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Too many medals ?
Old 03-14-2003, 09:31 PM   #1
Chris Boonzaier
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Default Too many medals ?

Just been reading the Sept 11 and Floods in Germany threads....

I kind of get the feeling that the powers that be are whipping out medals for anything the last few years.

You can have a German soldier who fought in poland, France, Greece, Russia... and have a KVK 2nd class.

But a modern soldier...geez...

I saw an American soldier in Class As a few days ago, based here in germany, maybe 18 years old and ribboned up like a soviet Generals wet dream....

And a medal for a flood? Sure it was cold and wet... but an official medal for it?`Ok, its nothing new, there are other flood medals but

And US medals since sept 11... they are in all shapes and forms as well. There are going to be some overnight Audie Murphys when its all over.

Even England seems to be gearing up to distribute tin.
Used to be a british soldier with 2 discreet medals on his chest could have 20 years service and any number of actions... will this be changing as well?

Sure they motivate, but Govts should take a look at what happened to Gucci.
They were an exclusive brand, then widened their market, were soon being sold at middle market shops, then enlarged again selling all kinds of crap... then became an Ex-Exclusive mass brand catering to wanna be fashion fans.....

Pretty soon the brand folks had been proud to own was selling plastic umbrellas at K-mart.

Medals may motivate, but at some point they loose their value.
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Old 03-14-2003, 10:04 PM   #2
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Actually, maybe the Brits crossed the line with the WW2 stars?
Compare that to the WW1 Duos and Trios.....
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Old 03-14-2003, 10:26 PM   #3
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As bad as various US services, especially the Air Force but also the Army, are about lots of different ribbons, the Germans seem to be making a run for top spot. It's not just how unattractive the fllod medals are, but the fact that each flood gets its own medal. The US equivalent, the Humanitarian Service Medal, covers all humanitarian operations, from flood, hurricane and other disaster relief domestically to humanitarian relief operations overseas.

Also, allowing BW soldiers to wear more than one Einsatzmedaille seems excessive, but I suppose it saves on having to come up with designs for more medals. At some point, every BW soldier will look like an NVA general with row after row of the same ribbon.

The first step, I suppose, ought to be to eliminate any ribbon which does not require doing anything not ordinarily expected of a soldier. I realize that's a broad category, but at a minimum that means no medals or ribbons just for completing basic training, advanced training or a period of conscription. Generic overseas service ribbons, which represent no operational deployment, should be next.

Also, the provisions allowing wear of foreign awards for something for which your country already has an award should go. One war - one medal, or something like that. The French, Germans and Americans should follow the British example from the 1990-91 Gulf War - accepting the Saudi, Kuwaiti or other medals, but not for wear. Of course, the British haven't always kept to this - in fact, I think they started the double-dipping with the Turkish Crimea Medal, Khedive's Star, and Khedive's Sudan Medal.

And with all the stars, the British went overboard in World War Two.

Of course, while most Wehrmacht veterans only had one or two little badges and maybe an EK2 or KVK, there were plenty of guys who might as well have been in medieval armor for all the pieces of metal they had stuck all over their bodies.

On the motivational aspect, I suppose alot depends on the audience. For every private I saw with a National Defense Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon, I knew I was seeing a Joe Snuffy not far out of Basic. But the girls back home? "Ooh! What's that one for?"

Dave
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Old 03-14-2003, 10:28 PM   #4
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You beat me to the punch on the Stars.

Dave
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Old 03-15-2003, 05:31 AM   #5
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I think a medal motivates a lot and I think the Bundeswehr has not enough medals to recognize the deeds of their soldiers, but the US are going to extreme! A ribbon for every sh**, even for being in the Army like the Army Service Ribbon. Thats really a joke. I've talked to some US soldiers recently and they told me they hate it every time they get a new medal/ribbon. Every time to the PX to buy a new frame, every time something is bend or a ribbon is dirty, back to the PX and buy a new ribbon and frame... Back to PX to buy an oak-leaf-cluster. Destroying the ribbon while puttin it on, back to PX to buy a new ribbon... They said getting a medal always costs money

But getting medals for this flood desaster is very fine, even if their design is terrible, but when do you wear a big medal-bar in the Bundeswehr? I've talked to some of the soldiers who helped to save some villages at the Elbe. It was the hell and it was more than only cold and wet! These people saved hundres of lives and a lot of buildings, a medal is the minimum they deserve for these deeds.
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Old 03-15-2003, 10:28 AM   #6
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An obvious choice for any international/coalition war medal would be to do what the Allied Powers did in World War One and issue a COMMON, single, "Victory" type medal-- same ribbon for everybody, same basic design elements with each nation having something like the reverse or bars for differentiation.

Of course, the problem with that is that ALL medals are ALREADY awful, embarassing "designs," so setting an international committee to brainstorm such a project would only come up with the worst of the worst.
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Old 03-15-2003, 11:04 AM   #7
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Well, for once I whole heartedly agree with chris. the American medal award system seems to be oriented around "making everyone feel special" as opposed to being efficient and worthwhile. The fact that Bronze Stars are being awarded to USAF 2nd Lt.s in Kansas who were 'efficient" and 'meritorious' in ordering Dominos' pizza (for the flight crews) during the Kosovo "campaign" is stupid. Once the professional bureaucrats in the Pentagon got entrenched, they hyperinflated everything including the medals.
It's apity even poor Britain ahs caught this disease with their new 'campaign gongs". But perhaps once Ian Duncan Smith is in power, they'll return to the GSM with bars (write your M.P.s!).
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Old 03-15-2003, 12:19 PM   #8
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Rick the man comes through !!!
He probably does not realise it, but in his posting hides the solution.

There are no WW1 vets serving today, noone wearing WW1 vics anymore.
why not pirate the design, change the script on the back and whammo, a new international medal for the war on terrorism.

Folks, turn on the radio, what do you haer? Cover versions, one after the other.

If Govts are not capable of designing a new "nice" medal.... why not borrow from the past?

Does anyone know of any precedents here?
French Colonial medal was changed to the Overseas medal and the design was kept.
Iron Cross version 1,2,3,4 the design picked up and dusted off each time after laying dormant for decades.

The Victory is truly one of the few international medals.... why not revive it?
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Old 03-16-2003, 08:20 AM   #9
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I have partly to agree with Chris;
Today the Germans want to make up the last 40 years.
In former time a Bundeswehr soldier could get a Ehrenkreuz, some sport awards and that was it.
Today.... half year service on Balkan brings the Einsatzmedaille AND the NATO medal. One would be enough.
The flood..... another extreme; ONE medal for all would also be enough. There are Flood medals from Sachsen, Brandenburg, Sachsen Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein....... AND the Federal Medal.
A Comrade received just last week 3 medals for the flood (Sachsen, Brandenburg and Federal) for 3 weeks of service there...

Best regards
Daniel
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Old 03-16-2003, 10:05 AM   #10
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Daniel,

3 medals? Wow!
I think it would be better to award only the federal flood medal. But about Kosovo, it makes sense to get the NATO-Medal, since it is a NATO-mission and to get the Einsatzmedaille as member of the Bundeswehr. As far as I know the Einsatzmedaille was instituted before the NATO-Medals, so NATO wanted to decorate soldiers who take part in THEIR missions. Of course such medals have the meaning of "I was there and not more" for the most soldiers. How about a combatant and non-combatant ribbon?

I think something like a Long Service Decoration for the Bundeswehr would make sense and an official decoration for reservists, we have only these ugly senseless "Ehrennadeln" and we do it on voluntary base. I think since WWII medals are not very popular in Germany. But following an award-system like the US would be crazy...

Oh, and I think they should use a better design. The fire brigade awards fore example are mostly well made and have a nice design with flames in enamel etc. But the most other decorations are ugly, like the Bundesverdienstkreuz or this childish Federal Flood Medal. The Flood Order of Sachsen has got a more "official" design with the crest of the state, but this is by far better than these "childrens' medal-design contests"!
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Just a thought
Old 03-16-2003, 10:57 AM   #11
Hannibal
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Wink Just a thought

Why not reintroduces all pre 1918 imperial Orders and decorations and disbanded all the existing medals? IMHO Imperial German orders and decorations are the best looking awards ever designed and beautifully made. Plus most German royals are still around today. It would be easy for the German government to ask them to award orders and decorations on their behave much like what the British royals do. For flooding, humanitarian services, soldiers get decorations from their home state without swords and peace keeping and combat operations get decorations with swords etc. Officers get orders and decorations made of real gold and NCO and soldiers get silver gilt instead. I think that would be really cool.

Best regards

PS why award medals when you can award them with orders and decorations???
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Old 03-17-2003, 09:15 AM   #12
Michael Root
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Quote:
The fact that Bronze Stars are being awarded to USAF 2nd Lt.s in Kansas who were 'efficient" and 'meritorious' in ordering Dominos' pizza (for the flight crews) during the Kosovo "campaign" is stupid.
Nice one Jeff .....I'm gonna drag on the u.s. medals complaint.

IMHO the U.S. needs a major overhaul on it's awards system, and also change the rules for the awarding of the CIB & combat patches.
Yes, there are some soldiers who served in gulf war 1, Kosovo, Afghanistan & now probably gulf war 2 that earned his medals and badges.
For the majority though, 30 days of sitting in a tent 200 miles from anyone that might actually harm them, eating mre's,watching t.v. and reading the latest issues of Stars & Stripes does not make you eligible for anything other than 1 " I was there medal"...no combat patches & certainly no CIB
I'm a witness (and recipient) of the "all or none" awards program, and in my opinion no matter how good an E-6 can cook, or type, or how fast an 0-1 can make coffee....this does not make them elegible for a bronze star.

Less is more
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Old 03-17-2003, 09:37 AM   #13
Kai-Steffen M.
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Quote:
Plus most German royals are still around today. It would be easy for the German government to ask them to award orders and decorations on their behave much like what the British royals do
Totally impossible- germany got rid of everything royal in 1918 and it wont come back- were a totally democratic state and public support for anything like would be near zero- i wouldnt like to get any medal from some royal dickhead but rather from a democratic elected representative.

By the way- im all right with what the BW did the last years- have a few medals you really need to archieve and the einsatzmedaillen (maybe the combatant- noncomabtant thing would be agood idea) and thats it - im fine with what i wear- leistungsabzeichen, einzelkämpfer, a czech para badge and three sport badges (DSA, rettungsschwimmer, wasserwacht) (had to get rid of my schützenschnur when i became OFR )- i dont believe you get any more authority out of a lot of medals- and the civilians dont care about them either- so what do i need them for..

Gruß,
KSM
OFR d.R.
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Old 03-17-2003, 10:04 AM   #14
Klaus O.
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Kai-Steffen,

I have to correct you... there're still today some Imperial order which have been "re-issued", like the Bavarian order for "Kunst und Wissenschaft" (by CSU-leader Strauss) and the Federal order "Pour le Mérite", also for "Kunst und Wissenschaft". The only difference is that these orders are not showing a crown or a aristocratic symbol, but the orders themeselves have been copied 1/1.

Hannibal, I think that would be a great idea, to re-issue some orders, taking the ancient design of former German orders of different German states, like for instance the saxon "Zivilorden" but without crown, the württembergischer "Friedrichsorden", the Mecklenburgischer "Greifenorden" without crown or the hanseatische Kreuze, etc... Every German state, like they already have, could have some better designed orders, copying from the old orders. In doing so, they would keep on the tradition of German Heraldy and Symbols. I have seen German states issue really crappy orders in the last 40 years. Wenn schon... denn schon... if you do something than to it right! The only state which defended his tradition in this field is Bavaria (maybe also Saxony), but the others... oh jeee.... Just my 0.1 Euro cent...

Ciao,

Claudio
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Old 03-17-2003, 10:14 AM   #15
Kai-Steffen M.
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yes- but those are civilian orders- and they are not presented by some aristocratic "von" person...

if you want ot reissue any imperial military order you first have to set some criteria to archieve them? what would one have to do to get one? fight in some war? naaaa - be a general? thats more like it- i dont think we need those.. it would be a fun thing- but thats all... we do have bigger problems around here you know

Gruß,
KSM
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