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The Medal of Bureaucratic Sclerosis is awarded to...

...The United States Department of Defense Pompously Self-Important Process-Focused Medal of Mostly Posthumous Honor Processing Agency.

How else to explain this?

Corporal Ben, of the Australian Special Air Service, is awarded the Victoria Cross for actions in... wait for it: October 2010.

Staff Sergeant Guinta was awarded his Medal of Honor (the first one to a *living*  recipient for actions post-Vietnam) in September 2010, for actions that took place in October 2007.

Something is wrong at the Pentagon.  There.is.simply.no.good.reason. it takes this long.

For any particular given award, possibly.  But this is a pattern. 

A pox on the bureaucrats.

And a hearty "Good on ya, mate!" to Corporal Ben.

20 Comments

All of the facts and circumstances surrounding any given action can be determined and evaluated within three months, easily.  The only explanation for three months becoming three years is round after round of political examination of nits, second guesses, and thorough examination of the candidate to find what dark and embarrasing episodes might exist in the closet of their past.  Guinta seems a fine young man with a fine family and an exemplary past.  But, we don't award the MoH for such things which is why the award has gone to drunkards, criminals, and frequent visitors to the stockade.  No more, apparently.
 

John, part of the problem, I think, is the bureaucracy is so bloated. I remember reading that there are now more general officers on active duty than in WWII! Yet in WWII there were 16 million Americans on active duty. Gen. Patton ran a Numbered Army and had only one subordinate general, as I recall. By then, brigades were commanded by O-6s. The problem with a bloated bureaucracy, is that very toad along the way actually feels that he/she is important and their input matters.

 
Somewhat aptly, today is also SSG Guinta's birthday...
 
I remember reading that there are now more general officers on active duty than in WWII!

In 1974-75, we had more General Officers in the Army than we had E-5s.

 
You clearly do not understand how Perfumed Princes and Princesses work.
 
"But, we don't award the MoH for such things which is why the award has gone to drunkards, criminals, and frequent visitors to the stockade. No more, apparently." Did Ira Hayes ruin it for everyone else? Is the General officer corps so politically correct now that they don't know the difference between a model soldier and a hero? Model soldiers get promoted; heroes get medals; isn't that why we have both medals and pay-grades. In the USAF, medals count for points for enlisted promotion, but there is a limit of 25 points that can be used for promotion; the MoH is worth 15 and the achievement medal is worth 1 (to give you all some perspective). Therefore, if someone is a wife-beating, bad check hanging, reprobate that barely hangs on to E-5, but he charges a machine-gun nest with 1 grenade and a survival knife, what do you do? I think you give him the f****** medal. We are not the model society; we are just the protectors of a society. Why is that so hard to understand?
 
Oldloadr... perhaps a strict requirement for GOs to be in command of a group of personnel equal to that classically associated with their rank? You want your first star? Find a job with three thousand or more people below you. Do the same all the way up, and give the Chiefs four stars on principle...

Oh - wait. You're in charge of a few hundred policy wonks/researchers/clerks or someone else's staff? Here's your eagle, and be happy it isn't an oak leaf. Maybe, maybe, if you're running the next Manhattan Project, you get a single star.
 
No, Mark - I do.  That's why I hold them up to ridicule.
 
As a young E-5 waiting to go to OCS at Ft Benning, I had the privilege of meeting SFC Jim Bondsteele.  I was 5'7"; he was 6'4". He would bulldog me by the head and hold me with one arm while giving me a wet willie. Kindly speaking, he was a drunk, overweight, ne'er do well NCO.  He was also a hero - a REAL hero.  MG Livsey actually had the hospital wire Jim's jaw shut so he would lose enough weight to make his final re-enlistment.  He eventually was killed in a single-car accident - driving drunk.  But none of this had anything to do with his MoH.  He held off the NVA while his fellow soldiers climbed into a helicopter, and then, having been shot in the a$$ (he always liked to show his scars), he grabbed an NVA general and threw him onto the helicopter just before he jumped in.  Were it today, there would be nothing at Ft Benning named for this hero.  Thank God that was accomplished before our current climate was in place.  We put guys through hell and expect to act like they're in heaven. Just doesn't work. And  then, we end their careers for "acting out." I miss the troops, but I'm glad I'm no longer on active duty.
 
 I know it's Hollyweird's version, but "Courage Under Fire" with Denzel Washington and Meg Ryan sort of shows why the MOH investigation process is too lengthy. 
 
 People, people, you should all know better. All of you are expecting “common sense”, you could be also expecting “common decency”.. Now, are you really expecting these qualities out of the Pentagon? Guys, you have a better chance a giving birth to identical twins. Go ahead, tell me it's impossible! My question to you is this, “Have you been screwed enough?” Be careful, if you answer no, then you can be sure nobody will allow that oversight to go missed

John, seriously, I wish I could just laugh at the logic above this line in my comment but sadly it is true. We are looking at a war that will most probably it was way beyond the perceived future. Many men volunteered, so that their children and descendents would not have to fight this war. I hope that you can become the bur, in some male's support  system. I agree, this is wrong, it actually causes many young men to have second thoughts, about the Military. We need to remember that we need to we supply our troops with manpower.
 
 
All of the facts and circumstances surrounding any given action can be determined and evaluated within three months, easily.

Unless it's a case of all the witnesses being dead or too incapacitated to testify. It was thirteen years before MSG Roy Benavidez received his MoH.
 
I am angrily in sympathy with what the Armorer and BillT have written, but don't think I am sober enought to articulate exactly why.
 
It took over 30 years for Bruce Crandell and Ed Freeman to get their MOH's.  My understanding is that there was insufficient clerical support to process the nominations.

Go figure.
 
I remember reading that there are now more general officers on active duty than in WWII!

hardly surprising. In any large organisation, any reduction in staff will always start at the bottom, leaving the top layer intact (or more frequently, expanding it with "managers" whose sole task it is to determine which people who are not in management are to be fired next.

The organisation I now work for is an example (and not an extreme one). Over the last 2 years we've scaled back from over 1000 to under 500 employees. But our management and facilities team is as large as it ever was, something like 200. So now 300 people have to create the income to pay for those 200, where prior 800 had to generate that income.
Our overhead is through the roof, and everyone (in management at least) is wondering why the profit margin has gone down.
 
I've thought about this, and finally found the one word to describe this.

Disgraceful? No. Dishonorable.

Excepting the honor recipients, shame on all of them on our side of the pond.
 
Not directly related, but the delay for MSG Benavides award wasn't caused the any bureaucratic issues, but by the simple fact that his command thought he was dead.

His injuries were extreme, and he was not expected to survive, so the command issued him a DSC in short order, expecting that it would be given to the NOK at the funeral.  They wanted there to be some award at the funeral, and the MOH would have taken too long.

It was only years later that his former commander found out that Benevides had in fact survived.
 
My understanding is that there was insufficient clerical support to process the nominations.

Yeeee-aaaah.

That's bureaucratese for "Our unit is so f*cked up, it takes six people four days just to change a roll of toilet paper -- but we're not about to admit it."

 
 From the wisdom of BillT, we get this insight. “My understanding is that there was insufficient clerical support process the nomination.

Yeeee-aaaah.

That's bureaucratese for ' Our unit is so f*cked  up, it takes six people four days to change just to change a roll of toilet paper -- but were not about to admit.”

I wonder why he is complaining, he got the people with advanced training in the field. The second question is this, why couldn't the soldier sitting there, nearby, just as easily have changed that same roll of toilet paper? Don't tell me that it was not in his job description.

@Oldloadr, it was nice to see a politically correct and appropriate answer to question. “WELL DONE, SIR!”

@Armorer, I know, he would've had to pull his head out to see what he was doing.

There are many people within the Military, that believe we should be investing more in to our “Non-Commissioned Officers. In fact, they believe this should be the back bone of command and not in “Commissioned or Flag Officers”.

If I was going to be really snarky, I would say something like this, “Just maybe, they should know what they're doing!”
 
 
Well, we actually got to see Corporal Ben receive his VC from the Governor-General, and then get to look at him  without his face being obscured like the rest of the Special Forces guys, so I guess he is being retired from the SAS.  I am sure his wife and twin daughters will love that, but I am sure his mates will miss him, and he them.