Posted on May 3, 2017
MSG Palmer U.
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Why do we have it and how can we make it go away? Seriously can we just lose it?

UPDATE (20 March 19): I've read a lot of responses. Some good and some unprofessional and not worth reading. I will say this to all those who like the ASR and leave it at that: Imagine you're wearing your uniform to a formal event in your honor. A young man or woman says "Wow, you sure do have a lot of awards. What do they mean?" As you point to each one and describe why and where it was awarded, you come to the ASR. You point to it and say "This is for joining the Army". The young person cants their head and ask "You get an award for joining". "Yep!" you exclaim.

Regardless of why it was originally authorized, it does not make sense IMHO. The AAM? Sure. The NCOPDR? Nope, but I hope one can see the obvious. It's not because I do not appreciate history. I would argue that those who suggest it do some reading before suggesting that.

I simply argue that being handed that branch insignia at the end of training and having that graduation ceremony where you walk across a stage or parade field with all of your family members watching should and ought to be enough. I know it was for me, but if you really believe that this ribbon somehow inspires others to do something, even though they probably didn't know it existed till handed to them, then I posit everything is relative and we should examine how much "gimmie" awards are really necessary. That is all.
Posted in these groups: Ribbons_logo RibbonsUs-medals Awards
Edited 8 mo ago
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Responses: 438
SGT Joseph Gunderson
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I agree with a lot of the points being made prior to my comment. There is a certain history behind the award and that history should be understood and acknowledged. I don't understand the reasons why modern day service members feel the need to downplay awards that they and others receive. I believe it was just a few months ago that there was a similar discussion about the National Defense Medal being a "gimme" award as well. I don't see that any award deserves that kind of categorizing. You are awarded your Army Service Ribbon as basic recognition of your willingness and ability to serve. I believe that the award speaks volumes if one would only be willing to understand it. We are all told over and over that there is such a small percentage of us that choose to serve in the military. Why can't soldiers realize that it is the ASR that recognizes that elite separation between civilians and soldiers? Yes, we were all awarded the ribbon, but that is because we all stood up and took a post. I wouldn't think of it as a "gimme" among the Army; instead think of it as the symbol of being apart of that small percentage of people that willingly put their life on the line for their country. I've said it before, and I will say it again, I have a total of nine different ribbons/medals that I am authorized to wear after my seven years in the military prior to my medical retirement. Each one I did something for, I earned those stupid little pieces of fabric and metal, and I'll be damned if some person tries to undermine the value of my blood, sweat, and years that I put into earning those. Even something that many seem so insignificant as a little ASR.
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1SG John Millan
1SG John Millan
1 mo
SGT Joseph Gunderson - Actually, it is YOU that continues to bloot the same pathetic, needy, insecure, snowflake blather that is reflective of an insecure, adolescent-minded, self-deluded nit-wit. Your written babble goes on and on and on, but never makes any serious ir credible point. It's all fluff and no stuff as the old adage goes. You obviously have no pedigree in leadership or crime subject matter expertise. You were a soldier for a relatively short period of time. You never made senior rank or had position of greater responsibility, so now you have no foundation to comprehend what I am saying. Go write your silly crime books based on your heroic career as a security guard, because you couldn't make the cut to be a cop. The fact that you are so self-deluded that you feel that you somehow have the ability to speak as a self-appointed intellectual and scholar and that you possess the ultimate ability to shut down debate, based on you being the final authority on a given topic, shows that you are as pathetic of an insecure person as you apparently were as a Soldier. Go away little man.
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SGT Joseph Gunderson
SGT Joseph Gunderson
1 mo
1SG John Millan demonstrative of the lack of proper arguments, to have to fall back on trying to insult me lmao. Of course, I would expect nothing else from someone of your caliber lmao
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SGT Joseph Gunderson
SGT Joseph Gunderson
1 mo
1SG John Millan I would just like to point out: you were in the guard lmao and an MP. If you think for even a moment you're military experience is in any way shape or form comparable to mine, you are delusional lmao
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MSG Policy & Operations Nco
MSG (Join to see)
1 d
I'm really trying to understand when did the ASR went from a Decoration to an Award. If it did the I apologize but if it has not....then it is just that...a decoration! Geeez
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MSG David Rogers III
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Way too late for that. If if was just coming out, maybe you could argue against it and start a petition. But it is here to stay. Is it really hurting anyone?
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1SG John Millan
1SG John Millan
9 mo
SGT (Join to see) - So the ex-security guard who writes crime novels, once again authoritatively speaks! This from a self-appointed academic and proud military historian and writer-in-residence. Ok, here we go little fella! Awards for mediocrity and meeting standards exist to appease bling-seeking spoiled, entitled snowflakes who need a participation trophy. Everyone gets an "A." The most marginal Soldier who perhaps had an Art. 15 will get this dumb ass automatic award, the same as the honor graduate in the Basic-AIT training cycle. It has no corresponding medal, is not awarded, but just entered in the 201 file and look at me: I didn't even go to Basic, I went to USMC boot camp and I was authorized it the day I joined the Army. It is redundant. Obviously you served in the Army, you are IN the Army, DUH! This is BY DEFINITION, a participation award. The Band of Brothers vets of WW2, like Maj. Dick Winters would laugh at the many silly-ass ribbons of today. A young Soldier who never deployed to combat will have 6-7 by the end of a first enlistment. The WW2 vets fought in the most hellish war humanity ever saw for 4 years, some longer than that, as the USCG and Navy were battling German subs in the N. Atlantic before the war even began. The Greatest Generation survived the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, then won WW2 and MAYBE had 4-5 ribbons. These weak-hearted snowflakes are a scourge. The Army awards system is broken.
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SSG Dave Johnston
SSG Dave Johnston
8 mo
The ASR is a damn "Cold War" participation ribbon, it's aggravating that it rates higher than an Overseas Service Ribbon, and the Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon.
The only significance I can see to the ASR is in the event of Entry level separation (ELS), the SM has "a little something for their chest".
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-751778.html
https://www.reference.com/government-politics/chapter-11-military-discharge-f868ba1855bcf9d2
https://legalbeagle.com/7223954-chapter-517.html
The Army Service Ribbon (ASR) is a military award of the United States Army that was established by the Secretary of the Army on 10 April 1981 as announced in Department of the Army General Order 15, dated 10 October 1990.
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SSG Timothy Lanham
SSG Timothy Lanham
4 mo
If you want to talk about an award just being handed out then look no farther than the Bronze Star. That symbol of Heraldry is given to every Ssg and above after any kind of skirmish the US military is involved in. I have seen it given out from Grenada on. The key word there being given. A bull dozer operator used a bull dozer off a runway in Grenada. A CW2 lost 125 AT4 but got the BSM when she left Iraq. Jessica Lynch got one for courage in the face of the enemy but from her own admission she was knocked out. Can't think of any E-6 or higher from my unit after Desert Storm that did not get one. They sure as hell did not do anything to deserve or earn one one. Since we are on the subject, How about the Army Achievement Medal? I quit wearing mine when I was awarded one for a period of service of the award I was on leave for.
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MAJ Norm Michaels
MAJ Norm Michaels
2 mo
There are too many medals and ribbons. I finished 20 years of service with 18 ribbons. 18. I am not a Combat veteran. I was a Signal NCO, then Officer, never in direct combat like so many. Our Viet Nam, Korean conflict, and WWII veterans fought like heroes, and they typically left the service with four ribbons on average. Yes, I wear my uniform and ribbons with pride, but why do we have so many when so many have so few?
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CSM Victor Gomez
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The new breed has little understanding and appreciation for service medals and service ribbons. The award system has been so prostituted that Soldiers, NCOs, and even Officers think that they can dictate or demand a certain level of award for achievement or upon PCS. It is the responsibility of leadership to enlighten this new breed of self serving patriots on history, tradition, and the meaning and reason for the aforementioned. Bottom line you get what you earn so shut the hell up.
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SFC James L. Woodling
SFC James L. Woodling
5 mo
Thank you CSM.
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SSgt Greg Willard
SSgt Greg Willard
5 mo
Crazy! If I could I would've voted you up 100 times CSM Gomez!!!
How many ribbons does it take to make a hero? My father was a bombardier and aerial gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress (double duty and an NCO filling an officer's billet in the Army Air Corps not uncommon then). We would share combat stories and some of his memories of things like flying in and out of missions thru flak, and blood on the turret from crews blown out of the sky made me shut my mouth. My oldest brother still has his blouse and there isn't 25 or 30 ribbons. Let's try two rows!! I guess they weren't really heroes since they didn't have spaghetti piled up to shoulder, and those men didn't serve months on a tour of duty, for a lot of them it was for the duration of WWII...or death! My Dad THOUGHT I was a hero, but I KNEW he was the hero!!
How many ribbons does it take to make a hero? None, all the ribbons in the world won't make a hero.
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TSgt James Warfield
TSgt James Warfield
4 mo
SFC Jim Wellman - I am retired now, but years ago I was denied an award because someone higher believed that that reward should only go to E-7 or higher. I was an E- 6 at the time. Also as one person mention on here, I missed out on a few awards because my OIC thought I should do the narrative for the award. I refused to me the award would always be tainted, if my OIC didn't feel that I was worthy enough for him to spend the time to write up the narrative an award. The same thing when it came to writing efficiency Report. Just my way of thinking,
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SSG Timothy Lanham
SSG Timothy Lanham
4 mo
In WWII 2 Soldiers from 82nd Abn Div were awarded the Medal of Honor One was A PFC and the other was Pvt. They earned the award for their actions. The people recommending the awards did not worry about the medal going to lower enlisted. That was one of the things that always irked me about awards. I recommended Soldiers for an awarded and it got down graded or denied because they did not have a high enough rank. What does rank have to do with awards?
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