Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Military Medal for Courageous Restraint: Our Enemies Will Certainly Applaud & Use It Against Us

If you are in the heat of battle with the enemy, your life is on the line, your buddies lives on the line, and your country's safety and security are at stake, which soldier would you prefer to reward for bravery in the line of duty?  The military is considering establishing a new medal to honor soldiers who restrain fire to protect civilians. Could there be a more appropriate name for such a medal, like Yellow Heart Award?  What could go wrong?  I wonder what Sun Tzu would say.

Hold fire, earn a medal
By William H. McMichael - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday May 12, 2010 14:25:49 EDT
U.S. troops in Afghanistan could soon be awarded a medal for not doing something, a precedent-setting award that would be given for “courageous restraint” for holding fire to save civilian lives.
The proposal is now circulating in the Kabul headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force, a command spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

“The idea is consistent with our approach,” explained Air Force Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis. “Our young men and women display remarkable courage every day, including situations where they refrain from using lethal force, even at risk to themselves, in order to prevent possible harm to civilians. In some situations our forces face in Afghanistan, that restraint is an act of discipline and courage not much different than those seen in combat actions.”
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History of the Purple Heart Medal

The original Purple Heart, designated as the Badge of Military Merit, was established by George Washington—then the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army—by order from his Newburgh, New York headquarters on August 7, 1782.[1] The actual order includes the phrase, "Let it be known that he who wears the military order of the purple heart has given of his blood in the defense of his homeland and shall forever be revered by his fellow countrymen." The Badge of Military Merit was only awarded to three Revolutionary War soldiers and fell into disuse following the War of Independence. Although never abolished, the award of the badge was not proposed again officially until after World War I.
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