Posted on Apr 16, 2015
MAJ Battalion Operations Officer (S3)
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I have heard that some feel that reservists are awarded more medals than their active component counterparts. What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? Why?

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MAJ Ocar Lno
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In my 23 years I have served with many AC units even though most of my time has been in the reserves. It has been my experience, and expressed by many others, the Reserves are horrible about giving out awards. Reservists do not PCS so quite often we will leave even long time posts with nothing more than a pat on the back or a coin. The only time Reservists typically get awards are for Annual training which is usually only a few soldiers per unit once a year, or deployments. In dealing with AC units, especially as a commander, I got major push-back from AC unit commands as personnel section in even trying to put in soldiers for awards. When they do process them ours are pushed to the bottom of the pile after they take care of their own. I have seen soldiers leave the Army altogether because they show up from Active duty looking like Patton and can't understand my reservists are never recognized. In 4 company commands I have always tried to push for recognition for my soldiers. I have spent many long nights only to end in frustration getting told by higher of max numbers of soldiers they are willing to reward, regardless of whether they deserve it. On deployment I commanded a Route Clearance Company with a very tough Deployment in RC-E. We had to fight for every single award including submitting a soldier 5 separate times where he had been in direct contact with the enemy and even received a Purple Heart (from a separate command) just to get him recognized with a CAB. Out of 185 guys I put in 35 BSM's after this combat heavy deployment. 5 were approved. The other 30 were down graded to ARCOM's, even one ARCOM with Valor instead of giving a guy a BSM. Only recently can we put in Reserve Soldiers for the Good Conduct medal. The Reserve equivalent would stop during deployment and then would start all over from zero after deployment before this change. Without a doubt AC soldiers are recognized far more often and get more decorations than Reserve soldiers. If for no other reason than AC soldiers work with their units 365. Reservists work with their, on average, 48-60 days a year. Sometimes only 2 days at a time. This alone affords greater opportunity for recognition.
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TSgt Materiel Management
TSgt (Join to see)
9 mo
After spending 8 years Active and 8 years Reserve, I would have to agree that active duty, depending on command/unit, receives more "recognition" than Reservists. One reason is active duty is working full time, more to to prepare packages for awards. Reservists are part time, few days a month. Awards ALWAYS gets kicked back, it's pretty much a given, when submitted. Also, I recently returned from a deployment, and our SMSgt was told to submit packages for all her people. The Guard and Reserve packages were automatically discarded. Only Active duty could receive awards. To top it off, E6 and above received Commandation Medals, E5's received Achievement Medals, and E4 and below received Coins. Guard and Reserve were to receive Letters of Appreciation (after 13 months, still haven't seen it.).
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1SG Danny S.
1SG Danny S.
8 mo
I think this may be because a National Guardsman will get state and federal awards for a deployment. However in my experience, being an M-Day soldier, in my 15 years in the guard I have gotten 2 awards not from deployments. Part of this may be the extra time outside of drill that it will take to get an award put together and submitted for a soldier. The other part is the fact that if you are in uniform 2 days a month and a 15 day AT period, you have limited time to deserve an award. So if you took away my deployments and active duty time I would have 6 ribbons and all of these but one would be the give mes you get with time in service.
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SGT Mark Saint Cyr
SGT Mark Saint Cyr
7 mo
Kaye Siragusa - She should have gotten the Soldier's Medal. It's a bad thing when higher ranks become so enamored of politics, rather than taking care of troops.
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CSM Retired
CSM (Join to see)
2 mo
Army Reserve and Army Guard are notoriously weak at giving PCS and ETS awards. I know people who did 20 - 30 years and never got a PCS award. The only got PCS. I put an outstanding First Sergeant in for an MSM as a PCS award after three years in his position. The BN Commander told me only Officers get MSMs and its and Officer only award. Hahaha I had to teach him about the MSM and the 1SG got an MSM.
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PO1 Command Services
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I can only speak for my own experience but while I was stationed at the NOSC (Navy Operational Support Center) the only time I ever saw reservists receive NAMs was either for funeral honors or Sailor of the Year.  Now they did receive more campaign medals but while they were deploying and earning those, myself and fellow staff members were supporting them from the good ole USA.  I feel my reservists (yes I said MY, because I treated everyone the same, they were MY guys and gals) deserved every medal and award they got and some deserved recognition they would never be put up for.  
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CDR Systems Engineer
CDR (Join to see)
4 y
Concur. I think that if you include mobilized reservists it skews the math. If you just compare active duty assignments versus someone who only does normal SELRES drills you will see it very rare to have a reservist get a personal award, even if it is deserved.
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SSG Information Technology Specialist
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Good question, sir. I have to add, that I couldn't care less. Shiny is nice, but not the goal. Makes for great stories though...lol
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CPT Hhc Company Commander
CPT (Join to see)
4 y
SSG (Join to see) - Everyone has different motivations. My personal feeling is that I don't want the only time my Soldiers see me is to give them corrective actions, safety briefs, or say "Ok, it's time to take a piss." I want them to know that we care, and to understand that as a Soldier under my care I'm going to give you my best.

For some, it's the "flashy-things" on their chest.....for others it's a commanders coin...for others it's the opportunity to get unique training opportunities. Ultimately, it's a retention issue as I see it. If I can give my Soldiers an extra 15-50 points towards promotion....help them get promoted above those "just showing up", sign me up.

v/r,
CPT Butler
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LTC Public Affairs Specialist
LTC (Join to see)
>1 y
Shiny isn’t the point. The point is: leaders taking the time to recognize Soldiers.
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SSG Information Technology Specialist
SSG (Join to see)
>1 y
Sir, I am looking at it as one receiving said shiny stuff...
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SFC Dennis Kirkpatrick
SFC Dennis Kirkpatrick
11 mo
When I served in the NG (11B40) and doing a tour of TDY, I was told that awards and decorations were "more important' to the Active Duty because the awards were needed for promotion points. Now, I was lucky enough to be awarded several decorations, but I jumped square in the young Cpt. bung-hole about it being more important for AD. It was just as important for the reservists if they want to advance. Just Sayin...
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