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Here Is Everything You Need To Know About The New Combat Award System
The military awards process has undergone some pretty significant changes, designed to recognize a service member’s contributions on and off the battlefield.
The guidance introduces two new devices, which will apply to 12 types of awards across all military branches. The devices are designated as “C” — for meritorious performance under combat conditions — and “R” for remote, which acknowledges those not directly exposed to hostile enemy action or significant risk, according to Military Times. Those who receive a service-specific commendation medal for actions in a hostile area would receive a “C” device. The “R” device would allow for cyber warfare specialists and drone operators, among others, to receive recognition for their efforts in support of combat operations.
According to the DoD award guidance, the “C” device requires that an individual be exposed to significant risk or hostile action, under the following circumstances:
- The service member must be engaged in action against an enemy.
- Engaged in military operations in a conflict with a foreign force.
- Serving with friendly forces in an armed conflict where the United States is not a belligerent party.
The “R” device would apply to those not in direct combat, or facing significant risk, but the service member must still be supporting the combat operations listed above.
In addition to the two new devices, the award changes include new requirements for “V” or valor devices. Service-specific achievement medals are no longer eligible for a “V”, though they now rate a “C” or “R” device. This also applies to the Legion of Merit, which was previously eligible for a “V” device in the Navy.
According to Military Times, the policy also tightens criteria for Bronze Star medals:
“The policy changes also seek to tighten the criteria for awarding the Bronze Star specifically, a combat award that can be presented without a "V," and often was throughout the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, for "meritorious" performance. Now, a service member could receive a Meritorious Service Medal instead if his or her commander determines that, while the job performance was admirable, the assignment came with few inherent risks.”
The thinking appears to be that since a Bronze Star can’t be awarded with a “C” or an “R” device, just a “V,” a commander will lean toward presenting a service member with an alternate award with a “C” device if their performance in a combat zone was exemplary, but not did not include battlefield heroics.
But for vets who recall standing in numerous formations to watch company first sergeants and commanders receive Bronze Stars for manning a JOC or COC during a battle 500 clicks away, the new policy smacks of wishful thinking. Why not just do away with “V”-less Bronze Stars? Maybe that’s a conversation we can have when the Long War turns 20.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.
Confessions Of An Apache Pilot: What It's Like To Fly The Military's Most Heavily Armed Attack Helicopter
Welcome to Confessions Of, an occaisional series where Task & Purpose's James Clark solicits hilarious, embarrassing, and revealing stories from troops and vets about their job, billet, or a tour overseas. Are you in an interesting assignment and think you might have something to share? Email email@example.com with your story.
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While this Patrick Stewart quote may be from an R-rated movie about a talking teddy bear, it's remarkably accurate. After all, the old warhorse has been kicking ass since it was first adopted by the U.S. Army in the 1980s. Designed to get into trouble fast and put it down even faster, the AH-64 Apache usually comes bristling with ordnance, from an M230 chain gun firing 30mm rounds to Hellfire missiles and rockets.
In the words of Tyler Merritt "it's basically a fucking flying tank."
The Pentagon has identified a Green Beret who was killed on Tuesday by enemy small arms fire in southern Afghanistan as Staff Sgt. Joshua Z. Beale.
Beale was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command. He was killed during combat operations in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.
Coast Guard Commandant Blasts Government Shutdown That's Forced Service Members 'To Rely On Food Pantries And Donations'
The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard called the ongoing partial government shutdown "unacceptable" following reports that some Coast Guardsmen are relying on donations from food pantries while their regular paychecks remain on hold.
"We're five-plus weeks into the anxiety and stress of this government lapse and your non-pay," Adm. Karl Schultz said in a video message to service members. "You, as members of the armed forces, should not be expected to shoulder this burden."
The battlefield of the future could feature robot medics delivering life-saving care to casualties in the line of fire. At least, that's what the Army is aiming for — and it's willing to pay millions for help doing it.