Posted on Apr 19, 2017
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It seems to me that officers are recogized far more often then enlisted soldiers. I mean an officer and junior enlisted could do the same exact thing, or an enlisted could do more then an officer and chances are the officer will be given a higher award. Why? I have been in for almost 8 years and only have 1 AAM which is my only actual award.
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MSG Stay At Home Dad
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Man, there are a LOT of officers responding with their thoughts on why the enlisted ranks don't get the amount or level of awards that officers get.

And most of these answers are hilarious. But only because I'm a RETIRED MSG and it doesn't matter to me anymore.

There is an unwritten law in the Army that the higher the rank you are, the higher the award you get for doing a thing. and I am not whining, it really doesn't matter to this retired Soldier so I am speaking objectively.

I have been on the receiving end of not getting the award that an officer who did the same thing DID get, I have put in Soldiers for Awards and seen officers that I put in get upgraded while enlisted (especially lower enlisted) get downgraded for THE SAME ACTIONS.

And when I have mentioned these discrepancies, I have been told "that must just be your unit," "that's probably not what happened," or my favorite, "you don't understand the dynamics of what happens at higher levels."

I WAS the higher damned level. I ran a Batalion and a Brigade S2 Section. And I repeatedly watched as enlisted Soldiers got awarded lesser awards than officers, often for events in which the enlisted Soldier did something well beyond the officer's actions.

This is an Army-wide issue, and one that has been going on for decades. In 1993 as a Private I got an Certificate of Achievement for beating the best time on the "Green Hell" obstacle course in Fort Sherman Panama. My partner, a junior NCO, got an AAM. Later I found out that two officers, a 1st Lieutenant and a Captain, recieved ARCOMs for getting the "best time," which wasn't actually the best time but what translated to the "best time for a pair of officers," which they happened to leave off of the award citation.

In Iraq in 2009 I put a couple of Soldiers in for ARCOMs for their actions in the Intel field. I put our OIC in for an ARCOM as well, because I knew that putting him in for anything less would be a ska in the face that would cause all of my Soldiers' Awards to get slapped down. Our OIC had only been with us for bout a third of the deployment, prior to that we were without an OIC, having myself and one other NCO to run things. Our OIC was awarded a Bronze Star, and most of my Soldiers received AAMs.

I and most NCOs have long understood that the system is INCREDIBLY flawed, and that one just needs to Lee their teeth together and grind it out because the people who would CHANGE the flawed system are the same people who currently BENEFIT from the flawed system - namely, officers. and it's not ONLY officers; Senior NCOs are often given awards that are WILDLY out of proportion for the actions they have taken. Not too long ago a 1SG got an ARCOM for reporting Soldiers who were complaining ONLINE about their leadership. This, to me, says that her "trolling" of these Soldiers is equal in merit to the Army as my actions in COMBAT that merited an ARCOM. Which is, obviously, fucking RIDICULOUS.

I am not trying to offer any type of fix for this, I am simply stating the facts: officers (and to an extent senior NCOs) receive preferential treatment when it comes to awards. Anyone who tells you different is either delusional, bullshitting, or an officer who is trying to defend a flawed system.

And that's okay. My DD-214 is two pages long with all of the damned awards and decorations I received by being in the wrong place at the wrong time for the Army over three different decades, and I've found that once you're out not a single one of them matters.

So drive on, Airborne. Huaa?
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SSG(P) Brian Kliesen
SSG(P) Brian Kliesen
2 mo
Officers get awards to validate their need for recognition and to be 'in charge'. An entire section will work their ass off and do a great job, but the OIC gets the award, even though the SME's were the E4's and E5's running the show. In the Army, recognition is a one way street where Officers get the awards and recognition and the enlisted and NCO's get certificates and coins that do not help them in their career progression. I have put in dozens of awards for my soldiers and NCO's with almost no success, because command had a metric that said only so many awards could be awarded in each category. Only officers could receive the higher awards and all awards E6 and below were downgraded regardless of what took place. In the Reserves it is even worse. Some units will hand out ARCOM's for planning a party or being a driver, MSM's and LOM's are given to every officer on ETS regardless of their accomplishments. My awards went up the chain of command and disappeared. No response, nothing. They simply didn't process anything regardless of the write up, unless it was for an officer. Everyone is aware of the problem, no one wants to work on a solution, because it is not to their (the Officers) benefit.
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1SG Dean Mcbride (MPER) (CPHR)
1SG Dean Mcbride (MPER) (CPHR)
2 mo
As funny as it may sound, we used to refer to the Silver Star as the Captain's Badge! NCO would get a Bronze Star with V while the Captain received the Silver Star - for the same action...
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LTC David Howard
LTC David Howard
2 mo
As a retired LTC, I believe you are 100% correct.
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SGM Security Specialist
SGM (Join to see)
1 mo
Retired now. When I was the Ops SGM on a JTF I saw this constantly Junior Enlisted/Junior Officer through Senior Enlisted and Senior Officer and representing all 5 branches. It's not a myth.
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CPT Jack Durish
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A very reasonable question with a very simple answer. Junior officers, the ones in closet contact with enlisted personnel aren't very adept leaders. They are lucky to know how to do the simplest tasks of leadership let alone something sophisticated like recommending personnel for awards and decorations. Their immediate superiors aren't much better. However senior officers who are well aware of the significance that decorations can have on a military career rarely witness the accomplishments of the troops as individuals. What's the solution? If you witness an act of valor or a significant accomplishment that you feel is worthy of recognition, bring it to the attention of your immediate superior. Suggest a that they submit a recommendation for recognition if they're too dense to take the hint. Write it up yourself if you have to. Then hope that someone does the same for you when you deserve it. If anyone gives you trouble for following my advice, refer them to me.
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1SG Dean Mcbride (MPER) (CPHR)
1SG Dean Mcbride (MPER) (CPHR)
1 mo
A1C Medrick "Rick" DeVaney - That's about as BS as a comment can get! "Degree And Line Of Studies, Have Nothing To Do With Their Leadership Abilities, Nor Knowledge In The Field To Which They've Been Assigned" That statement covers the majority of degrees received. A lot of college grads work in an entirely different field than they were educated for. Your comment appears to only be there to glorify the fact that you were an 8th grade dropout! CPT Jack Durish provided a very good response and did not need to be chastized for being an officer! I am happy for you that you succeded in business. Stop lowering yourself by painting the officer corp as inefficient!
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A1C Medrick "Rick" DeVaney
A1C Medrick "Rick" DeVaney
1 mo
1SG Dean Mcbride (MPER) (CPHR) -
I Never Chastised ANYONE For Being An Officer; I Take To Task The PERSON, Regardless Of Their Rank In The Military Or Their Position In Civilian Life. ~ And By The Way; Where And How Did You Come Up With Your Conclusion, Based Upon What I'd Stated?
Either You Must Have Misunderstood What I Said OR You're WAY Off Base,...
~~ I'm Betting It's BOTH.~~ Did You Invent That Sh*t Or Just Looking For Something To Bitch About?
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SPC Parachute Rigger
SPC (Join to see)
6 d
1SG Dean Mcbride (MPER) (CPHR) - I served under two 2nd Lt. in my Company in the 82 Airborne Div. I am going with inefficient !
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A1C Medrick "Rick" DeVaney
A1C Medrick "Rick" DeVaney
6 d
SPC (Join to see) -
LMAO ~~ And There's A LOT Of That Going Around.
(inefficient)
Including The Non-Resoponsive
1SG Dean Mcbride (MPER) (CPHR) -
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MGySgt James Forward
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Don't get wrapped around the axle on awards, sometimes there is not much rhyme or reason. Do you best always, I never worried about any awards. End of tour before PCS orders is a give away award in my book and does not occur that much in the Marine Corps. We also don't give promotion point for them either. Yes, looks nice on your uniform but you evals and performance are what count in my book. Semper fi and keep charging.
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CPL Jason Northedge
CPL Jason Northedge
3 y
I'm not a marine but I like your answer. Don't sweat the BS. You can be a great marine or soldier and have 1 medal/award.
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SFC James Welch
SFC James Welch
3 y
All military personnel are judged by the set of ribbons on their Class A’s and the. Badges they wear. They combine to tell the story of you and your career at a glance. It has always been this way. No one thing in Military Life holds so much resentment, jealousy, by those who haven’t been there, done that. This is true of all ranks. The old”I don’t have those so you couldn’t possibly have earned them”syndrome. When I returned from Vietnam it was so bad I wore only my Aircraft Crewman Wings and my highest award was Bronze Stars. My Sargent Major hated a Buck Sargent who had a Silver Star(he was Infantry in the 1/22 Infantry Battalion. He made his already difficult life hell. The man was suffering from PTSD but people didn’t know much about it then. There were also Officers in that unit who hadn’t been anywhere overseas who resented anyone who had been in Combat. Jealousy is a horrible thing!
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Sgt Dennis Peskey
Sgt Dennis Peskey
3 mo
I served with the 12th Mar Reg in the northern I corps from April '69 through Nov 69. For the first five months, I was assigned as the Field Artillery Operations Chief for the 12th Mar Reg at Division forward in Camp Vandergrift (aka, rocket valley). We got shelled every day by the NVA - hence it's nickname. I replaced an E-7 who gave me all of 30 minutes instruction on what the job entailed -clear all artillery fires and don't get any Marines (or other friendlies) killed in the process; twelve hours a day (and night) - eight days a week. During the assignment, I was subjected to five investigations of "friendly fire" incidents where we fired on our own troops. I was cleared of all responsibility for each of the incidents but I still remember all of them. At the end, when Vandergrift was being closed, the assistant Division commander came over to me and said he was putting me in for the Naval Achievement Medal. I didn't understand what that truly meant. It wasn't until we got pulled out of Nam and reassigned to Okinawa when I began to understand it's significance. My regimental gunny found out about the award and personally told me he was going to block the award. I only smiled and told him fine - do it and I'll personally go tell the assistant Division Commander of the error of his award. I do recall the look on the gunnies face when I told him what I was going to do. Needless to say he didn't do anything to block the award. I was awarded the NAM (Naval Achievement Medal) after I completed my first tour with the Corps. When I reenlisted for a second tour, it came in real handy during every Division inspection I had the pleasure of participating in. I finally realized how important that award was and I knew how much was required to earn it.
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SGM Security Specialist
SGM (Join to see)
1 mo
I hear what you're saying. I was the Operations Sergeant Major in a Joint Task Force and had to do Navy/Marine "FitReps" which were our NCO Eval Reports on Senior or "Staff" Navy PO's and Marine NCO's. Naturally they were a different format so I recruited the help of some senior Navy and Marine NCO's to advise me. I received some good SA on the workings and I was as honest and straight as possible. Nice comment Master Guns.
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