Posted on Nov 30, 2016
GySgt John O'Donnell
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http://taskandpurpose.com/the-military-needs-to-get-a-handle-on-its-awards-process/

What happened to the coin pass or to the pat on the back and a hand shake for a job well done? That said, for awards to have defined meaning across the services, should standards for all services be the same for achievement, commendation, meritorious, and valorous service? Thoughts?
Edited 4 y ago
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Responses: 37
LTC Stephen C.
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Edited 4 y ago
GySgt John O'Donnell, I agree that the awarding of medals has become the norm as opposed to the exception, but I do believe the each service should still control their own destiny with respect to awards. It seems as though across the board (DOD) standards might be impossible to implement since I don't really believe there's any standardization within each of the services (one commander's Commendation Medal is another commander's Achievement Medal).
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MAJ Armored Combat Command Commander
MAJ (Join to see)
11 mo
Your answer lends itself to why it was impossible to have one military pay platform is due to the fact that every branch has a unique pay entitlements.
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SSgt Boyd Herrst
SSgt Boyd Herrst
10 mo
Like you said LTC Stephen C “one Cmdr’s conmmendation is another’s achievement medal”. I think it is so true.
Way back when I entered
The AF Reserves I went in as an A1C.. I Had Chef Certificate.via a Vo-tech program in H.S. Also had a Completion if Basic Cadet programs certificate from AFJROTC .w/o them telling me I knew the bar would be higher and of course much more expected of me. So I went to the Group/Wing ready to be watched like I was under a looking glass by my peers and all those that I would
Work for.. When I got there I processed in. Then to Squadron where I was assigned a SSGT as my escort to take me where I needed to go.. he was good.. I received my Cook uniforms and patches and
Was taken to the Rigger shop.. I was sized up and
Everything was done in a day.. a long one ! To the DH where I would be assigned.. I was shown to a table and asked to wait.. about a few minutes later a Airman clerk brought me a two sheet questionnaire and asked to fill it out. That I did and was going to take it back into the office and the clerk came out and took it.. about 10
Minutes after a TSGT came out and introduced himself. He was the Production leader for both shifts.. He told me the 1st Cooks pretty much over seen the shift.. and did the production with our assistance.. I knew that..
from working in my Aunt’s restaurant as a production Cook and as a Sues Chef under the Chef. I was asked why would I want to be in the military and I could work at a big hotel restaurant or some other big establishment .. The experience, discipline, and comaradary .. we had that too but not like
In the Service.. He just shook his head.. Later I’m assigned to work on
a entree with another Sergeant.. We put together a season mix and put some on each rack of ribs then rubbed it in and put them on to finish o ln the grill. They were already blanched ... we had time.. I asked why was the flame so I high.
We were going to sear them and turn down low
And cover.. that sounded right. I had a few ideas but it sounded like he knew what he was doing.. I said ok we should put a light coat of BBQ , turn and let cook over the flame slowly and back n forth a few times reapplying sauce.. We got done and them ribs were to almost die for !
After the meal was over you could see how well the bones were cleaned.
The CMSGT said he never seen them so cleaned..
The production SGT gave me the credit for the consistent saucing so it could cook in.. GReat job.. all of you ! Everybody got some accolades that day.. We had some General officers that came in and dined.. There were on base to inspect s’thing else beside us.. They said smelling that BBQ in the air was so intense they couldn’t concentrate and they had to check it out..
the manager at the Officer Open Mess said we ruined his buffet for the Generals. Our Chief said maybe you should get some real chefs and you
Might get S’body to eat there... the guy popped s’thing.. He turned four different colors .. his admin assistant said our chief was out of line..
TSGT just said “Truth hurts, doesn’t it !” I thought all heck would break loose.., So I had an exciting 1st drill.. I started doing some ciphering and looking at the master menu.. I had Ideas already.. The Chief lived in Livonia .. not far away.. in fact a lot of us lived in close proximity to each other .. The 1SGT and wife lived only 2 blocks over.. I talked to him and he connected me with those I needed to talk with.. Turned out the Chief belonged to a V.F.W.
That sponsored our AFJROTC and I agreed to
Meet there with them.. we used a meeting area in back of the canteen there.
After 3 hours we had the next drill meals (lunch & dinner) planned . I got into the “circle”... We did top
Rds, Roasted potatoes, Risotto rice, Grilled Pullets
(Cornish hens[ordered as pullets we saved a $1.25 lb].. Broccoli/carrot mix
Oriental pole beans w/ garlic n onions anyway way had a heck of a meal
Plus we had other we put together for that weekend, and I was also put on menu planning. Committee. Of course talk gets started . Scuttlebutt.. (who’s kissing who’s a**)! I didn’t care for the innuendo.. but I decided to revel in it. ..
I asked them not to announce in base paper keep it quiet a few weeks..
So it was done.. There was a menu meeting and I didn’t know the O club mgr was on it.. I was told he was a non-voting member but could comment about whether it would (or not) disrupt his buffets for the officers. I decided to not say anything.. beside that was the Chiefs meme..
whether he was in hot water over it, I don’t know.. I do know we increased rations and had more Cmdrs doing their own critiques instead of
passing off to junior officers. The open mess mgr tried to find the regulation about officers having to use the open mess .. they can pick whatever meal in the enlisted facility but only 1per day.. those that couldn’t use our facility
Went off base if time permitted .. The O’ club needed a lot done .. Top Cmdrs went when possible but it seemed they wanted an excuse to eat at our Airmen’s Dining
Hall.. That Mgr was p.o.’d
and wanted an I.G. Inspection.. well deputy Cmdr is the I.G. But he felt the Deputy Cmdr was prejudiced in favor of the DH.. So he had to answer
And said the O’mess needed a lot of work. and he did prefer the Airman facility.. The Zmgr got what he wanted and a top Team came from Washington.. and. They agreed ! The open mess mgr was relieved of his job and a new one hired ..
so he rang his bell and he was a goner !.. I went Actuve duty the next Spring and went to McGuire AFB and MAC..
I had to prove myself there too and I had a great time doing it.. what I needed was to get them
fellow Airmen to work with me and I did it by showing them how pro chefs do it..
I know the Dining Hall is set up on a different system . But more n more
They are turning out great menues.. if I had not had my accident and later after TdRL, a stroke. I may of done 30 years I surmise.. So I’ve had to do a lot of rehabbing to get back in the program in the civilian world.. I did it for awhile.. contingencies that work against us happen. Things we have little control over.. so I retired
and do some things with
Other Chefs, many younger.. These young
People have some ideas..
Not everybody wants to pay $50 for a little strip of pounded steak wrapped around a piece of mushroom, cheese, spinach leaf.. with a few grilled shrunken olives and a few little potatoes .. wuth a little flower cut from a red sweet pepper and on a Italian parsley leaf.. with a squiggle of dark gravy around the edge of their plate.. some do, ... some will.. disposable income !
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SSgt Boyd Herrst
SSgt Boyd Herrst
9 mo
There would be a dilution(watering down) maybe of an award.. in our case when we had the big DOD sitrep, our own Commands(MAC for us in the AF.. TraDOC for the Army and I don’t recall the Navy’s.. yeah it was a big deal to DOD.. they thought we did a Awesome job of it. Our own commands were trying to keep us at a earthly level (not make a big deal of it). I don’t think they wanted to lose their own limelight on what they do, not the awesome capability of a base Food services section. Sounds kind of stingy.. eh?
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CSM Charles Hayden
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Anything to prevent E-6s from ressembling commanders of a South American dictatorship's military!
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PO2 Lewis Brockman
PO2 Lewis Brockman
12 mo
Easy fix , just don't wear the geadunk stuff
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SSG Tom Montgomery
SSG Tom Montgomery
12 mo
I think your comment is strait from a jealous streak. Times change. Today, our troops deploy several times in a career. If They have earned the medals. So be it. I look at photos of officers, nco's and enlisted with rows of ribbons. I am proud of them for their accomplishments. BTW, most have far more than I did. Good work.
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Brad Miller
Brad Miller
11 mo
PO2 Lewis Brockman - I've seen personnel that I am sure were doing that, because they had ribbons for what I recognized as valor (and wounds), but not for "area service". Are there official regulations, unofficial customs, commander's guidelines?
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PO1 Woody W.
PO1 Woody W.
7 mo
IMHO, Service Ribbons is a military personnel walking resume, therefore, when the $h!t hits the fan.... and I'm going to hang with the E-4 that has Campaign, Combat and Combat Arms related ribbons..... or am I gonna hang with that E-8 whose ribbons indicate they've done their share of REMF buitt-lickin ribbons..... Well, the answer is pretty obvious since my desire is to survive the action/duty/campaign. Just sayin....
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Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS
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Edited 4 y ago
In general I would say no, even though there is "potential" good that could come from it.

Keep in mind that even though each Achievement Medal is supposed to be "equal" across Branch, that is not technically true for a few reasons. I'll use the USMC & Army since I am most familiar with them.

At one point, the approval authority for the NAM was the first O6 in the Chain of Command (MEU or Regimental Commander) where in the Army it was the first O5 (BN Commander). Additionally, a few years back the Army removed their "Certificate of Commendation" (Equivalent) and the Army Achievement Medal became the (de facto) replacement for it.

This creates sort of a weird issue. We have a medal which is 2-3 stages removed from what the Army does. We use Letters of Appreciation (Coins), CerComs, NAMs, then NavComs.

Additionally, because we don't have "points" (statistical benefit to promotion system due to award receipt), we don't have the same Award Inflation issues the other services have. End of Tour "acknowledgements" aren't always "Award" based. We tend to lean towards Gifts (plaques, trophies, etc) instead of write-ups (outside of FitReps/NCOER).

This is most obvious when you look at our previous Senior Enlisted Advisers (Sgts Major Marine Corps). It would be rare for any of them to have more than 3-4 NAMs or NCMs (ea), whereas it is not improbable to hear of young soldiers having to wear multiple AAM or ACM because they have 10 of the award and it triggers the 4 device rule. That just doesn't happen on our side.

So basically, there is pragmatic advantage, but our award philosophy is too different to make it work.
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1SG Ernest Stull
1SG Ernest Stull
11 mo
The standard is already written in the awards and decorations Regs, What we as the Services need to do is enforce the guidelines and put the soldiers in for the award if their action deserves merit. But due to inconsiderate coc, a lot of soldiers never receive recognition and that is what the medals and awards were designed for.
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