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Heh. Carpe Diem, Secretary Hagel

 As a friend observed: "Hmmm. Great chance to reduce four different commendation medals to one, get rid of ribbon only awards, and put the chain of command back into the valor award business rather than the Pentagon Committee of Politically Correct Wonks."

Word. We've gotten silly with this crap.

The Army has the "Army Service Ribbon" which pretty much exists so that everybody can have a trophy. "The Army Service Ribbon is awarded to members of the Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard for successful completion of initial-entry training, which for officers is considered to be successful completion of their basic/orientation or higher level course. Enlisted soldiers will be awarded the ribbon upon successful completion of their initial MOS producing course." In other words, meet the minimum basic requirements of being allowed to collect a paycheck, get the ASR.

The Air Force has the "Air Force Recognition Ribbon" That's an award which was created in October 1980. "The ribbon is intended to recognize those who have received "non-portable" awards for accomplishment and excellence while serving on active duty in the United States Air Force." So, I'm guessing my "Honor Graduate" poster from the Joint Targeting Course at AGOS would count - if I was in the Air Force.

Bring it on. Away with the ribbon-only awards. We already look like banana-republic militaries.

Pentagon to review all military medals.


My favorite comment on the Army Service Ribbon was made by a Marine friend of mine who said, "Isn't that what they give you the uniform for?"  The Army in particular is terrible with bling - All the cr@p I'm supposed to put on my dress blues (excuse me, Army Service Uniform) is a bit much.
 Not just the ribbons/awards themselves, but the ease with which they are earned.

At my ASOG/CC Change of Command, the Army and my First Sergeant were shocked I didn't get an LOM. It was an O-6 command and a USAFE Wing Commander equivalent position (if you doubt that, go look at the USAFE Command HQ. The unit patch is next to the other Wings that make up the regional command). After all, one of the O-5 syncophants in the DOCC (Deep Operations Coordination Cell) got one for managing the daily op during the last V Corps Warfighter I was involved in--a contest in which we bested the bad guys. No awards on the USAF side (we didn't even think of was, to us, "doing our jobs").

The answer to the question was: Since I wasn't leaving the theater--went to 3AF as the Vice, an award wasn't considered appropriate. 3AF policy. Heh.
Dress Blues? So the Army has joined the Navy? :-)
 New Privates used to get all googly eyed at my impressive display of pretty ribbons.  90% were just for showing up.
I haven't any particular grudge against ribbon-only awards.  There are a few out there that are significant and have been with us a long while.  But the proliferation of meaningless shiite has been maddening.  Here was my proposal of a while back, when they were toying with the idea of a drone operators' medal having precedence over combat wounded and valorous conduct under fire.
 I think the prejudice against ribbon-only is more from USAF/Army types, which services have been the greatest abusers.
Great to see this blog back up. Death to all Spammers.
Nimitz came home with exactly 2 ribbons as I recall. The Army, by comparison, really larded the salad bar.

 *Koff*  Don't mistake what the Admiral chose to wear, with what he was *authorized* to wear.

Like Ike, who rarely wore all he was authorized - most of which came from foreign governments.  The two were broadly similar, if Ike got a couple more campaign ribbons, such as for chasing after Villa.

 I know, and Ike had the right idea too. What they wore on their collar and shoulders told the real story. Never saw a pic with them wearing fullk salad bars. LeMay always seemed to have full one, however. Most of his were actual wartime ribbons, however.

I was supposed to wear the NDSM while I was in since I showed up on 14 Jun 1972. We called it the Geedunk Medal.

QM--ref. Geedunk Medal, I call mine "I didn't go AWOL when somebody else was getting shot at" medal since I served between the wars in the early '90s. The people getting shot at would have been pilots on watch in Iraq, troops in Somalia, and probably a couple more places like Bosnia. There was about six weeks when we thought we might have to deploy overseas to Bosnia, but we never did, and I'm not complaining about that!
I think some the medals and ribbons are just so people like me want feel "naked" at Class A inspections. I remember looking at pictures of former company commanders and seeing a commander with just the Army Service Ribbon, no National Defense Service Medal; that looked a bit weird.