Wednesday, February 09, 2011

They just don't get it...

The link at CNN.com read "Medal of Honor winner won't re-enlist".

Obviously, the Army is broken if even its decorated heroes are leaving, instead of reenlisting as lifer career soldiers like Sergeant York and Audie Murphy...

35 comments:

Gewehr98 said...

Not broken, but not trying very hard to retain them, either.

Only a certain percentage of living MOH winners ever stayed in service, Tam. The very fact that they have the Medal sometimes makes it difficult to pursue a "normal" military career. It's not unlike the military asking one to separate after winning the lottery. As a MOH recipient, even 4-star generals salute you, regardless of your rank. That sometimes creates a difficult situation with respect to discipline, good order, etc.

Anonymous said...

Also , the line in the middle of the article might have something to do with his decision...

"He served two tours in Afghanistan over seven years."

Tam said...

G98,

I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek, of course.

I suspect that the CNN writer and I read completely different things into this bit of news.

Laughingdog said...

The fact that they call him the "winner" of the Medal of Honor is the first sign that they just don't get it Tam.

Anonymous said...

Add Joe Foss to your list.

Gerry

Anonymous said...

Apparently they received a lot of comments concerning the “winning” of the MOH. The byline now says, "America's newest Medal of Honor recipient is leaving the Army". Most civilians do not realize that the men or women that are awarded the MOH are not in competition for the award.

ParatrooperJJ said...

Two tours in seven years is actually below the average. Most paratroopers have around four.

Brian said...

Tam,
My father was drafted into the Army to serve in Vietnam. He stayed in and got his commission. As a 1st Liutenant he had a MOH recipient who served under him during the late 70's. Dad said it was terrible. The gentlemen in question, a E-8, would show up to formation drunk when he showed up. He would pick and choose what duties he wanted to do, etc. Because he had that MOH though he was untouchable. The E-8 finally made his time and retired.

IZinterrogator said...

Anon@0859,
This line from the Des Moines Register tells me that two tours in Afghanistan have nothing to do with it.

"He is currently assigned to a base in Vincenza, Italy, called Caserma Ederle, where he aids military operations in Afghanistan."

Because of his status, the Army will never put him in a position where he could be killed again, so he will serve on rear detachments when his unit deploys and he will never again lead combat troops. That is the greatest punishment any non-commissioned officer can receive.

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20110208/NEWS/110208022/Medal-of-Honor-recipient-Sal-Giunta-to-leave-military?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Frontpage

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

It probably has more to do with the fact that a good portion of his duties now is to be available 24/7 to be waved in front of the public at major sporting events and such. He has become worth more to the army as a PR resource than as a soldier. As such, he will never see combat again, and he will always be left behind when his unit is sent to war.

To the kind of person capable of earning a Medal of Honor, that is the worst form of punishment possible.

Bram said...

Good comments. If he was not motivated, he could cruise his way to Master Sgt. and get paid to play golf for another 20 years.

If he is motivated (my guess) he will be limited as IZinterrogator said. Even at the height of WWII, John Basilone had to fight to get back into a machine gun section. Back then there were a fair number of recent recipients and WWI guys still serving.

Probably arguments for awarding the MOH slightly more often. Hell of a thing to be the only active duty soldier in the entire Army wearing the Blue Max.

Anonymous said...

A Medal of Honor winner can do whatever he wants and I'll have no quarrel, including sending the bill of his steak and lobster dinner to me.

Bram said...

Hell yeah. Service members in uniform don't pay for drinks in my area of operation. SSgt. Giunta won't pay for anything.

Rabbit said...

Most awarded the MOH are posthumously decorated, statistically. Plus, there's no War Bond drive for him to campaign for.

McThag said...

It's only recently that the MoH started to be mostly awarded to dead guys.

"In total, 3,471 medals have been awarded to 3,452 different people. Nineteen men received a second award: 14 of these received two separate medals for two separate actions, and five received both the Navy and the Army Medals of Honor for the same action. For actions since the beginning of World War II, 856 Medals of Honor have been awarded, 527 (or 62%) posthumously. In total, 625 of the medals have been awarded posthumously."

hektor said...

Just a quick reply for Brian,

I've never witnessed an E-8 serving "under" an LT.

In fact, I've never seen an E-8 give two shits about an LT one way or the other.

I'd take a drunk, lazy E-8 over a newly minted LT most days of the week.

I don't think the MoH was the deciding factor.

Anonymous said...

Maybe our troops are just getting smarter than their predecessor, which is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

What gets me in that article is the $1100 a month pension from the DOD. Only $1100? $13,200 a year? Really? For the highest honor this nation can bestow on a man, he gets a pay that wouldn't be legal (13,200/2000=6.60.hr) to give an 18 year old working Mickey D's.

Hell we give congressmen more than that and for far less service to the country.

It is to the eternal shame of this country that we treat Vets so poorly.

Hopefully we don't have to worry about S/Sgt Giunta meeting the same fate as Ira Hayes.

Anonymous said...

First off you don't win the CMH you EARN it! And yes he would be a poster child for the rest of his career if he wanted to stay in.I served for 21 yrs. and have met three CMH recipiants. EVERONE of them were very down to earth men who just wanted to be treated as someone who did his duty. Yes we bought them drinks because it is an HONOR to know that there are still peaple who would risk it all for their piers. God blessed him and so shoulf we by letting him live his life as he wants to. By god he EARNED the right to.!

Walt

Kristopher said...

Agree with Hektor.

Once you get past E-7, a non-com is more of a force of nature rather than just another person in the chain of command.

mikemc said...

Dear Tam:

Just a small point: Audie Murphy was not a career officer in the Army (he received a field commission), but left the service to pursue a Hollywood career. This does not, of course, diminish his accomplishments or negate your point.

Anonymous said...

That selfish BASTARD!

AT

Steve Skubinna said...

Knew on MOH recipient when I was in Korea, mid eighties. Navy Captain (full bird), he got it in Vietnam on the riverboats. He was one of the most unassuming and decent senior officers I ever saw. Whenever he was down in Chinhae he'd drop by my department just to say "hi" to me, a cheesedip O-3 and nobody he needed to give a second thought to.

Hektor, did you bother actuallty reading Brian's comment before going into "SNCOs are GAWD!!!!" mode? The LT was not some brand new shavetail, but a mustang 1LT.

Kansas Scout said...

Alvin York, likewise was not a career soldier.

Tam said...

Anon 5:02, mikemc, Kansas Scout,

Am I really going to have to start using [SARCASM] tags? Here? On my own damn blog?

Anonymous said...

Looks like that's a big affirmative! I got it the first time I read it, but that's because I'm such a sarcastic some-beach. Kentucky Jones

Anonymous said...

Might save some time if you just slap some of those sarc tags right on the blog title...

AT

Gewehr98 said...

Yeah, I'm almost convinced when stopping by VFTP that the posts are ALL firmly tongue-in-snark. That's safer...

Keads said...

I assumed that the [SARCASM] tag was a permanent fixture in the head section of this blog!

Geodkyt said...

McThag,

It is my understanding (from an ex-BUFF nav in the Pentagon at the time) that the policy of "posthumous-only" for the Medal was a Clinton era policy, on the theory that a dead recipient couldn't later get involved in an awkward scandal.

People kept raining hate on Bush for not awarding the Medal to anyone, so the Lightbringer did so out of expediency. (Did the right thing, but for political reasons.)

Now, when is Brian Chontosh's Medal of Honor ceremony?

FatWhiteMan said...

I watched Sergent York last night. Great flick.

Zendo Deb said...

Let's see. He get's $1,100 per month from the VA as a MOH holder (once he retires.)

He gets his education "assistance" from from GI Bill. (How much this covers today, I haven't a clew.)

He has a family to think about.

And he has more than 15 minutes of fame.

So...

Do you think a part of this might be economics? Or maybe his wife hates his being in the military.

And after you get a Medal of Honor, exactly what goals do you set for yourself in your military career?

(If you have to put sarcasm tags around your sarcasm, you are doing it wrong.)

ParatrooperJJ said...

The $1100 is the VA benefit to veterans who earned the MOH. They are also eligible for retired pay if they serve 20 years and VA compensation if they have any service connected injuries.

Tam said...

Zendo Deb,

"(If you have to put sarcasm tags around your sarcasm, you are doing it wrong.)"

I thought that the readership here would take it as common knowledge that Murphy and York were wartime soldiers who ETS'ed at the first available opportunity. Obviously I was mistaken. I blame the educational system...

Anonymous said...

Considering the state of edjumacation in this country, only the intelligent readers of this here fine blog would know who the heck either Murphy or York were. Considering the state of reporting in this country, only the intelligent readers of this here fine blog would know who the heck Brian Chontosh is.

Now go out the front door of Roseholme (well, go down the road a bit until you're into Indy proper, the true Hoosier part) and grab 100 random people tomorrow morning, throw out these names, and see if the response you get has anything to do with these fine military men at all. Chances are you'll get a zero. In a conservative state.