No. of Recommendations: 2
Just some of my thoughts on "hole punchers"...

Some are plain ridiculous - Longevity Service ribbon in the Air Force, which you receive for re-enlisting.

Others are inconsistent - Good Conduct Medal, in the Navy it requires four years without NJP or court-martial, when I was with the Marines in the mid 80's, the USMC requirement was 3 years with no more than one NJP. I was in formation when a Marine who had been popped for drugs was awarded a GCM. Naturally, I was amazed and questioned the XO, and was informed of the guidelines stated above. Nice message to send to the troops.

Some should be eliminated - End of tour awards top this list. The previous post had it right, they were just doing their jobs. If you've gone above and beyond, that's one thing, and any award should recognize that. Speaking of which, I've been on awards boards and seen the CO, XO, and Ops O all nominated for medals for the same actions. I have personally turned down several opportunities for such geedunk.

Evaluation inflation - as evals have become next to useless (even with the Navy's attempt to restore some order) the dispensing of chest hardware has become the differentiation between good and great performers. Unfortunately, the awarding of medals has become inflated in and of themselves. CNO had to weigh in on this issue a few years ago, pointing out that mid-level officers were getting awards that were historically given to, say, a flag officer who had saved the Navy millions of dollars, or who had contributed greatly to the readiness of the fleet.

I believe that it was Napoleon who said that soldiers would perform all sorts of heroic deeds for "a scrap of colored cloth", and the antics of some Civil War Medal of Honor winners who risked all to capture the enemy's flag back him up. If all but one of my five rows of awards were to be taken away, the one scrap of cloth I would keep would be the Combat Action Ribbon, the one that says that when called upon to do my job in the face of the enemy, I was up to the task.

Kaigun Chusa

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