• 19 May 2015 at 23:19 #1006
    Donald William Tate
    Given that there is a widespread belief that the awarding of gallantry medals in Vietnam (and probably most conflicts) was governed more by quotas and gentlemen’s agreements rather than deeds in the field, does it follow that the enhancement of certain individuals’ status, reputation, and career planning was of more importance than overall equity?
    Combat veterans, in particular, note anecdotally that there are many instances where true bravery in combat was clearly demonstrated by men of lesser rank but went unrewarded, while in other circumstances gallantry medals were ‘won’ by officers for much lesser actions.
    Included among these are gallantry medals awarded to officers who accept them ‘on behalf of their platoon’- but where the other men in that unit never see the medal, or wear them.
    In some notable instances the recipients of ‘gallantry’ medals weren’t even present at nominated battles, but received them for political and/or other reasons. And in at least one highly contentious instance in 1969, infantrymen were used as pawns in an endeavour to secure one such award for a Corps that had been lagging behind in the medals tally.
    I contend that vainglory in instances such as these distorts history military and invalidates it, and suggest that bravery awards should only be awarded by an independent panel divorced from peer pressure or vested interest.
    20 May 2015 at 13:18 #1017
    T. G. Purdue

    I served with an officer who was awarded the MC.  The bloke was a true and utter gentelman and he maintains his anger to this day re the award.  He has always stated (over many years) that he was  called in and told it was nearing the end of the awards period, and a certain number HAD to be awarded, and he was to receive a MC.

    I can only assume it is the truth, because he had never changed his statement.

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