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Sacrifice Medal Mega Thread

Which do you prefer


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Teddy Ruxpin

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Since boondocksaint eloquently presented his argument for a "combat action" badge, I'll present my counter argument.

  • It's devisive.  As I've said before, we already have far too much "us and them", "BTDT vs numpty", without adding to it.  A CAB indicates in bold, shiny letters, that the CF values one type of service more than others.  You might argue that it should - I'd argue that we can't afford to.
  • The criteria are almost impossible to define and enforce.  This is the problem the Americans have with the CIB.  Who gets it?  The kneejerk answer is to give the badge to someone who "engages the enemy".  Well, how do you define that?  The guy kicking in doors in a section is one thing.  What about his OC, who may not fire a round in anger?  What about the FAC?  What about the tanker, sitting sipping coffee 1000m away, lobbing HESH at the enemy?  What about the trucker, defending his/her convoy against an ambush?  Does firing your weapon meet the criteria?  How do you enforce that?  We could easily have a scenario (already present with tour medals) of people trying to get into the action just to get a badge.
  • What impact would a CAB have on career progression?  Will you need one to be promoted?  What if you don't have one and your soldiers do?  Where's your credibility?  This is the same reason we got rid of the stupid graduated "Warrior" badges years ago.
  • Is this an infantry thing?  If so, your cap badge and tour medals should suffice.  To this day, if I see someone from 3 PP wearing the SWASM, I know he was on APOLLO.  If not, where are you drawing the line?  After all, the very distinction you wish to make would soon be lost.  The Australians merely require that the infantry be present in a combat zone to earn a badge; is that enough?  Sorta defeats the purpose.
  • Define "combat".  Is it retroactive?  Do the guys from OP HARMONY, OP CAVALIER qualify?

Germaine to the original topic (and this is a very personal thing), I'm getting tired of seeing all the bright ideas stemming from the US.  I can virtually guarantee that this conversation isn't happening in the UK.  We've had suggestions for battle streamers, a Canadian Purple Heart, a "combat action" badge, and even a (serious) recommendation that we change the pronouciation of Lieutenant to "lootenent" - all originating from an extremely pervasive US influence.  I'll go back to my old line:  we have valid traditions that have functioned extremely well through two World Wars, Korea and a host of other operations.  Why change it, simply because we've seen "Purple Hearts" too often on TV and regard what we do as meaningless as a result?

All IMHO, of course.
 

armyvern

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the 48th regulator said:
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

tess

Tess,

My post is in reference to the Combat Action Badge/Medal that is now being discussed in this thread not wound recognition.

Me??? Politiclly correct??? Note the date of this historic occasion on your calandar.  ;D

Dileas

Vern


 

the 48th regulator

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I was trying to goad you into sending me that PM I asked about a while back.... ;)

Now that would have been totally Politically incorrect, yet would make me happy.  Consider it a way of recognizing me!  :D

dileas

tess
 

boondocksaint

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As always Teddy, well stated, I can now carry on watching 'tank week' on history channel without waiting to check for your retort during commercials.  ;)

Im sure folks with a higher pay grade then mine ( mostly everyone ) will determine this outcome, either way the different points of view here have been interesting. Hopefully this kind of  'collection of opinion' is given some thought by those folks determining the outcome.
 

McG

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Teddy,
+1

Teddy Ruxpin said:
A CAB indicates in bold, shiny letters, that the CF values one type of service more than others.
Doesn't the CPSM already do this for a type of service that (I think most of us would agree) should not be seen as more valued?  I suppose the GCS could have been the CPSM of combat ops, but instead it is in lieu of a mission specific medal.

but, I'm just thinking out loud.  I don't like the CPSM and I would rather not create its warfighter equivalent (though both medals would of equal relevance).  I don't think there is a need that it always be a two medal tour the first time a soldier goes to war or on a PSO.

I also realize that in a CAB, we are not talking about a medal, but (like I said) I'm just thinking out loud.
 

tlg

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I personally think that having a wound stripe is more valuable to a medal because from what I've recently learned you can CHOOSE to wear the wound stripe but you're FORCED to wear the medal. Some soldiers might not want it known that they were wounded for reasons known only to themselves and other might think that they haven't earned the right to wear one. Whatever the case may be I think the current system is better(er) than what the yanks have in place.
 

Journeyman

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tlg said:
...but you're FORCED to wear the medal.

Not really. I have a set of ribbons that just include Cyprus, Bosnia, & Kosovo, because they are the ones important to me. When I got my CD (after 15 years  >:D ), it was just thrown in my mail slot; I guess I value that as much as my supervisor did. I think the CPSM is complete BS. And I got the Golden Jube.  ::)

I have not yet been wrestled to the ground by an RSM or Adjutant, been put in a headlock, and forced to wear the gongs I don't particularly value.

....and I've already stated my preference for retaining the wound stripe.
 

geo

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(journeyman - many, many people did same to Jubilee medal - including some RSMs)

With respect to their presenting you your CD in a mail box........... FOR SHAME!!! NO CLASS, NO DARNED CLASS!!!!
 
M

MG34

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FWIW I say keep the wound stripe,I wear mine with pride (although it took them 4 yrs to get it to me wounded '92,got the stripe in '96). A medal, although shiney and all has no tradition in the Canadian military.
 

Reccesoldier

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Last week during the CDS's town hall in Ottawa he said that the CF was looking into creating a "scarifice medal" to replace the wound strip.  This medal apparently would be granted to CF members wounded in action against the enemy in a similar fashon to the US Purple Heart.

The CDS said that the name "Sacrifice" medal was merely a placeholder for now but he seemed resolved to see this award come to fruition.

My question is do the members of this forum agree with the idea or would you prefer to keep our current tradition of the wound stripe to acknowledge injuries suffered on the battlefield.
 

Reccesoldier

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I personally prefer the wound stripe both because it is our tradition in the CF and because not all soldiers want to demonstrate or even to talk about being wounded.  The wound stripe is a badge and as such it can be worn or not as the soldier wishes.  A medal is presented by the Queen for all intents and purposes and MUST be worn once awarded.

There is also the question of PTSD, and the intent from what I am led to understand is to acknowledge the reality that this is a wound just as much as loosing a limb.  This brings the soldiers question of privacy and also of being forced in a way to remember his/her "wound" every time he/she dons his/her medals.
 

Reccesoldier

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Journeyman said:
Not really. I have a set of ribbons that just include Cyprus, Bosnia, & Kosovo, because they are the ones important to me. When I got my CD (after 15 years  >:D ), it was just thrown in my mail slot; I guess I value that as much as my supervisor did. I think the CPSM is complete BS. And I got the Golden Jube.  ::)

I have not yet been wrestled to the ground by an RSM or Adjutant, been put in a headlock, and forced to wear the gongs I don't particularly value.

....and I've already stated my preference for retaining the wound stripe.

Journeyman, you have the right to request your CD be presented to you. 

The fact that you received it in your mail slot should have been addressed through your chain of command ASAP.  I dare say there are more than enough people of rank within any organization that would have made sure you received the recognition and honour you deserved.  Conversely I'm also sure your supervisor would have received the recognition he deserved as well.  :rage:

If you need or want any help with this please do not hesitate to contact me personally

WO Martin Gasser
Directorate of Hounours and Awards
Medals Distribution Supervisor
Gasser.MA2@forces.gc.ca
(613) 998-5335
CSN 854-5335

Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.
Aristotle
 

Journeyman

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Thanks...but as mentioned, my tour ribbons (and my various jump/dive boyscout badges) are what I particularly value.

Life is way too short - - you've got to pick the issues to get worked up over.  ;D
 

the 48th regulator

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Reccesoldier said:
I personally prefer the wound stripe both because it is our tradition in the CF and because not all soldiers want to demonstrate or even to talk about being wounded.  The wound stripe is a badge and as such it can be worn or not as the soldier wishes.  A medal is presented by the Queen for all intents and purposes and MUST be worn once awarded.

There is also the question of PTSD, and the intent from what I am led to understand is to acknowledge the reality that this is a wound just as much as loosing a limb.  This brings the soldiers question of privacy and also of being forced in a way to remember his/her "wound" every time he/she dons his/her medals.

Very well stated Recce.

I, however, discuss my wounds with pride.  As I have over time acknowlegded that I must not feel shame, for having done my duty.  Yet, as some heal mentally, you are right in saying that it can open up thos wounds remembering.

dileas

tess
 

geo

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Reccesoldier,
I think the subject has been pretty much proded and pushed around in this thread.

The main thing about a "gong" is that it will be worn, along with your other gongs, while you are in the CF AND can be worn afterwards, once you have retired.  There is no provision for a civy version of the wound stripe... the gong would resolve the preceived "problem". 

However,

does the fella who got his "blighty" merit more attention than his fellow section members who managed to make it thru his mission without getting hit?
 

Servicepub

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Ironic that a Canadian soldier should get to wear a medal because the enemy managed to inflict a wound - perhaps we can reciprocate and send the enemy soldier a medal too. Maybe we can become like the US and establish a Purple Heart Association were membership is decided by your misfortune in not ducking in time.

I support the idea of the wound stripe primarily for its historical significance. That said, it should be pointed out that wound stripes are not forever. My father-in-law earned a Mention in Despatch and a wound stripe on the same patrol in Korea, in 1952. By 1964 wound stripes were no longer authorised for wear.  By the time wound stripes were back in vogue he had retired.
 
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"There is no provision for a civy version of the wound stripe.."

Not so, Geo: http://www.forces.gc.ca/hr/instructions/engraph/0303_admhrmil_e.asp

Note item 9: Personnel, who by reason of their service have become entitled to wear a wound stripe, may, at their own option, continue to wear them on civilian clothes after cessation of military service.

Apparently they come in strips of five - enough to keep one for a civilian jacket if the wounded member so wishes.

Updated: And while this goes back a few months, Michael O'Leary said "Why not a device worn on the medal ribbon of the applicable operation? The old "Mentioned in Despatches" oak leaf emblem was worn in such a manner..."  Just to be clear, the current MID does the same, although if it's awarded for actions not associated with a particular medal or ribbon, it can be worn directly on the tunic: http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2006/12/mentioning-mentions.html
 
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