo

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Teddy,
It's his opinion, everyone has or should have one & shouldn't be afraid of expressing it.

time to make room on the soapbox.

Chimo!
 

Infanteer

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To be honest, I'm indifferent to this one, along with the "Combat Action Medal" that I've also heard rumors about.  Neither really appeals to me as I believe the capbadge on my beret covers one (being in the combat arms and all) and avoiding the other is desired.  As well, we have good, traditional systems in place to recognize both wounds (wound stripe) and tours to combat zones (Afghan bars to medals).  As well, a common rationale for the Combat Medal is so "people know" - my guess is that the "intimidation factor" is wasted on people who don't really know or care what guys on the pointy end do.

However, I do see alot of sincerity in both these proposals, and I find that laudable.  As well, I think service in combat and casualty status are certainly more worth recognizing than a plethora of other things we give medals out for -cough-Jubilee-cough-.  If the CF does decide to award these and circumstances lead me to be presented one, I would wear it proudly.  Until then, I'm going to watch and shoot.

My 2 cents,
Infanteer
 
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To be honest, I'm indifferent to this one, along with the "Combat Action Medal" that I've also heard rumors about.

Any more info on this, Infanteer?  Is there something formal moving through inboxes at NDHQ, or is it just talk?

Personally, I think that's the one glaring omission in the Canadian honours and awards system: a distinction for those who have actively engaged with the enemy - fired upon, or come under fire.

I wrote something about the issue myself over at The Torch: http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2006/10/gongs-for-grunts.html.

The relatively recent profusion of campaign medals on Canadian uniformed chests is a welcome change from the somewhat barren decades between Korea and the Balkans, but a campaign medal simply says the wearer was there. I don't deny that every contribution helps and deserves recognition...But much as the postal clerk deserves recognition, I don't believe he or she is due the same recognition as an infanteer kicking down doors with his heart in his mouth and his breath coming short as he clears a building room by room.

***

...I think we need a new award - specifically, something that recognizes CF members who have engaged directly with the enemy. This is the one time you'll find me supporting a Canadian recognition plainly based upon an American one: the Combat Action Badge. Support elements are critical to a mission, but there's a reason they're called 'support' - the pointy end is the reason they exist, not the other way around. We need to acknowledge that getting shot at and shooting back places unique stresses on an individual, and recognize that formally and visibly.

I have all the respect in the world for those in support classifications, especially those who have deployed with the pointy-end folks.  But a tour spent entirely on the base at Kandahar simply isn't the same as a tour spent out in the rocks taking fire from bad-guys.  That's not to disparage the support guys, it's just acknowledging facts.  We should recognize the distinction.
 

Teddy Ruxpin

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IIRC, there's a whole thread fighting this one out:  there are very valid reasons to oppose introduction of a "Combat Action Badge" - as I do.
 
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Thanks for the pointer, Teddy.  I hope that, since the thread you mention is closed, no one will mind my slightly off-topic remark here.

And unfortunately, you and I will have to disagree about the utility of such a distinction.
 

armyvern

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Babbling Brooks said:
I have all the respect in the world for those in support classifications, especially those who have deployed with the pointy-end folks.  But a tour spent entirely on the base at Kandahar simply isn't the same as a tour spent out in the rocks taking fire from bad-guys.  That's not to disparage the support guys, it's just acknowledging facts.  We should recognize the distinction.

Babbling Brooks, we support troops already realize this fact and have absolutely no problems acknowledging it or recognizing the pointy end does this. Why the badge? To point it out to us? We already know this as do all serving and past serving personnel. To point out the difference between you and me to the average civilian? Most of Canada's average civilians will not recognize it for what it is or what it distinguishs...and they probably won't be running around trying to find out. So is it really necessary?

Those who need to know what the pointy end does... already do. And we truly do our absolute best to support you to our fullest capability on a daily basis trying to make sure the kit, vehicles, weapons, ammo etc we provide you with and fix for you keeps you safe and allows you to make it back inside the wire with your buddies and get home to your families. You have my respect, honestly.
 

McG

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Teddy Ruxpin said:
IIRC, there's a whole thread fighting this one out:  there are very valid reasons to oppose introduction of a "Combat Action Badge" - as I do.
Well, we can't give out CPSM for Afghanistan so clearly we need something else to make it a two medal tour.  ::)  ;D

Red 6 said:
I can tell you when folks look at ribbon bars who know what they're looking at, the Purple Heart jumps right out there. I don't rate one, but my dad wore two, one from World War 2 and the second from Korea. 
Since we do not issue the same medal twice, Canadian soldiers would only wear a number 2 or some other designator on the ribbon.  However, multiple wound stripes can be worn if wounded multiple times.
 

boondocksaint

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Armyvern said:
Why the badge?

Then ask 'why any badge?', why bother with any singular mode of recognition? An arguement for and against every method of recognition could be made. I imagine at the introduction of every medal/award there was upheavel, debate raging about why or why not this particular medal was needed.

I'll ask 'why not?'

Exclusivity? Honestly, there are so many forms of 'exclusivity' in the CF that we take for granted as the norm it doesnt hold water. Will it create another form of exclusivity? Absolutely, I just dont see it as being detrimental. I am of course biased, but then we all are.

To point it out to us? That's not it either, although I can't see where there would be an adverse effect of displaying to other members or to civilians that someone has 'closed with and destroyed'.

In the talks we've had at work about this subject, it has little to do with ego.( believe it or not ) It's more of a personal issue about experiences shared under extreme conditions. Namely combat.

Every single one of us prior to fighting wondered, 'will I do my part?' 'will I fight hard or hide like a coward?' 'will I piss myself from fright and freeze up when the bullets start flying?' Every infantry soldier has had these thoughts and emotions, conquering them in combat is as important to us as conquering the enemy. As big and scary and smelly as we are in the Infantry, I believe that it's important to reinforce that those experiences were anything but normal, but that we needed to do them, and we did the best we could.

Does it hurt anyone by awarding this medal? I havent found any experiences from the American side to indicate it's detrimental to their military. Traditions are always being molded and updated in one way or another, for one reason or another. Be it the wound stripe, CIB or any other medal/decoration.

Applying flame retardent clothes now...







 

armyvern

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boondocksaint said:
Applying flame retardent clothes now...
Interesting comment above. I actually have no problem with the awarding of this medal/badge etc. I only asked if it was really a requirement for other than "distinguishing" reasons. You have laid out your reasoning for it very eloquently.

I still think it has it's drawbacks. I just think that to the civilian populace it will mean nothing.

To us already in the CF, your cap badge distinguishes you from me. A badge/or medal will also distinguish you more from me.

But, it will also distinguish you from your comrades who have not actually closed with and destroyed the enemy. This is where I have concerns. Does your fellow soldier who has not yet had the 'opportunity' (really I don't know how else to put it) to close with and destroy the enemy need to be distinguished from those of you that have? Is he any less of a soldier because he has not yet done this? Is he any less distinguished in his honourable intentions in voluntarily taking up arms on behalf of his country and like yourself, worrying and wondering how he will react and perform when this opportunity comes? I'd say no. I'd say that I have faith in our training system, faith in our soldiers, and most importantly faith in the bravery and courage of all our troops employed at the head of the dragon.

I am already visibly different from you by virtue of the cap badge. I hope that if a combat badge/medal is brought into effect that those of you who have earned them will not treat your fellow infanteer without one as any lesser individual or member of the team that's all.

Bye the way, As big and scary and smelly as you are in the infantry...you're not that bad, after all I'm married to one of you.
 

the 48th regulator

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Vern,

Then by your argument, get rid of the rating system on courses.  The merit list for promotion. In fact the whole numbering system of Company, Platoons and Sections. 

That is sounding way too politically correct now.  Part of the reasoning of medals and awards, it to have all people strive to be the best.  Ans when they do be recognized.  If someone is wounded doing his job, then let him show that recognition in the same way we recognize the one beside him who fell.

Those are the two that are the same, the one who fell in combat, and the injured that survived. So if the troop who has the training happens to be in the same section as one of the wounded chaps, sees a wounded stripe or medal, he can be rest assured that he is in good hands, and will learn more.

dileas

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