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Legion of merit


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My jaw dropped when I read this today - America's highest military award to a man who has never served in any military capacity - from a man who ensured he would never serve in any military capacity. What a bloody joke.

 

But this is pretty common with a lot of military awards, though, anyway. Many are those, who richly deserved high military awards, and never got them - purely because no-one saw them carry out acts of incredible audacity and bravery - or because their act (or acts) did not "meet the required prerequisites". But officers regularly got "gongs", when they'd never even put themselves in harms way.

 

In fact, I was quite surprised, when reading up the obituary of the recently-deceased Major-Gen Michael Jeffery, that he'd been given an MC.

But when I went looking for the description of the precise act of valour that got M-G Jeffery his MC - it doesn't exist.

As one of those "golden-haired boys" who could do no wrong, and who curried favour with all those above him, who had enormous powers - he got the gong simply because he did a good job of commanding an infantry company in SVN.

 

But a lot of other senior officers I know of, did an equally good job of commanding an infantry company in SVN, too - and they didn't all get MC's. No, as always, it was the favourite lad in the best position to curry favour, who got the gong.

The awards systems really are a farce, it's all based on who you know, who you went to officers school with, the old school tie, being in the right clubs.

But the blokes on the ground who really earnt the few major gallantry awards handed out to them, are the ones that get my admiration. But for every one of them, there would be 5 more, who deserved major gongs, equally.

Edited by onetrack
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As a former squaddie i agree, to many hooray henry,s get gongs for simply doing their job, the real heroes are the front line lads, and the  special ops guys , and dont forget the NCO,s , some of these guys have so much experience and leadership  that leaves officers floundering, my NCo was a veteran of WW11 and Korea and  he was very good a career soldier , a soldiers soldier . No pollie deserves a gong the  are mostly mealy mouthed cowards. British army, i have no insight of Aus army

 

Edited by gareth lacey
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14 hours ago, onetrack said:

My jaw dropped when I read this today - America's highest military award to a man who has never served in any military capacity - from a man who ensured he would never serve in any military capacity. What a bloody joke.

 

But this is pretty common with a lot of military awards, though, anyway. Many are those, who richly deserved high military awards, and never got them - purely because no-one saw them carry out acts of incredible audacity and bravery - or because their act (or acts) did not "meet the required prerequisites". But officers regularly got "gongs", when they'd never even put themselves in harms way.

 

In fact, I was quite surprised, when reading up the obituary of the recently-deceased Major-Gen Michael Jeffery, that he'd been given an MC.

But when I went looking for the description of the precise act of valour that got M-G Jeffery his MC - it doesn't exist.

As one of those "golden-haired boys" who could do no wrong, and who curried favour with all those above him, who had enormous powers - he got the gong simply because he did a good job of commanding an infantry company in SVN.

 

But a lot of other senior officers I know of, did an equally good job of commanding an infantry company in SVN, too - and they didn't all get MC's. No, as always, it was the favourite lad in the best position to curry favour, who got the gong.

The awards systems really are a farce, it's all based on who you know, who you went to officers school with, the old school tie, being in the right clubs.

But the blokes on the ground who really earnt the few major gallantry awards handed out to them, are the ones that get my admiration. But for every one of them, there would be 5 more, who deserved major gongs, equally.

I remember there was always a lot of debate over the fact that all VC recipients in SVN were members of the Team. Some said favouritism, others argued that they were in higher overall exposure to front line action. Front line being a figure of speech only.

Edited by willedoo
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I read the story of a Pommie squaddie who got the VC. He was from the caribbean and joined the army, ended up driving an armoured vehicle and was injured while rescuing some of his crew. He didn't know why he was left until last at the presentation ceremony and didn't know what he was getting. Was genuinely surprised when he got the VC and reckoned all he was doing was what anyone would have done. I think his name was Johnson Beharry.

Anothe pommie VC recipient was an officer who got his because he shot some squaddies in WW1 who were not going to advance.

One of the awards for the battle of Long Tan was not even anywhere near the fight and didn't contribute in any way to its success, apart from being in command but not doing any active commanding.

Officers and politicians get all the kudos. I think Barak Obama was bemused when he got the Nobel prize.

Scott Morrison is looking for his.

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It's rare for me to say anything good about Obama, but I think he was as embarrassed as everyone else over that award. He probably thought it would cause a lot less awkwardness by accepting it rather than refusing it. The problem was that he had not long been sworn in and had not done anything. At that stage, all it had been was his used car salesman pitch of 'I'm gunna do this and I'm gunna do that'. They should have renamed it the Gunna Award. But Barak was such a silver tongued snake oil salesman that the Nobel suckers fell for it. I can only guess that one of the award panelists asked whether they could give it to Obama so early in his presidency, and the rest of the panel cried out in unison "Yes we can!". 

 

The award had already been demeaned by politician recipients, but Obomber's award turned it into a complete laughing stock. From that date onward, the Nobel Peace Prize means nothing; it's just a tinny now. It would be hard for any subsequent awardees to fell honoured by it when they know it can be awarded for doing nothing.

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