Late start again, today. I did something incredibly dumb (what’s new?) last evening: I laid down after dinner to aid the digestive process, fell asleep for a lot longer than is good for me, and was only awakened when SN2 called to give me a “heads-up” about the comment he posted last evening. Well, to make a long story short, I was up until the wee, wee hours this morning. I “lost” my net connection around 2200 last evening, so I spent the quiet hours catching up on my paper-based reading, rather than my usual net-surfing reading. The upshot: rolled out of bed about an hour ago. Thus, light blogging to begin the day. It may or may not get better…
Yesterday I was over at Laurie’s place and shot my mouth off in the comments of her post about a
Capt. Jeremiah O’Connor, 57th Transportation Company commander, was awarded the Bronze Star for his efforts and contributions to Operation Enduring Freedom during a ceremony June 9 at the unit motor pool.
As deputy joint transportation officer during the deployment, O’Connor coordinated 48 airdrop missions, 364 separate intra-theater missions and 145 rotary missions, and helped move more than 10 million pounds of equipment and supplies. He also received more than 8,000 Soldiers and moved them to their appropriate forward operating bases.
Before I go any further, you should understand I’m not casting aspersions on CPT O’Connor or his accomplishments. My beef is with the military establishment…in this case the Army, but also (and maybe even especially) the Air Force. It’s all about medal creep, or the awarding of medals for everyday accomplishments that, in the past, might have won you an “attaboy” from your commander or supervisor. These days you get a Bronze Star. If you read between the lines of the press release you see CPT O’Connor received his Bronze Star for simply doing his job. To put it another way, the Bronze Star is eighth in the official US Army awards and decorations order of precedence, exceeded by only seven medals. Pretty hot stuff for just “being there.”
This isn’t a new hot-button with me; I’ve written about the proliferation of medals and ribbons before, in this post. The illustration I used to prove my point was of one General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, pictured with a grand total of three ribbons on his service dress. These days you can “earn” three ribbons in the USAF simply by graduating from basic training and shooting expert on the firing range; you get four if you’re really good and are named an “honor graduate” out of basic training (to wit: National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Training Ribbon, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, USAF Basic Military Training Honor Graduate Ribbon). And that’s just the beginning…
The Navy and the Marine Corps seem to have kept their collective heads when it comes to awards creep. Want proof? Check out The Boys, with special attention to the fruit salad on their respective chests.