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Posted: 3/25/2002 6:03:22 PM EDT
[url]http://www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml= /news/2002/03/26/nsbs26.xml&sSheet=/news/2002/03/ 26/ixnewstop.html[/url] British SBS commando to get 'American VC' By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent (Filed: 26/03/2002) AMERICA is to award the Congressional Medal of Honour, the equivalent of the Victoria Cross, to a British Special Boat Service commando who led the rescue of a CIA officer from an Afghan prison revolt. It will be the first time the medal has been awarded to a living foreigner. The Queen will have to give permission for the SBS soldier to wear it. The SBS senior NCO led a patrol of half-a-dozen SBS commandos who rescued a member of the CIA's special activities section from the fort at Qala-i-Jangi near Mazar-i-Sharif, last November. The fort was holding 500 al- Qa'eda and Taliban prisoners, many of whom had not been searched and were still armed. An exchange of fire developed into a full-scale revolt and two CIA officers who had been interrogating the prisoners were caught in the battle. One, Johnny "Mike" Spann, was killed by the prisoners. The other, who has been named only as Dave, was trapped inside. The SBS patrol was about to leave the area when the revolt broke out but returned to rescue Dave. The uprising went on for three days and the SBS commandos remained throughout, bringing down aerial fire to quell the revolt. The battle was one of the most contentious episodes in the war last year with human rights groups raising concerns over air strikes against prisoners, some of them unarmed. The SBS is often seen as a poor relation of the SAS but has been present at all leading special forces operations of recent years. The eagerness of the Americans to recognise the courage of the NCO contrasts with suspicion within the regiment that two SAS soldiers being considered for VCs for an attack on the al-Qa'eda cave complex will not get them. One led the main attack on the heavily defended al- Qa'eda mountain cave complex near Kandahar while the other directed aerial fire at extreme risk to his life. ***************************************** I hope this guy earned it, and that we aren't falling BACK into the Klinton years of "reviewing" silver stars by minorities and upgrading them to CMOHs.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 6:38:43 PM EDT
SBS - I'm betting he earned the Medal. I don't believe this POTUS has any Clinton traits.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 6:44:36 PM EDT
I sure hope this isn't true.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 6:51:43 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Grin_N_Barrett: I sure hope this isn't true.
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Why? If he saved some US operatives 6 from being pumped & dumped by the bad guys while orchestrating their collective death, and his actions are in keeping with the traditions of the Congressional Medal of Honor, why say no? If you are worried about GWB being like slick willy, then you must know something the rest of us do not know? I hope that the British squid gets it.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 6:55:30 PM EDT
I just don't like seeing a US medal going to a foreigner when it never has in the past. I'd rather the Seal who died fighting after getting dumped out of the chopper get it. I did make the post in haste thinking no American has been awarded the VC but 5 have, 1 in 1864 & the other 4 during WWI, the last in 1918.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 6:57:33 PM EDT
The Daily Mail of London is reporting the same thing, with a little more detail: ---------------- HEADLINE: SBS HEROES MAY GET TOP U.S. MEDAL BYLINE: DAVID WILLIAMS IN LONDON AND RICHARD SHEARS IN KABUL BODY: FIVE members of Britain's SBS are being recommended for America top military award for the heroic rescue of a CIA man facing execution in Afghanistan. U.S. military chiefs said the unnamed heroes of the Special Boat Service should be given the Congressional Medal of Honour after taking on hundreds of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters. The award would be unprecedented for British servicemen. Only two foreign soldiers - Australians honoured during the Vietnam war - have received the medal, which also carries a nominal pension for life. Normally the medal can go only to Americans, but the honouring of the Royal Marines would be possible because technically they were under U.S. command for the operation late last year, when prisoners rebelled in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. A CIA man was killed, but one of the SBS men went over the wall of the fort where the second agent was being held. Gun blazing - he is estimated to have shot up to 20 Taliban - he is said to have run across open ground into the building to the wounded CIA man and picked him up on his shoulders. When his rifle ran out of bullets, he is said to have continued to fire with his pistol before reaching the safety of the perimeter wall while his colleagues laid down covering fire. The SBS, American and Afghan fighters then continued the battle to contain the Taliban for another day before an air strike ended the resistance. If the awards are approved, they would be further recognition of the outstanding bravery of British Special Forces since September 11. One member of the SAS, the Regimental Sergeant Major, is set to become the first living recipient of the Victoria Cross for 33 years. Several others have been recommended for bravery awards, including Distinguished Service Orders. Four SAS men are also to be recommended for U.S. Presidential Citations from President George Bush. But both the SAS and SBS are insisting that no names be released with the awards. A compromise may be reached with the regiments rather than individuals being honoured.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 7:05:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/25/2002 7:08:15 PM EDT by FLGreg]
I think that the US Code will need to be amended to have this happen. The way I read it, only those serving in our Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard are legally entitled to receive OUR highest military award. [url]http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/10/3741.html[/url] [url]http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/10/6241.html[/url] [url]http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/10/8741.html[/url] [url]http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/14/491.html[/url] This is not to diminish the brave actions of the members of the SBS.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 7:06:04 PM EDT
If Alvin York and Audie Murphy can received highest honors from other foregin governments in defense of their countries, it would be approperiate for foregin combatants to receive our awards including the CMOH.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 7:17:08 PM EDT
Grin....I think that you are Way off base on this one.. It is a tribute to the bravery of one soldier to save another. It is appropriate to say the least. It is on thing to fight to defend yourself...as in the guy who fell out of the chopper. It is entirely different to jump over the wall and fight single handedly to save someone else!!!!
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 7:46:55 PM EDT
Hats off, if any one foreign national could possibly merit our highest honor, it'd have to be a Brit. Our staunchest allies through thick and thin since WWII.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 7:59:40 PM EDT
"Gun blazing - he is estimated to have shot up to 20 Taliban - he is said to have run across open ground into the building to the wounded CIA man and picked him up on his shoulders. When his rifle ran out of bullets, he is said to have continued to fire with his pistol before reaching the safety of the perimeter wall while his colleagues laid down covering fire." Sounds like a movie – but it wasn't – it was REAL bullets, REAL blood, a REALLY good chance of winding-up dead and sounds, to me , like a REAL hero! IF it was a movie (like BHD, we rave about), we may award the guy an OSCAR. What kind of asshole would deny this guy a REAL award? – especially because of some candy-assed regulation?
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 8:00:24 PM EDT
Grin, not to denigrate the man's memory, but I don't think that SEAL "went down fighting." After he fell out of the copter, a Predator spotted him walking across the valley floor - injured I'm sure. Three men then approached him & maybe he thought they were friendlies. They weren't, they captured him, & they executed him. A sad story and a wasted soldier & wasted life but objectively not deserving of a CMOH. I mean c'mon now...
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 8:04:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AR18: If Alvin York and Audie Murphy can received highest honors from other foregin governments in defense of their countries, it would be approperiate for foregin combatants to receive our awards including the CMOH.
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Since our guys have recieved VC's and Croix de Guerre's in the past, we should do right by them and give them CMOH's when they deserve it for saving Americans. And FLGreg is wrong, cause as the article pointed out, Australians were awarded CMOH's in Vietnam. Its been done before so whatever the US Code says is irrelevant. Congress may need to pass a special bill, but it its not impossible. Hey Grin, what source to you have that said the SEAL who fell from the chopper was even capable of fighting? Everything I have seen implied that he was helpless when the bastards seized him then drug him off and executed him. He fell a considerable distance, not likely to be instantly fatal, but he was not likely to be in any better condition than the Ranger that fell from the chopper in Mogadishu 9 years ago.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 8:11:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/25/2002 9:18:58 PM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
Originally Posted By stcyr: "Gun blazing - he is estimated to have shot up to 20 Taliban - he is said to have run across open ground into the building to the wounded CIA man and picked him up on his shoulders. When his rifle ran out of bullets, he is said to have continued to fire with his pistol before reaching the safety of the perimeter wall while his colleagues laid down covering fire." Sounds like a movie – but it wasn't – it was REAL bullets, REAL blood, a REALLY good chance of winding-up dead and sounds, to me , like a REAL hero!
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Actually we may actually have it on film. Tukka had links to some footage from Masur-e-Sharif a few months ago, in streaming video. There were only a few short bits of course- but probably there was a lot more footage they cut that from and they just did't know the significance. The guy "Dave" appears in one of the clips and talks to the camera man and tells them "Mike" didn't make it out. And there is a lot of some big British guy firing a GPMG like a rifle from along the ramparts. It was nice shots, same the .mpgs they chose to give us were so short. I cant remember where the links connected to, it was European. Either Reuters or the BBC.. Edited to add that I found Tuukka's old thread from Christmas week [url]http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?id=80534[/url] But the link to the footage no longer connects to anything. If this joggs anyones memory, did you perhaps save the film to disk? Who knows, those guys in that film clip may be they ones we want to decorate.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 8:52:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/25/2002 9:33:33 PM EDT by flashman]
"Hey jobux, look at this" [b]“Grin, not to denigrate the man's memory, but I don't think that SEAL "went down fighting." After he fell out of the copter, a Predator spotted him walking across the valley floor - injured I'm sure. Three men then approached him & maybe he thought they were friendlies. They weren't, they captured him, & they executed him. A sad story and a wasted soldier & wasted life but objectively not deserving of a CMOH. I mean c'mon now...”[/b] I don’t mean to highjack this thread, but the above needs to be refuted. [u]Now read this in rebuttal -[/u] WASHINGTON, March 21, 2002 (CBS) Navy SEAL Neil Roberts' final hours remain shrouded in the fog of war, but a new account of his death provided by other members of the special operations forces tells a dramatic and heroic story. It was the first night of Operation Anaconda. A special operations helicopter was about to drop off Roberts and the rest of his reconnaissance team when it was hit by rocket propelled grenades. The grenades didn't detonate but they punctured the fuselage and ruptured hydraulic lines that control the helicopter. It lurched and the tail gunner fell out but was caught by his safety harness. Roberts put down his weapon and pulled the gunner back into the helicopter. But it lurched again and Roberts, who was not wearing a safety harness, fell to the ground - without his rifle. That helicopter limped away and a second one was hit by machine gun fire. One commando was shot dead and fell to the ground, still clutching his weapon. According to this account, reports CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin, Roberts crawled over to the dead commando, grabbed his weapon, opened fire on the machine gun, kept firing until he ran out of ammunition, then stood up and threw his grenades. That's when he was shot and killed. Overhead an unmanned reconnaissance drone watched as the al Qaeda fighters dragged off Roberts' body. Not knowing if he was dead or alive, a rescue force was sent in after him but was immediately pinned down by mortar and small arms fire. By the time they finally recovered Roberts' body, the rescue force had suffered five more dead and 11 wounded. For Americans it was the worst single day of the war in Afghanistan, although officers say Roberts could receive the Medal of Honor if this version of events can be verified. To do that, the military has appointed an officer to reconstruct the entire battle by interviewing every soldier who was there and revisiting the ground where Roberts died. END The link is[url=http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/03/21/attack/main504332.shtml] here[/url].
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 9:05:35 PM EDT
All, As a career soldier, I think recognition of valor is one of the most noble things that one can do away from a battlefield. To me, it doesn't matter whether the guy was British, Irish, Indian, Sri Lankan, Russian, Panamanian, Italian, French (well, hold on a minute... :-), Vietnamese, Martian, Vulcan, etc... The bottom line with awards for valor, or any award for that matter, is to provide recognition consistent with the act itself. If the people on the ground judged this Marine as worthy of receipt of the MOH, NO ONE should question the award! "Forge the Thunderbolt, and Strike First!"
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 9:08:27 PM EDT
Hmm.. Interesting. So then, the version of of events the Pentagon had been telling everyone up till this point was just what they could prove with the tape from the Predator. Thanks for the link, it was indeed informative.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 9:19:14 PM EDT
Here's my take... If this story is true, a commendation would definately be in order for this Brit. But I think Grin may have a point here. I am not a veteran, but from what I understand(correct me if I'm wrong guys), the CMOH is the most treasured & noblest honour our Nation can bestow upon those who show the highest gallantry on the battlefield. Almost sacred, in a sense. If this is true, I think this medal should be reserved for our American boys, who serve in defense of American freedom.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 9:19:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/25/2002 9:21:35 PM EDT by jobux]
Uhh flashman, I don't think my post was unwise in the least. I had not seen that CBS report - maybe instead of trying to seem like some smartass by saying my post was unwise, you could have just said "hey jobux, look at this." I mean shit, it's just that all those reports that came out before totally contradict this report's version of events... Now, if true, wow! - but whether this merits a CMOH will be debated. Funny thing, the part about "new reports from those he served w/" reminds me of that Gulf War - Meg Ryan/Lou Diamond Philips movie where all the people involved had diff. stories about Meg's last moments... Maybe what his fellow teammembers now say is true, or maybe the original reports based on the Predator footage are true... Who knows?
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 9:31:30 PM EDT
“Hey jobux, look at this” That’s a fair criticism. I should have labeled it differently. My apologies to you sir. Mike
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 9:42:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/25/2002 9:42:51 PM EDT by jobux]
LOL, NP flashman - guess I got a little defensive there. Anyway, seeing as how they'll never release the Predator tape I'm wondering what really happened w/ that SEAL. Personally, I don't think falling out of a chopper after pulling someone in, and then basically getting shot merits a CMOH. Sorry. Shugart/Gordon - THAT is CMOH. I always thought the CMOH should be reserved for badasses and heroes such as them. Then again what do I know, Forrest Gump got a CMOH too... BBBBBBBUUUUUUUUUUBBBBBBBBBBBAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 10:45:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raven: Hats off, if any one foreign national could possibly merit our highest honor, it'd have to be a Brit. Our staunchest allies through thick and thin since WWII.
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More like t'other way around. If the guy deserves it, why not give it to him?
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 12:36:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 2:56:38 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl: Hmm.. Interesting. So then, the version of of events the Pentagon had been telling everyone up till this point was just what they could prove with the tape from the Predator. Thanks for the link, it was indeed informative.
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ArmdLbrl. See the these threads at SOCNET. There are several active duty guys in these threads with info the news do not have. [url]http://www.socnetcentral.com/vb/showthread.php?s=bb7baaa4dd6bf020565f1ec6b0ee35e3&threadid=13944[/url] [url]http://www.socnetcentral.com/vb/showthread.php?s=bb7baaa4dd6bf020565f1ec6b0ee35e3&threadid=13765[/url]
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 4:01:46 AM EDT
Heroes are heroes....Honor them.
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 5:07:02 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 5:27:37 AM EDT
Lets all jump up and down, clap our little hands together, and say "All Hail the New World Army" in unison. American medals for American soldiers only!! (And our soldiers should decline medals from a foreign power)
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 5:31:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 5:48:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By raf:
Originally Posted By liberty86: Lets all jump up and down, clap our little hands together, and say "All Hail the New World Army" in unison. American medals for American soldiers only!! (And our soldiers should decline medals from a foreign power)
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I suppose that Sir Winston Churchill ought to have declined his honorary U.S. Citizenship (awarded by Congress) also?
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No, it never should have been offered. Our Constitution and law base are supposed to be based on equality before the law. We also don't have "titles of nobility". The principle should be that all are treated equally, not that some are more equal than others.... It's up to his country to bestow her honors on him. What did he do for us, other than ask us to bail them out of their own mistakes?
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 5:52:51 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 6:07:34 AM EDT
My only problem is that America's highest military award starts with the word "Congress". If ever there was an oxymoron this is it. This is a bunch of people whose idea of a firefight is a pissing contest. Why not just call it the MOH?
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 6:37:17 AM EDT
FLGreg's point is mine. The CMOH is to be awarded to members of the US Military services. When I was in the Corps I ran into only one person who had been awarded it. As far as the Seal I suggested, I've read many versions of that story & meant between the two, he was serving in the US military unit & the SBS member was serving in the UK unit. The SBS memebr should be considered for a VC but not a CMOH. The 5 Americans who have been awarded a VC all have something in common. HUTCHESON, Bellenden Seymour, 1918 Captain, [b]Canadian Army Medical Corps, Canadian Expeditionary Force[/b] METCALF, William Henry, 1918 Lance-Corporal, [b]16th Bn., Manitoba Regiment, Canadian Expeditionary Force[/b] MULLIN, George Harry, 1917 Sergeant, [b]Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, Eastern Ontario Regiment, Canadian Expeditionary Force[/b] SEELEY, William Henry Harrison , 1864 Ordinary Seaman, [b]Royal Navy[/b] ZENGEL, Raphael Louis, 1918 Sergeant, [b]5th Bn., Saskatchewan Regiment, Canadian Expeditionary Force[/b]
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 7:26:33 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 7:32:53 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 8:22:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/26/2002 8:30:04 AM EDT by FLGreg]
Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl: And FLGreg is wrong, cause as the article pointed out, Australians were awarded CMOH's in Vietnam.
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The news article is wrong. Of the 243 MOH recipients from Viet Nam I cannot find any record of an Australian. There is a record of Flight Lieutenant Garry G. Cooper(Royal Australian Air Force) assigned as a FAC with the USAF 19th who was recommended by M/Gen Julian J. Ewell on 18 Aug, 1968 for the MOH but was denied as he was not a member of the American Armed Forces. However, I did find references to "MEDALS OF HONOR AUTHORIZED BY SPECIAL ACTS OF CONGRESS" for allies of ours in WWII whose unknown solders are buried in various places in Europe "who fought as comrades of the American soldiers during the World War, and to commemorate with them the deeds of the nations associated with the United States of America, by paying this tribute to their unknown dead". It is also customary to award the body buried in the Tomb of the Unknowns with the MOH.
Originally Posted By raf: It [i]IS[/i] correctly referred to as the MOH. In the original authorizing legislation, no mention of the word "Congressional" appears.
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raf is correct - The Medal of Honor is presented to its recipients by the president "in the name of the Congress of the United States." For this reason it is sometimes called the Congressional Medal of Honor. The SBS actions would be fitting a Presidential Unit Citation but not merit the MOH. It is quite sobering to read the descriptions of those awarded this highest military honor. Most of them end with - "his gallantry at the cost of his life are in the highest traditions of the military service" and "he continued his protective fire until he depleted his ammunition and was fatally wounded". As you can read, I hold this award in the highest regard and do not feel that it should be given out "willy nilly". Many of our brave solders have deserved it but for whatever reason (lost paper work, not enough officers to witness the act, racism) they were denied.
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 1:04:13 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raven: Hats off, if any one foreign national could possibly merit our highest honor, it'd have to be a Brit. Our staunchest allies through thick and thin since WWII.
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Ahemmmmm Hi..allow me to introduce myself.... I am a Canadian.... You know the same guys that went to the Marines Rescue at the Chosin Resevoir. The guys who were there in Solmalia....with you. They guys who were there in the Gulf The guys who were with you in operation Anaconda......
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 1:55:28 PM EDT
Anybody, [b][size=5]I mean anybody [/size=5][/b] who would leave a fishing trip to come back, knowing full well that he is going to be shot at (much less probably killed) to save my tired old broken down ass from a shit storm, that I willingly and with full knowledge, placed myself into (on my own accord).... well....
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 2:15:12 PM EDT
The Brits gave US Soldiers many awards for various actions during WWII.My wife's uncle received an OBE from the Queen for his OSS actions during WWII.He should get MOH for going against some very nasty odds to save this man.I think the odds were something like 500 to 10!!![^]
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 3:37:33 PM EDT
seabuck, I agree the odds were extreme but by law he can not receive the Medal of Honor. It is a US Medal. He should recieve HIS country's highest award for his courage & valor, a Victoria's Cross. I'm not saying giving a MOH to him cheapens it.... but maybe I do, because to even consider it, it becomes political & then PC & that does cheapen it.
Link Posted: 3/26/2002 7:32:24 PM EDT
To deny this SBS guy a MOH because of some Army Reg. or whatever seems to me pathetic! To deny this SBS guy a MOH because of the fact that he is not a U.S. citizen or was not actually serving in the U.S. Armed Services seems to me even more pathetic. Perhaps if the SBS guy in question had pondered the issue of Army Regs and all the precedents and candy-assed whys and wherefores like so many respondents to this thread apparently do, the CIA guy could have starved to death! The fact is HE didn't ponder all that BS; he didn't ask for the the CIA guys passport to establish citizenship; he didn't reread Queen's Regulations: he simply reacted when he knew a comrade was in danger. He's a better man than I am and, to my mind, a damnsight better man than the shovellers of BS that who would apparently stoop to any level of triviality to deny this guy recognition for his most selfless and valiant act to save another. Thank God the SBS guy didn't make a distinction about nationality, by what right does any member assume to do so?
Link Posted: 3/27/2002 4:47:02 PM EDT
[B]To deny this SBS guy a MOH because of some Army Reg. or whatever seems to me pathetic! To deny this SBS guy a MOH because of the fact that he is not a U.S. citizen or was not actually serving in the U.S. Armed Services seems to me even more pathetic. Perhaps if the SBS guy in question had pondered the issue of Army Regs and all the precedents and candy-assed whys and wherefores like so many respondents to this thread apparently do, the CIA guy could have starved to death! The fact is HE didn't ponder all that BS; he didn't ask for the the CIA guys passport to establish citizenship; he didn't reread Queen's Regulations: he simply reacted when he knew a comrade was in danger. He's a better man than I am and, to my mind, a damnsight better man than the shovellers of BS that who would apparently stoop to any level of triviality to deny this guy recognition for his most selfless and valiant act to save another. Thank God the SBS guy didn't make a distinction about nationality, by what right does any member assume to do so? [/B]
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Yes, he was there, he knows what happened and he knows what he did. He doesn't need a medal to be proud of what he did and know that what he did was right. He just did it, risking life and limb so save someone else, regardless of nationality. And to the person who said someone should refuse medals offered by foreign powers, well if you're ever in a position to recieve one, let's see you do it. Let's see you insult an ally by refusing their recognition of your good deed. Let's see what you'd think if a foreign person refused the 'sacred' Congressional Medal of Honour for saving an American life because of a trivial nationalistic reason. No, I would think you'd be encouraged to show your ALLY a little respect and accept their award for you in good grace.
Link Posted: 3/27/2002 7:20:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2002 8:36:11 PM EDT by stcyr]
This, is probably a dead issue. I return to it to make two points: During this thread, there were comparisons made with the dead Navy SEAL and the SBS guy in order to try to make a point – and I believe those comparisons were erroneous and misleading: The Navy SEAL tried to help a comrade in need and, by accident, was lost from the helo. Once he found himself – by accident – in this untenable position, he had three options: surrender, sucicide or fight to the death. I do not for a moment think that the first two options entered this guy's mind! But the point is the Navy Seal found himself in this situation by happenstance – he did not intend this; it was not a conscious decision on his part! Nonetheless, he sold his life most dearly and we should all recognize his courage. However, the SBS guy was, like others (U.S. and U.K. members of this joint operation) relatively safe behind some barricade. He could have stayed there, together with everyone else and concentrated on his own safety and who could blame him? The fact is but he didn't! Against "Hollywood odds' and with the a "Who dares, wins" tradition, he risked his life and his future to save a comrade – regardless of unit, regiment, command or nationality. I cannot believe that the idea of nationality ever entered this guy's head. – Nor should it enter the head of the jingoistic armchair lawyers here on this forum. I mean, if you want to play lawyer, you conjure a scenario wgerein you could discipline the SBS guy for wanton expendiature of Her Majesty's ordinance in an unauthorized enterprise to save a foreign national who wasn't even part of the U.S. military. However, I don't imagine he thought too much about that at the time. Is the awarding of the M.O.H. about bravery or pettiness and legalities?
Link Posted: 3/27/2002 7:33:10 PM EDT
Listen guys, That "SBS soldier" may be more than meets the eye. The Pentagon may not be releasing names for a reason: without getting into specifics, I think that if you guys are patient you will see that the "foreign soldier" may not be as foreign as you think. I hate to pull the "I'm so spooky and you're not" stuff, but be patient. I think you'll find that this guy might have an American flag hidden somewhere in his UDT's.
Link Posted: 3/28/2002 3:16:08 AM EDT
stcyr-- I cannot agree that the SEAL operator who fell from the helo did this purely by happenstance. He to took volountary action to save a comerade in arms from a rather sticky spot. He most likely had to place himself in a very unstable position to retrieve the gunner, and in doing so was thrown form the helo as a result of the RPG round striking the aircraft. There is a good possibility that this would not be the case had he stayed in his original position in the helo, as no one else was thrown due to the shudder of the aircraft. Recognition for his actions in the air is undoubtedly due, and there are witnesses to verify the actions he took. I do not believe that the CMOH is in order, but recognition is. All nay sayers-- As for the Brittish SBS man, give him his due. This is truely a man worthy of the highest honor our country can bestow upon him, and that is the CMOH. Argue that he should be satisfied with his knowledge of his actions all you want, so too then should each and every soldier/Marine who has ever been awarded a combat decoration. Strip them of their right to bear witness to all on their chests the proof of their actions, and then you can strip him of the right, after "all men are created equal". I know, but only all men in the US.
Link Posted: 3/28/2002 4:15:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By FLGreg:
Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl: And FLGreg is wrong, cause as the article pointed out, Australians were awarded CMOH's in Vietnam.
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The news article is wrong. Of the 243 MOH recipients from Viet Nam I cannot find any record of an Australian. There is a record of Flight Lieutenant Garry G. Cooper(Royal Australian Air Force) assigned as a FAC with the USAF 19th who was recommended by M/Gen Julian J. Ewell on 18 Aug, 1968 for the MOH but was denied as he was not a member of the American Armed Forces. However, I did find references to "MEDALS OF HONOR AUTHORIZED BY SPECIAL ACTS OF CONGRESS" for allies of ours in WWII whose unknown solders are buried in various places in Europe "who fought as comrades of the American soldiers during the World War, and to commemorate with them the deeds of the nations associated with the United States of America, by paying this tribute to their unknown dead". It is also customary to award the body buried in the Tomb of the Unknowns with the MOH.
Originally Posted By raf: It [i]IS[/i] correctly referred to as the MOH. In the original authorizing legislation, no mention of the word "Congressional" appears.
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raf is correct - The Medal of Honor is presented to its recipients by the president "in the name of the Congress of the United States." For this reason it is sometimes called the Congressional Medal of Honor. The SBS actions would be fitting a Presidential Unit Citation but not merit the MOH. It is quite sobering to read the descriptions of those awarded this highest military honor. Most of them end with - "his gallantry at the cost of his life are in the highest traditions of the military service" and "he continued his protective fire until he depleted his ammunition and was fatally wounded". As you can read, I hold this award in the highest regard and do not feel that it should be given out "willy nilly". Many of our brave solders have deserved it but for whatever reason (lost paper work, not enough officers to witness the act, racism) they were denied.
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The Aussie who was awarded the medal was a warrent officer serving as the XO of an A Team. He was part of an exchange program. All SF MOH winners have a painting on the wall in the SWC at Bragg. I cant remember this guys name ect, but do remember how strange it was to see a painting of a guy not in Class As, with a a Green Beret and such.
Link Posted: 3/28/2002 12:16:58 PM EDT
OK, I'm getting a little off from the original subject, but the story on Neil Roberts that I heard was that after falling out, another helo came in to rescue him and came under heavy fire from a machine gun. Roberts engaged the machine gun crew with his pistol and neutralized them, thus saving the helo from continued fire. I really think he deserves the MOH. You might call it a mistake that he found himself there but his actions after falling out are no mistake. He took deliberate action, placing himself in danger and ultimately giving his life to protect his comrades. I also think that the SBS guy should get a MOH. Does it really hurt our national sovereignty to give out medals to our allies. Britain has honored many of our citizens with medals, honorary knighthoods, etc. It wouldn't kill us to recognize their people for heroic deeds.
Link Posted: 3/28/2002 2:00:32 PM EDT
USP40C, Please do not misunderstand what I was saying about the Navy SEAL: I am in no way attempting to diminish his brave actions, neither before or after he fell from the helo. Nor and I trying to measure or compare the level of courage involved in the acts of oustanding heroism displayed by these two men. I am just trying to make a distinction between the levels of awareness and premedititation involved in their respective actions: Certainly the Navy SEAL intentionally put himself in a dangerous situation by helping the gunner. But falling from the helo when it was again hit by fire was not part of that plan to help the gunner. It was a tragic accident that the SEAL found himself in a hopeless situation. Whereas, the SBS guy was apparently fully aware of the situation and knew exactly what he was letting himself in for.
Link Posted: 3/28/2002 2:08:53 PM EDT
stcyr-- [:D] Agreed! There was definitely a difference in the knowledge of likely danger prior to acting. Perhaps a [beer] and all is well??
Link Posted: 3/28/2002 2:31:29 PM EDT
I think the SBS soldier more than deserves it. It sounds to me like he and his men happened to be in the area and happened to be there when the SHTF at the prison camp. They had absolutely no duty to go in there and do anything other than maybe observe from a distance and defend themselves, considering they were outnumbered 100:1 and probably lightly armed. The fact of the matter is that this SBS man risked himself and his men to rescue a civilian operative from another country, when he clearly didn't have to. If the story is even close to correct, then he deserves the CMOH.
Link Posted: 3/28/2002 4:23:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Epraslick: Listen guys, That "SBS soldier" may be more than meets the eye. The Pentagon may not be releasing names for a reason: without getting into specifics, I think that if you guys are patient you will see that the "foreign soldier" may not be as foreign as you think. I hate to pull the "I'm so spooky and you're not" stuff, but be patient. I think you'll find that this guy might have an American flag hidden somewhere in his UDT's.
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Guys, In case you didn't read between the lines of my last post...the facts of this story are WRONG. The guy is an American, not a Brit. I can't get into specifics, but read the above post for a hint. Think: "exchange program". I'm sure the entire story will be out in a couple of weeks.
Link Posted: 3/28/2002 5:20:18 PM EDT
Epraslick, I appreciate the heads-up etc. but, without some source etc... As you say, in a couple of weeks, we may all be aware of what you currently know. But the reason I have been raving away on this thread is because, to my mind, the guy's nationality should be irrelevant. I don't care if he was Iraqi (or even French!), it's his actions that count and it's his actions that should be recognized.
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