Drone pilots to get medals?

Brill

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I really am not one to talk here because I was "awarded" 5 Air Medals for sitting on my ass on a plane. We got one AM for every 20 missions (lasting up to 12 hrs each) over "hostile territory". However, I think the idea below is silly. Where does it end? Will the tanker pilots get DFCs now?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...to-get-medals/2012/07/09/gJQAF2PhYW_blog.html

The Pentagon is considering awarding a Distinguished Warfare Medal to drone pilots who work on military bases often far removed from the battlefield.

The proposed medal would rank between the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Soldier’s Medal for exceptional conduct outside a combat zone.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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Well....if the Bronze Star sans "V" can be handed out like candy to fobbitts everywhere, might as well make the drone crews feel special too.
 

LimaOscarSierraTango

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Come to USAREC if you want to see that concept disproven...

Really? In the unit I deployed with, things were really stupid when it came to awards. Apparently E-6s and above were to get BSMs. A couple didn't, but were allowed to re-submit for it. E-5 and below were given ARCOMs, although were told half would be down-graded (randomly, not necessarily the turds that didn't deserve an award).

Nice to hear about some standards being adhered to. Maybe it is a Guard thing. Although I didn't see the same issue in the SF unit I was in.
 

goon175

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Let me put it this way:

We just recently had a SSG who ETS'd after I believe 9 years of service. Purple Heart x2, BSM w/ V, was in the same company/same time as the unit salvator guinta was in when awarded the MOH. Not only did he have that deployment to the korengal under his belt, but also one to iraq. He was, in my opinion, the epitome of an airborne infantryman and of a soldier. He came down on orders to USAREC, and performed very well as a recruiter, despite his pure hate for the job.

What was this mans ETS award? If you asked me to guess, I would say "atleast an MSM right?"

Nope. He was given an ARCOM.

That ranks among my "top 5 moments that make me embarassed to be in the army"
 

DA SWO

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Let me put it this way:

We just recently had a SSG who ETS'd after I believe 9 years of service. Purple Heart x2, BSM w/ V, was in the same company/same time as the unit salvator guinta was in when awarded the MOH. Not only did he have that deployment to the korengal under his belt, but also one to iraq. He was, in my opinion, the epitome of an airborne infantryman and of a soldier. He came down on orders to USAREC, and performed very well as a recruiter, despite his pure hate for the job.

What was this mans ETS award? If you asked me to guess, I would say "atleast an MSM right?"

Nope. He was given an ARCOM.

That ranks among my "top 5 moments that make me embarassed to be in the army"
Service awards are rank based which is why PCS awards should be outlawed.

As far as the original post/question; I don't have an issue with something for the stateside folks, RPV elements, Intel, etc.

I think it is a proper evolution, and we will see more remote air support. I think you will see very few given out, and won't be surprised to see most go to RPV teams in-theater rather then stateside.
 

LimaOscarSierraTango

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Let me put it this way:

We just recently had a SSG who ETS'd after I believe 9 years of service. Purple Heart x2, BSM w/ V, was in the same company/same time as the unit salvator guinta was in when awarded the MOH. Not only did he have that deployment to the korengal under his belt, but also one to iraq. He was, in my opinion, the epitome of an airborne infantryman and of a soldier. He came down on orders to USAREC, and performed very well as a recruiter, despite his pure hate for the job.

What was this mans ETS award? If you asked me to guess, I would say "atleast an MSM right?"

Nope. He was given an ARCOM.

That ranks among my "top 5 moments that make me embarassed to be in the army"

Holy shit! That is retarded. I know of some commands/leaders that refuse to give awards, or downgrade awards for no reason, but that is terrible!
 

Regulator3

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Not to get off on a tangent, but I think a lot of it has to do with the unit assigned. I know some studs that in another unit would have risen head and shoulders above their peers and received awards accordingly, but at their current unit (not that they would switch), excellence was expected and awards given less frequently.
 

CDG

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They should not be rank based, but rather what did you achieve?

When I was in HOA, there were technically two parent commands you could be assigned to. There was JTF-HOA and then there was Camp Lemonier. Everyone got medals at the end of a deployment there. If your orders said, "Camp Lemonier" you received a Navy Achievement Medal or whatever your service equivalent was. If your orders said "JTF-HOA" you were given a Joint Commendation Medal.
 

LimaOscarSierraTango

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Not to get off on a tangent, but I think a lot of it has to do with the unit assigned. I know some studs that in another unit would have risen head and shoulders above their peers and received awards accordingly, but at their current unit (not that they would switch), excellence was expected and awards given less frequently.

Agreed. I think that is part of it for sure. I also think in some units, people are too lazy to write awards that people earned. There are a lot of different factors. But going back to the original post, there is no need for a special award for these guys. Don't they already get an ASI now (F6 or F7 depending if you are a UAV pilot or Master Trainer)? Why do they need a special award? I think the standard ARCOM or AAM would suffice, or for super badassery, maybe an MSM?
 

Scotth

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Might as well give them hazard duty pay as well.

There isn't enough awards out there covering exemplary service you have to create a new one? For a drone pilot to? I mean pilot have a egos already but at least when they are actually flying there is a lot of work behind the scenes and there is always the threat of crashing even when they are flying at home. Poor drone pilots might crash and burn getting up from there desk, better give them something big and shiny to keep them occupied and keep them motivated to stay in the fight?:rolleyes:
 

AWP

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In the Guard back in the 90's our awards policy was rather "old school" in that you didn't receive an award unless your performance was exemplary. Being an SF BN our bar was a little higher than other units.

Then STPA came out and suddenly awards = promotion points that actually mattered...and the wheels fell off. In order for the support guys in most MOS' to remain competitive against their conventional peers our command started lowering the bar for one's performance to justify awards FOR AN AT PERIOD. 2 weeks of work for an ARCOM? I'm ashamed to say it happened in some cases, but it was done to give our guys a chance against their not-so-stellar MOS peers from other units with zero standards.

On the AD side how many NCOERs were all "Firewall 5's" in some units?

The system has caused the cheapening of awards. Everyone who was a junior enlisted in that timeframe are now E-6's at a minimum. They grew up in an era where standards were tossed for the sake of promotion points. "Medals for everyone" sin't surprising.

The system is broken.
 

Arrow 4

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The Army's award system is broken and has been for a long time. Too often we reward people for all of the wrong reasons. I was a Cpl. running a CAT-A in Iraq even though my team had an E-6 (Later promoted to E-7 on the team) who was completely incompetent. My commander came out and told me that had I been and E-6 or above I would have recieved a BSM. It seemed to me that a lower ranking person who has to perform the duties of a senior enlisted would be more deserving right? Our company was going to give this same E-7 a CAB despite having shown cowardice under fire. It took me and a couple of other team members writing memos detailing his cowardice to prevent the award being given. The unit was not happy about being forced not to award him the CAB. Awards are a serious sore spot for me and probably a whole lot of others in the Army. In the end, despite having done his job and at half the pay, this incompetent and cowardly E-7 walked away with the same ARCOM I did.
 

DA SWO

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Agreed. I think that is part of it for sure. I also think in some units, people are too lazy to write awards that people earned. There are a lot of different factors. But going back to the original post, there is no need for a special award for these guys. Don't they already get an ASI now (F6 or F7 depending if you are a UAV pilot or Master Trainer)? Why do they need a special award? I think the standard ARCOM or AAM would suffice, or for super badassery, maybe an MSM?

I think the goal was to create an "Aviation Orientated" medal, and no, I don't think an AAM suffices as we give AAM's out for decorating the CG's Office (I personally witnessed that one).

Again, I don't think it's that big a deal, and doubt they will get awarded often.
 
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