02/26/13 Pentagon Trophies


Young children playing sports often get a trophy for participating. 

As adults they’ll learn the reality of starters and bench-warmers.  Winners and losers.

But the military continues to embrace this everyone-gets-a-trophy mentality.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced the new Distinguished Warfare Medal.  

We tend to think of warriors — the war-fighters — when it comes to battle.  Obviously, there are countless rear echelon personnel who are part of the war effort.  But don’t actually fight.  That’s their role.

Panetta’s new medal can go to stateside desk jockeys.  An example is the servicemen operating a drone from the comfort of an air-conditioned office. 

[Okay, this video may be tongue-in-cheek; however, it proves the point.]

Full disclosure: I retired from the military.  It’s difficult to imagine someone — whose rough day was the coffee shop goofed-up his low-fat caramel macchiato decaf coffee with the little chocolate sprinkles on top — would get a war-fighting medal. 

Okay.  So the Pentagon is giving out participation trophies.

Here’s the worst part.  This medal has higher precedence than the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Medals that are sometimes given posthumously. People who died in battle. 

The Distinguished Warfare Medal trivializes the ultimate sacrifice of real warriors.

Fortunately, servicemen and women know the difference between real and bogus medals.  Real war-fighters will give this medal the very respect it deserves.