Posted on Nov 7, 2014
SGT(P) Photographer/Owner
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With doing funeral details I work with people ranked as low as PFC or as high as COL. One day I was at a funeral and I noticed the Major I was with had 4 bronze stars attached to his NDSM. I asked him where he got his ribbon rack from and he said he recently used a new store. I had to inform him that according to his National Defense Service Medal ribbon, he has been in the service since WWII. And I said the reason is you get the ribbon for one war which would have been WWII and a star for each war following that. So according to his uniform he was in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and GWOT. He thanked me because it made him look like an idiot. And I said I just wanted to help.

How do you feel about correcting people of higher rank?
Posted in these groups: Us-medals AwardsRank RankCollege-advice Advice
Edited >1 y ago
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Responses: 23
CSM Michael J. Uhlig
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Regardless of the awards periods, the fact that you had the personal courage to make the on-the-spot correction is an insight into your character as an upstanding Soldier and a leader. I am glad you made the correction, and shared it with the rest of us, continue to enforce standards and discipline!
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MSG Senior Airdrop Advisor
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SGT(P) (Join to see) , I do it all the time. I use tact when an audience is present. But I like to make a little fun at it when I can. I recall a general officer leaving his weapon on the airplane along with his two clips. There were a few GO there to include one four star, so I would never embarrass him by calling him out. I waited, politely borrowed a minute. I hadn't seen this 2star since he was a full bird. He remembered me. Told him I had a little present for him. Handed him his stuff. He hadn't realized he didn't have his sidearm. Said he owed me some push-ups later. I told him I wanted 5o and we laughed about it. Later that day, I saw a SPC getting smoked in the motor pool bay in afghan. I asked his Ssg what the infraction was. Sm came in from a mission and left his m16 in the truck. He was the gunner. I told the SSG it could happen to anyone. Try and take it a lil easy. But I wasn't gonna get involved. MG W came in the bay and asked what happened. Squad LOR told him. The old man got down and did push-ups right then too. SSG didn't know what to think. It was a great moment.
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Col Emergency Physician/Hospitalist
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Perfect example, thanks for sharing! We're ALL human and can all learn from our mistakes.
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SSG Ait Platoon Sergeant
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You did the right thing. Personally I believe anyone who uses the words "check down, not up" is prone to abusing their authority and feel a sense of entitlement as though they are above the laws and regulations. I myself from time to time would test my Soldiers by intentionally having something out of place on my uniform to see if any of them would step up and correct me. I use that as a teaching tool to instill in them that right and wrong does not wear rank.
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