Hold fire, earn a medal

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Sarge

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http://www.navytimes.com/news/2010/05/military_restraint_medal_051110mar/


U.S. troops in Afghanistan could soon be awarded a medal for not doing something, a precedent-setting award that would be given for “courageous restraint” for holding fire to save civilian lives.

The proposal is now circulating in the Kabul headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force, a command spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

“The idea is consistent with our approach,” explained Air Force Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis. “Our young men and women display remarkable courage every day, including situations where they refrain from using lethal force, even at risk to themselves, in order to prevent possible harm to civilians. In some situations our forces face in Afghanistan, that restraint is an act of discipline and courage not much different than those seen in combat actions.”

Soldiers are often recognized for non-combat achievement with decorations such as their service’s commendation medal. But most of the highest U.S. military decorations are for valor in combat. A medal to recognize a conscious effort to avoid a combat action would be unique.
 

Om

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Fine idea in theory. Certainly encouraging the saving of innocent bystander's lives is a commendable goal.

But it strikes even this civilian as an awful idea in practice. The rules of engagement are what they are, and the last thing I want is soldiers in the field having to sort through additional gray ears within those rules in a firefight. Good lord.

And I gotta ask those of you who have seen combat situations ... how would you even feel about wearing such a "medal?"
 

Lanky Livingston

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Giving a medal for NOT killing civilians gives the impression we are killing them with impunity right now, in my opinion.
 

Sarge

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Fine idea in theory. Certainly encouraging the saving of innocent bystander's lives is a commendable goal.

But it strikes even this civilian as an awful idea in practice. The rules of engagement are what they are, and the last thing I want is soldiers in the field having to sort through additional gray ears within those rules in a firefight. Good lord.

And I gotta ask those of you who have seen combat situations ... how would you even feel about wearing such a "medal?"

About the same as wearing a Purple Heart, othrewise known as an "Enemy Marksmanship Medal".

I would never even think about wearing this PC POS. American soldiers are already well versed in Rules of Engagement before they even set foot outside the wire. To give them a medal for tempering their aggressivness is ridiculous.

Hell, in Afghanistan in Oct 03, we were chasing a bunch of losers when they ran into a mud town, thus severing visual contact. I saw them go in, and I saw them come out, but because of the ROE's at the time that stated that you must maintain visual contact at all times before you call down the fire, we had to shoot at them to get them to shoot back to re-confirm they were hostile. It's funny, seven assholes ran into the village, and seven assholes ran out the other side. I knew it was the same assholes, but the rules stated we had to be sure.

It's even more restrictive with the current bunch in charge. Can't fight at night. Can't blow things up if assholes are hiding with civilians, can't waste them if they lay down their arms.

Sad, sad state of affairs
 

riggins44

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Just plain wrong! I can see this causing some kid to hesitate shooting and end up being killed.
 

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