Since there is no horse too dead, nor any cat too flat, let me suggest the following modifications to our Armed Forces awards chart:
Let’s have a look at the ones I would can, and why:
Defense Distinguished Service Medal– The same as the Distinguished Service Medal, except GOFOs get a separate one for doing something “joint”. Rescind it, and either replace with the DSM, or the star for additional awards of DSM.
Defense Superior Service Medal– The “joint” equivalent to the Legion of Merit. Another 0-6/GOFO bauble. Get rid of it. Award the Legion of Merit, or stars for additional awards.
Defense Meritorious Service Medal– You got it, the “joint” MSM. Rescind. Award MSM or stars for additional awards.
Joint Service Commendation Medal– Notice a trend here? You have a service branch, presumably. Make the Joint HQ convince your service branch that you rate your service branch’s Commendation Medal. If they can’t, maybe you shouldn’t have one. Certainly not some “joint” equivalent. Rescind.
Joint Meritorious Unit Award– Precisely the same rationale as the JSCM above. Except for the collective. If your outfit was that good, your service branch should award as appropriate.
Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal– Never understood creating an expeditionary medal for wars in which campaign medals were sure to be minted. I might be able to see it for guys in the Philippines and elsewhere, not in IRQ or AFG. BUT, we have the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for that. Rescind, and replace it with the AFEM.
Global War on Terror Service Medal– This formerly held the position of “Dumbest New Award”, but has been overtaken by the Drone Medal. Get rid of it. They already have the National Defense Service Medal for those who didn’t deploy. (Formerly known as the CNN Medal. As in “You saw Desert Storm on CNN? Me too!”) Rescind without replacement with a current equivalent.
Armed Forces Service Medal– “Significant activity”? Are you kidding me? Rescind without replacement.
Humanitarian Service Medal– Another non-warfighter feel-good award. Get rid of it. After Hugo ripped through South Carolina, Marines from MCB helped out cutting and clearing trees, and delivering water, etc. The base CSTAFF spent a formation droning (!) on and on about how they worked twelve hour days for two weeks to help out. Meanwhile, the Drill Instructors continued their 140-hour work weeks for the entire two year tour. So the Sgt from base motors was awarded this thing while my Sgt Senior Drill Instructor got zilch, and had his NCM downgraded to a NAM.
Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal– Makes the Humanitarian Service Medal look like the Iron Cross. Away with it.
Overseas Service Ribbon– Another “everybody gets one” trinket. You were PCS overseas, with all the concomitant bennies that the UDP bubbas pumping to WESTPAC didn’t have. Want a ribbon for being OCONUS? Ride a gator freighter for 200 days. Or do Camp Hansen unaccompanied.
Recruiting/Drill Instructor/Marine Security Guard Ribbons– Wrong, wrong, wrong. No “special duty” ribbons on a Marine uniform. Lousy idea from jump street, let’s get rid of them most rikki tik.
These are, of course, in addition to the Distinguished Warfare Medal, hereby unofficially known as the “Stays in Vegas” Medal.
Before you ask, yes, at least three of these are ones I am authorized. By comparison, my Dad came home from the Pacific, after eleven landings and almost three years, with four ribbons. One was a Navy Good Cookie, and another was the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon with four battle stars. Along with a PUC. He got a WWII Victory Medal on his way out in ’46. In 1991, we had people sit at Al Jubayl for two weeks and come home with five.
It would do us well to have senior Officers that look like warriors instead of Idi Amin, or BG McSoulpatch. Just sayin’. Any others I failed to mention that should go?