Hill: Medal proposal 'misguided'

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Hill: Medal proposal 'misguided'

Calling a proposal to award U.S. troops medals for holding fire in a war zone "misguided," American Legion National Commander Clarence Hill voiced concern that overly restrictive rules of engagement would ultimately cost lives.

"Nobody likes to see innocent civilians killed in a war zone but the blame for these tragedies lies with the terrorists who caused the war in the first place," Hill said. "The proposal to award medals for holding fire is troubling because it is symptomatic of a growing culture in the military that will punish troops for making split-second decisions while they are expected to defend themselves and their comrades. This proposal is an insult to our men and women in combat who already do an extraordinary job of exercising restraint. Too much restraint will get our own people killed."

Hill also worried that rewarding those who don't use force sends the wrong message to those that do. "Vietnam veterans were outrageously slandered as ‘babykillers,'" he said. "This was tragic because the overwhelming majority of those who served there tried to prevent innocent casualties. Now, by awarding those who supposedly practice restraint, we would be implying that our heroes who have to fire their weapons are somehow failing in their mission or coming up short. It's a bad idea, and the Pentagon should kill it."

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JetManJimbo

July 16, 2010 - 7:10pm

Why don't we award medals to those who ran to Canada during Vietnam. They exercised restraint among other characteristics.

dennis walkoviak

May 22, 2010 - 12:10pm

Who might be the brain dead idiot thought this one up? Maybe it might be a good idea and send him/her into a war zone. We'll see if the other side has a medal for stupidity.

Legionnaire8585

May 20, 2010 - 8:30pm

Being a senior/disabled decorated (highest medal ARCOM for RVN service)Army Vietnam veteran, I applaud National Commander Hill in his stance against a medal for "fire restraint" in a combat zone. It is a purely (excuse language, please) assinine idea. I also agree with all the other fellow Legionnaires comments posted regarding this subject matter. WAKE-UP WASHINGTON, D.C. BEFORE THE MIDDLE EAST AMERICAN BODY COUNT GOES THROUGH THE "OUTER LIMITS"! Legionnaire8585

tonymazeika

May 20, 2010 - 5:26pm

Unfortunately we have a commander in chief who is pacifist by nature and cannot identify by name who is the enemy we face.

Roned

May 20, 2010 - 5:04pm

Commander Hill is right on point. Encouraging passivity in combat is a sure road to the death of a fighter. As an example, police training is not so much teaching cadets when not to use their batons or firearms, but ensuring they know when they need to. It is human nature to avoid killing another human. It is intense training in boot camp and beyond that overcomes that nature under the right circumstances. Authorizing a "restraint in combat medal" is a very serious mistake.

Dave Martin

May 20, 2010 - 4:16pm

Didn't we recently do a poll on this same subject? Did I miss the results? I know the results, no matter how overwhelming, won't mean a thing to the decision makers, that's half of what's wrong with this country now, they're so wrapped up in themselves they can't see the forest through the trees.

Davedgreat2000

May 14, 2010 - 3:28pm

I guess the New Medal would be a Peace Sign then...

Michael.Montgomery

May 14, 2010 - 3:10pm

Here, here Commander Hill. We already have what they are proposing. It is called an Honorable Discharge. When at the end of your enlistment you have received an Honorable Discharge it is saying "Thank you" for a job well done. If you have received an already existing commendation or achievement ribbon or medal from your fellow comrades for helping to build a school or taking an objective with little or no gunfire then that is a plus. We don't need, nor want this odd new "award".

LightOwl

May 14, 2010 - 1:14pm

Back 40 years ago we had the "Vietnamization" of the War....now we have the "Obaminization" of the War. Maybe the Pentagon should start issuing "blanks" instead of real bullets so that Soldiers can just "scare" everyone. No muss-no fuss !!! Do the "bad-guys" seem to care if 'innocent' civilians get killed ??? In fact, that's what they want so that just this sort of thing will happen....and....we are playing right into what 'they' want. A Victory for them !!!! The Olde Sarge

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