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There's a petition calling for a 'War on Drugs' medal. Here are 11 other awards also worth considering
Should service members be issued a "War on Drugs" medal recognizing the role the U.S. military has played in combating global drug trafficking over past five decades? One petitioner believes they should.
The petition calls for the president of the United States, in this case, Donald Trump, to issue an executive order that establishes the "War on Drugs Service Medal" as a "total force" military award that recognizes all service members from 1971 to the present. The White House petition was created by Thomas Marriott, who dedicated the effort to his father, Lt. Col. John Thomas Marriott II, according to the campaign's website.
When asked how such an award would, or could be created, the Pentagon directed Task & Purpose to Volumes 1-4 of Department of Defense Manual 1348.33, writing that those hundred-plus pages have "the language."
However, the public affairs office did note that "most are established by Law and/or Executive Order," and that this specific petition "has not been discussed at the Pentagon."
So, that's something.
Marriott's petition, and the accompanying website, appear earnest, and the military has certainly played a significant role in taking on drug traffickers across the globe, from providing training and support to allied militaries, to drug interdiction operations — like that time a Coastie showed off his brass balls by leaping atop a speeding narco-submarine in the middle of the ocean.
However, as much as we here at Task & Purpose love the idea of getting a new piece of chest candy, we're also growing a little tired of endless wars.
In light of that, we came up with a list of 11 other awards we'd like the Pentagon to consider making official, beginning with...
Operation Enduring Clusterfuck Campaign Medal: For all those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan in the early days who are now realizing that this shit is never going to actually end.
Belligerence In Uniform Award: Awarded to E-4s and below who spent four years or more getting chewed out for having 3+ inches of hair on their heads.
Valorous Hands-In-Pockets Medal: Given to those who in the face of overwhelming odds refused to remove their hands from their pockets while getting knife-handed by a squad-sized element of staff non-commissioned officers.
Twentynine Palms/Fort Irwin Service Ribbon: In recognition of the selfless sacrifice made by those poor souls who endured a non-deployable duty assignment to Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, or Fort Irwin National Training Center, in California.
Intergalactic Defense Ribbon: Awarded to the first enlistees of the Space Force.
Knife Hand Action Badge: Awarded to non-commissioned officers who perfected the knife-hand when counseling junior soldiers.
Meritorious Barracks Legal Ribbon: Awarded to junior soldiers who display prominent legal knowledge without having any type of law degree.
Terminal Lance Corporal Achievement Award: Awarded to enlisted Marines upon second promotion to Lance Corporal following a loss of rank due to non-judicial punishment. Gold Oak Leaf clusters denote additional awards.
The Content Wars Award: Awarded to any and all former U.S. service members who record at least 10 video rants in the driver's seat of their truck within the first month of separation. Recipients are eligible for 'V' devices if the truck is moving.
National Military Base Housing Ribbon: Awarded to service members (and their families) who endured and survived asbestos, mold and faulty wiring while living on any military installation.
E-4 Mafia Unit Citation: Awarded to members of an Army battalion where 90% of specialists are absent from mandatory morning PT, working parties, and are a constant presence in the smoke pit.
Seventy-five years ago Wednesday, Fred Reidenbach was aboard a Navy patrol craft loaded with radio gear, helping to coordinate the landing at Iwo Jima, a volcanic island the U.S. military hoped to use as a staging area for the eventual invasion of Japan.
Reidenbach was a 22-year-old sergeant with the 4th Marine Division from Rochester, New York, and recalls that it was cold that day. The Marines were issued sweaters, heavy socks and 2.5 ounces of brandy to steel them for the task ahead: dislodging 21,000 Japanese soldiers from heavily fortified bunkers and tunnels. Reidenbach wasn't a drinker but didn't have trouble finding someone to take his brandy.
"I passed it on to somebody who liked it better than me," he said.
Though the Army has yet to actually set an official recruiting goal for this year, leaders are confident they're going to bring in more soldiers than last year.
Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, head of Army Recruiting Command, told reporters on Wednesday that the Army was currently 2,226 contracts ahead of where it was in 2019.
"I will just tell you that this time last year we were in the red, and now we're in the green which is — the momentum's there and we see it continuing throughout the end of the year," Muth said, adding that the service hit recruiting numbers in February that haven't been hit during that month since 2014.
KABUL/WASHINGTON/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The United States and the Taliban will sign an agreement on Feb. 29 at the end of a week long period of violence reduction in Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Taliban said on Friday.
Active-duty service members, Reservists and National Guard members often serve side-by-side performing highly skilled and dangerous jobs, such as parachuting, explosives demolition and flight deck operations.
Reservists and Guard members are required to undergo the same training as specialized active-duty troops, and they face the same risks. Yet the extra incentive pay they receive for their work — called hazardous duty incentive pay — is merely a fraction of what their active-duty counterparts receive for performing the same job.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers, led by U.S. Rep. Andy Kim, D-3 of Moorestown, are partnering on legislation to correct the inequity. Known as the Guard and Reserve Hazard Duty Pay Equity Act, the bill seeks to standardize payment of hazardous duty incentive pay for all members of the armed services, including Reserve and National Guard components.
Another Marine was hit with jail time and a bad-conduct discharge in connection with a slew of arrests made last summer over suspicions that members of a California-based infantry battalion were transporting people who'd crossed into the U.S. illegally.