September 13, 2004

I'm taking a poll...

A quick question for those of you out there with an Honorable DD 214 (or are in the process of earning one):

Based on recent events, do you think the Pentagon is contemplating any changes to the criteria for earning a Purple Heart?

Just curious...


Comments on I'm taking a poll...
Montieth briefed on September 13, 2004 11:12 PM

I thought this had been covered with all the merchant mariners that died in WWII on the Atlantic convoys.

Also, does the un-organized militia count as armed forces when activated?

kilabe briefed on September 14, 2004 05:16 AM

I think so. I think that the whole rating/oer/fitrep thingy is gong to be next too. Most people write glowing reports of their subordinates because they fear that if they don't it could cost that individual something further down the road and a glowing fitrep of a subordinate is also a relection of that writers leadership. It is no revelation that most fitreps and award citations are artificially inflated, hell the Air Force actually had a manual on how to write great things to get what your recommending that person for.

Yes, I think that with all the past actions, that we will see a tightening of the overview and disbursement of citations.

John briefed on September 14, 2004 06:06 AM

I don't see a *useful* way to tighten it up. Are we going to require hospitalization? If so, there go five of Dad's 7 Purple Hearts, which were "sew and go" wounds. In fact, there would go all 6, since Dad, warrior that he is, refused hospitalization for two wounds he should have stayed overnight for.

The only one he spent a night in hospital for was the one when he was brought in unconcious, they removed the bullet, and he left the next morning.

The issue with Kerry is commander-driven, like fitness reports. The basic criteria are sound, it's how people implement them that get it screwed up.

So, in a nutshell - I don't think they *should* which doesn't mean they won't...

bjbarron briefed on September 14, 2004 07:05 AM

I had researched this a bit after 911. I saw that for a while civilians (serving alongside the military) were elegible for this award.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year1998 (Public Law 105-85) changed the criteria to delete authorization for award of the Purple Heart Medal to any civilian national of the United States while serving under competent authority in any capacity with the Armed Forces. This change was effective 18 May 1998.

And we all know who was president in 1998.

I wrote my senator (doesn't much help in NJ) that I believed that civilians should be put back in. After all...we're all on the battlefield now, aren't we. I can think of some civilians in Iraq who have paid the price of freedom.

Many young men do things in wartime that generate regret later in life. Kerry's squeezing the juice out of the regs to generate this award comes under that concept. Having said that, if he was on fire I MIGHT stomp him out with a golf shoe.

RC briefed on September 14, 2004 10:14 AM

I hope they don't change the regs just because of one public dirtbag (okay, there probably are more but don't punish the good 'uns along with the bad 'uns).

As for rating/OER/fitrep stuff. Forget it. I can't tell you how many times the old, "We're going to fix the reporting problem so they mean something", was tried when I was on active duty. OPR/APR inflation is a fact of life. I hate to say it but the AF actually came up with a pretty good idea. Move the "Must Promote" recommendation/authority as low down the chain as possible. There will still be politics but who knows best which of his troops should be promoted but the Wing King or even the Squadron Commander for lower grades.

James Old Guy briefed on September 14, 2004 12:13 PM

I doubt it, Kerry was not the only one to put himself in for a medal. During that era anyone designated a commander of troops, and was a commissioned officer could put anyone in for a medal. Most Awards were automatic with no one checking. The approving authority depended on the level of the award. A purple heart was approved by a clerk. As much as I hate to say this, there was a different standard for Awards, depending on your rank.

Viet-Nam Vet.
173rd Airborne Brigade

htom briefed on September 14, 2004 10:27 PM

I hope that they mostly leave it alone (with the extension to civilians who find themselves involved.) No matter how you change the wording, there are going to be those who will scheme and manage to take advantage of it (regardless of whether or not Kerry did); the problem is doing something with those folk rather than not giving them to those who've earned them.

Don't have one. Don't especially wish to have gotten one.

FaultyFalcon briefed on September 17, 2004 01:30 PM

The Army regs state that any indiviual who observes another idividual perform above and beyond the call duty may submit that individual for an award, If this is incorrect I will stand corrected and then drop an give 20. Anyway it was considered taboo to put oneself in for an award.

Any one who does that must be an arrogant, self centered, aristocratic, conceded pile horse poop.

Go Infantry