The Medal of Honor


Son of Liberty
Quick and to the Point;

Do you believe actions that would earn the Medal of Honor are something that should be encouraged among Soldiers?

in further detail;

I was reading an article just now about how the Pentagon is in deep negotiations about rewarding a living soldier the Medal of Honor for heroic acts in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan.

But what caught my eye was the drastic discrepancy between the amount of times the MoH was awarded to living soldiers in Vietnam versus how many times its been awarded in the last 20 years Spanning from the Gulf to Now

That stat was more than 1/3rd of 246 Medals given during the Vietnam War were to living soldiers (thats around 80-85). Yet not a single MoH has been awarded to a living soldier since Vietnam... and on top of that, the final tally since Vietnam has been a whopping 8 Medal of Honor awards total.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates "finds it impossible to believe that there is no one who has performed a valorous act deserving of the Medal of Honor who has lived to tell about it,"

Medal of Honor may go to living soldier for first time in decades - Yahoo! News
and I agree, is it because Soldiers are functioning more as a team and less going above and beyond the call of duty. Is it because the Conflicts are different and provide less opportunity for a single soldier to rise up above the Ranks?

But the real question I'm asking is... if the opportunity is there, is it a good thing to encourage soldiers to go into "Hero-mode" and chance their own lives against horrible odds simply for a hunk of metal and their names in a record book?

not that all soldiers are craving a Medal of Honor... but if it were awarded more often, do you believe the mentality of "I'm going to get me a Medal of Honor!" is a bad thing? A little to Cowboy so to speak for an organized military?


Registered Member
If we take away the Medal of Honor to discourage reckless action, why not take away all medals to do the same? I doubt many recipients did what they did for recognition. They were caught in a horrific situation and did what the felt they had to do for their survival, as well as the survival of their fellow soldiers.


Registered Member
Medal of Honor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Interesting info on the MoH.

This addresses the issue you mentioned -
It was suggested that because of the intense partisan politics in Washington, D.C. over these wars, the Bush Administration subjected potential Medal of Honor recipients to intense background checks so as to avoid scrutiny, from political opponents, of both the administration and the recipient. An Army Times editorial suggested, "Our heroes deserve to be recognized."[65]
but even that doesn't seem like a sufficient explanation.

You mentioned that maybe there's more teamwork, but two of the MoH recipients received it because of their teamwork - I don't think that would hinder anyone.

The military's about doing incredibly dangerous things - not because of some recognition, but because it needs to be done (on the other hand, it's frowned on to do something recklessly foolish). And honestly, the MoH is so rare that most soldiers will never have the chance to do something in order to try to win it, even if they wanted to.


Registered Member
The awarding of the Medal of Honor is a *very* significant thing. If you read the criteria, the phrase, "at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against any enemy of the United States [...]" is included.

We fight wars today in a very different manner than was done even as early as the Korean and Vietnam wars. Where there used to be carpet bombing, we now have smart bombs that are laser-guided on target. Better intelligence and an enemy with a different mind-set have created a theater of operations as different as the two fronts of WWII (Atlantic and Pacific).

I don't know if politics is playing a part in this or if it's the changes in the way we fight.
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