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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

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April 18, 2014 - 4:24 pm

President Obama signed an executive order today extending eligibility for the third-highest Defense Department recognition to foreign armies.

“Executive Order 12019 of November 3, 1977 (Establishing the Defense Meritorious Service Medal), is amended by inserting, ‘or to any member of the armed forces of a friendly foreign nation,’ after ‘any member of the Armed Forces of the United States,’” said the short order.

Worn between the Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to military personnel “serving with or assigned to a number of joint activities including the Secretary of Defense, organizations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and headquarters of joint commands,” according to an Air Force fact sheet. “Other joint activities and specified commands such as military assistance advisory groups and joint missions; and jointly manned staffs within Allied Command Europe, Allied Command Atlantic, the NATO Military Committee, and military agencies associated with functions of the military or other joint activities as may be designated by the secretary are also included.”

The medal is awarded for “non-combat meritorious achievement or service that is incontestably exceptional and of magnitude that clearly places the individual above his peers while serving in one of the assignments for which the medal has been designated.”

White House press secretary Jay Carney did not address the order at today’s daily briefing, focusing instead on Obama’s trip to Tokyo next week.

 

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
Someone once said "The effectiveness of an army is indirectly proportional to the splender of its uniforms."
We offer too many medals for my thinking. Non-combat performance is reported in fitness evaluations. Deployments and theater ribbons are nonsense. You don't need to where a badge saying where you were in the war.
Both of those catagories cheapen the real medals for bravery and the purple heart.
I would gladly surrender my 3 and half rows...all earned in accorcance with the rules but not in combat...just window dressing for my 24 years.
The uniform itself should be enough.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (13)
All Comments   (13)
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Medals for the Muslim Brotherhood footsoldiers who kill the most Republican Voters on election day.

It's coming.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree with all the comments above... I don't find the issue troubling at all, lots of US awards are available to foreign allies.

I just can't imagine how it benefits Obama to do this, and I don't believe he would do it if it didn't benefit him somehow.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Any bets on how long it is before a member of the muslim brotherhood is wearing a medal issued by this administration ?
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
In and of itself this doesn't really mean anything. Many U.S. soldiers, retired and active, have medals from foreign governments: in days past French and Vietnamese medals were worn by a large number of service personnel. There's even a USMC regiment that wears a cord around their shoulder that signifies an award to their regiment. It dates all the way back to World War I.

How it's used might be a different issue entirely...
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
the cord is called a Fourragere.

" Marines originally earned this award as an individual decoration through their heroism, bloodshed, and ultimate sacrifice on the fields of Belleau Wood, Soissons, and Champagne. Since World War I, Marines and Sailors of 2d Battalion, 6th Marines have worn the Fourragere as a unit decoration carrying it into battle at Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Okinawa and many other battles..."

i agree. many of ours have won awards from allies and many allies have earned ours. i fear, however, that anything intiated under the current administration will devalue or trivialize these awards. everybody gets a prize, now.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Someone once said "The effectiveness of an army is indirectly proportional to the splender of its uniforms."
We offer too many medals for my thinking. Non-combat performance is reported in fitness evaluations. Deployments and theater ribbons are nonsense. You don't need to where a badge saying where you were in the war.
Both of those catagories cheapen the real medals for bravery and the purple heart.
I would gladly surrender my 3 and half rows...all earned in accorcance with the rules but not in combat...just window dressing for my 24 years.
The uniform itself should be enough.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
I salute you, Ileg, and wholeheartedly agree. I do think the wings, chutes, Ranger badges, and the like given for completion of challenging and voluntary training should stay, however.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is a big difference between being in theater and not being there in regards to promotion.

I have seen O6s make themselves persons non grata for trying to get their unit in theater ahead of schedule. It delayed them making O7 by 2 or 3 years. They stepped ona lot of toes by being so pushy.

34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Coming up next will be gold star medals for "The Gayest Company" and "The Most Shariah Complaint Battalion" and "The Most PC Observant Brigade".
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
How about a rainbow medall, and a crescent medal?
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Joe, ssssshhhhhh. You'll give Obama ideas.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Worse: you'll have him deciding that he should be wearing medals for being, you know, just magnificent. Maybe he'll even start wearing military uniforms, even though he never served in the armed forces, like a latter day Stalin.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
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