Big Army’s Latest FUBAR
By Mad Medic
It seems almost comical. Perhaps there were a bunch of generals sitting around trying to fluff their OER so they could get another star, maybe it was a PAO prank run amok, or maybe a Duffel Blog writer slipped a note to the Sergeant Major of the Army. Whatever the root cause may be, next year’s Soldier of the Year will be: Everyone. Every single soldier in the United States Army will be Soldier of the Year. The details haven’t been worked out yet how every soldier, to include officers will receive the trophy and commendations that usually go with winning Soldier of the Year, but the basic plan is that everybody’s been doing such a good job, that they want to reward, well pretty much everyone.
This move is not without precedent, during the Korean War countless Colonels that stayed in rear areas bitched endlessly that their contemporaries that had actually gone to war had more medals than they did. It was seen as unfair that they did really important work in places like Fort Dix New Jersey to support the war in Korea. The fact that Korea is on the other side of the globe from New Jersey was not nearly as important as their “war time” service. President Eisenhower, in a move to head off the endless bitching created the National Defense Medal in 1953. The NDM is a blanket medal awarded to any member of the armed services that is active during a time of war. Any service member regardless of MOS, or duty station would now get recognition for their “War Time” service.
But the good idea fairy wasn’t done yet, in 1981, the Army leadership, after dealing with scathing complaints that they were harassing the Gay community got together and worked out how they could make it up to the gays. The “No homo” policy was still in effect, so they had to do something. Just like that they had a flash of inspiration that would do the Good Idea Fairy proud. They would create a Gay Pride ribbon and give it to everybody that served in the Army. Although the Army Service Ribbon was technically to recognize anyone that had made it through all 9 grueling weeks of Basic, it was widely recognized as a way to say “hey no butt hurt” to the Gay community. Troops that have occasion to walk around San Francisco in their uniforms are easily recognized, and welcomed by the Gay community, who all agree the ASR makes them look fabulous.
One might’ve thought that Big Army might’ve pushed away from the table and called it a day, but then the Global War on Terror began. It was the first war since the last one, and some of the poor generals that didn’t get the Southwest Asia Service Medal, the Saudi or Kuwaiti versions of the Kuwait Liberation Medal were determined not to be out done. They created the Global War on Terror Service Medal, and the Global War on Terror Expeditionary medal. At first the GWOT-SM was only awarded to people that were in direct support of the war effort, but POGs will be POGs, and the endless bitching loosened the awarding standards so that now everybody got the GWOT-SM regardless of if they actually supported the war effort or not.
As if that weren’t enough, after Operation Iraqi Freedom started, trash talking at the Pentagon reached a fevered pitch. In an effort to show who had more brass the muckity mucks that had supported Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan were saying they get their shit first and the OIF guys could suck it. Others who had been to both OIF and OEF were saying it was bullshit that they had one award for two wars, while the guys that had only been to OIF felt they had a “real” war and weren’t going to take some gay little medal that they had to share with the guys that went to Douchebagistan. Finally the Sec Def at the time, Donald Rumsfeld said “fuck this shit you each get a medal, now someone bring me some ranger candy my head is fucking killing me.” Thus the ACM and ICM were borne.
But the latest move by the Army Department seems to make no sense. How can every soldier be Soldier of the Year? Technically, Major Nidal Hassan, PFC Bradley Manning, and SSG Robert Bales are still soldiers. Does that mean that we will award Soldier of the Year to a terrorist, a traitor, or a massive dickhead? Well, it looks like we will. It seems that this is just the latest in a series of moves in the army to please a public that is increasingly valuing the participation trophy, and perhaps an attempt to remind the news media that we’re still the good guys.
The reaction seems to be immediate and chaotic. It is suggested that at least fifteen NCOs committed suicide by repeatedly ramming their head into a wall, although it is not entirely clear if this is because of Big Army’s decision, or because their Privates maxed out their STAR card buying gifts for a stripper “that really loves them.” At Fort Sill, two artillery officers who weren’t doing anything anyway demanded that their rater put “soldier of the year” on their OER, threatening to call IG if it was not immediately taken care of. On almost every post that has a Cav unit, there have been a surge in “fuck this shit I’m wearing my Stetson,” which may explain the sudden rise in heart attacks Infantry Brigade Sergeant Majors seem to be suffering. DUIs also seem to be on the rise because “what the fuck can you do to me? I’m Soldier of the Year bitch!” MPs were reportedly not amused.
It’s clear that the “everybody’s a winner” crowd is to blame here. Despite the fact that the real Army knows everything in life has to be earned,the yahoos at the puzzle palace have figured that giving every a shiny trophy is the best way to recruit and keep people in a society that increasingly doesn’t know the value of an honest day’s labor. We must all hope that Big Army stops appeasing the congress critters soon before they legalize pot and let any old crack-head in. Whatever the reasoning for this decision, there is little doubt that this will cause chaos in the coming weeks and months.
An Army of ONE!