A Medal for NOT Shooting in a War Zone!


Seriously… Congress is considering a medal for ““courageous restraint” for holding fire to save civilian lives”?  SERIOUSLY???  Let me very clear to President Obama and Congress and every Commander who is misguided enough to actually think this is a good idea- IT’S NOT!!!  It is a horrible idea and I, for one, promise to shred the orders awarding such a medal to me in front of the award ceremony if I were ever embarrassed with one.  There are already medals available to award Soldiers for something called “VALOR”.

According to Merriam-Webster, valor means- strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness : personal bravery.

If a Soldier exercises appropriate restraint in a tough situation, then his/her leadership already has the tools to recognize that action.  If such restraint isn’t valor, then what exactly is this medal supposed to honor?

This idea stinks of a political platitude for the ever increasing danger our Soldiers face because our politicians impose never-ending layers of rules for engaging an enemy who has no rules and would sooner torture our Soldiers and slaughter their own civilians than acknowledge any manner of Geneva Convention.

Now, I’m not surprised that our current political “leadership” is unaware as to exactly what such medals as the ARCOM stand for, but I am aghast that our commanders are actually entertaining this idea.  It’s as short-sighted as stripping the black beret from the Rangers so that American Soldiers can look like some UN pansy. (No disrespect to Special Ops brethren.  I am as frustrated as you that the beret has largely lost its meaning for the US Army).  This medal will be meaningless in an era that Soldiers are exceedingly frustrated with having to play police officer in near impossible and dangerous situations when they joined the Military expecting to fight a war.  This medal will be a slap in the face to every Soldier who has exercised such restraint only to be shot by some coward hiding among women and children, mosques, schools, and hospitals. 

Fight the war, Mr. President, or get our Soldiers out of harm’s way if you and your Congress don’t have the fortitude to properly engage the enemy!


3 Responses to A Medal for NOT Shooting in a War Zone!

  1. us4jesus says:

    Does anybody back home know what its like to have a suspected jihadi in your sights and to have to make the decision to terminate when you’ve got a young mom and her kids in the spray zone? With a toddler playing across the street in your periphery? And you don’t have clear ID for the target?

    Anybody who says the guy who doesn’t squeeze it in that spot is a coward doesn’t deserve the freedom of speech that others have died for.

    Obama sure wouldn’t have the guts to hold fire in that spot.

    What people don’t get back home is that we have a MISSION. The MISSION is to free A-stan of the taliban and to keep the terrorists off our home field. YOUR home field. Every orphan we make creates three future terrorists. Every innocent mom included in the collteral damage makes ten future terorists. It takes a hekuva lot of resolve to risk your life for the sake of the MISSION. When you delay the kill to minimize collateral you are risking your life for the sake of others and for the MISSION.

    Read your Bible, turn off the talk radio, and pray on it. Ask the Lord for Wisdom and Discernment. Ask yourself whether Jesus Christ himself would hold fire in that situation. Then ask yourself if holding fire to save a kid is cowardly.

    What answers do you get?

  2. foundersten says:

    You missed my point U4J.

    I 100% agree that being in a situation where appropriate restraint is exercised when a Soldier is in a difficult spot in the middle of a war zone is an act worthy of a medal. However, there is already the ARCOM, Bronze Star, etc. to recognize such “valor”. The article I linked to made it sound like Soldiers can receive higher medals only for actions in direct combat- that’s completely untrue. Gen McChrystal need only stress to military leadership that Soldiers should be recognized for heroic acts of restraint.

    With that said, what is the point of creating a medal for not firing when a Soldier feels threatened? What is it recognizing if not Valor? Again, this looks like a platitude to pacify foreign interests and stroke the guilty political conscience of Congress.

    What I’m concerned about is this medal turning into the circus that is the Combat Action Badge. The CAB is almost meaningless in that it was intended to recognize non-infantry combat action, but is being given for hearing a mortar round. Still, I agree with the idea of the CAB since there was no such previous recognition. The silly idea of a medal for combat restraint, however, appears to be recognizing something less than is worthy of honors. Restraint unto itself is not heroic. If that were the case then every Soldier in the Army should expect to recieve the medal. Restraint with valor is what should be recognized and there are already much more meaningful medals to do so.

  3. foundersten says:

    One other thing…

    The proposed medal sounds like it will have nothing to do with recognizing the combat aspect of any given situation of restraint, but to encourage our military service men and women to look at themselves as some sort of police force and prance around with a silly ribbon that says nothing more than “Look, I didn’t shoot!”. This doesn’t fly well with me. We are Soldiers and, as such, we are trained killers. It’s cold, but the basic truth.

    However, we are also human- fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and children. With that should come wisdom that can translate into bravery through restraint (assuming the “bravery” doesn’t get members of your own team killed due to simple inaction). Again, medals can already be awarded for this.

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