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Cold War Service/Victory Medal

Started by PaulR , Jul 28 2010 04:51 PM

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#1 PaulR

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 04:51 PM

Do you think that this medal will ever be approved for our Cold War Vets or do you think it will be one of those things that will never come to be...

What are your thoughts?

#2 Jack's Son

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 05:02 PM

While I believe there is some merit to the award,
I also believe there is a "glut" of decorations out there already.
Given a choice, I'd rather wait and see a truly deserving cause to establish a new medal.

This is not to diminish the service of those thousands of men and woman who sacrificed
to keep our country safe.
But I do believe that kind of sacrifice goes with the territory of service.

#3 67Rally

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 05:07 PM

Aside from Jack's son' s response, it would figure to be the most expensive medal to provide to service members (living and deceased) spanning 1946 to 1991 including all who served in the Korean War and Viet Nam.

This is one Cold War vet who doesn't want to see it happen as the issue is already covered by campaign and expeditionary medals. It seems like it would be watered down and very unspecific like the WWI and WWII victory medals.

#4 JBFloyd

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 05:07 PM

DoD doesn't support it. Congress loves the idea (votes from all those vets), but never seems to get funding arranged. So, it will be introduced in each new Congress, where press releases will be sent out, grip-and-grin photos taken and then Congress goes back to normal.

Not likely in the near term.

As a Cold War veteran (with genuine official certificate to prove it), I think DoD and Congress should start doing away with the silly and ugly medals we have and clearing the ribbon charts of the embarrassing ones.

#5 emccomas

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 05:28 PM

Approve it for award and wear by current military members who also served in the cold war years.

Provide it (and appropriate orders) to current active duty, reserve, national guard members who served during those years at no cost.

Provide orders and decoration to those people who are no longer serving, but did serve during those year, upon request of
the former service member. Former service members can get the orders at no cost, but must pay the govt the actual cost
of the decoration if they also want the medal.

It is hard to justify giving it to everyone who is entitled given the current financial situation.

I would gladly buy mine from Uncle Sam.

#6 Lee Ragan

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 06:33 AM

As a Cold War veteran (with genuine official certificate to prove it), I think DoD and Congress should start doing away with the silly and ugly medals we have and clearing the ribbon charts of the embarrassing ones.


I'm another Cold War vet and I agree with JB too. There are a hell of a lot more important things for the government and us citizens/veterans to be concerned about than producing yet another medal & ribbon. I got a National Defense Service Medal and that was enough. Our military establishment has too many medals and such as it is now. JMHO

#7 Rakkasan187

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 06:44 AM

I have to agree with Lee. I was one of the few that had the priviledge of serving in Berlin during the Cold War, so my cold war medal is the Army of Occupation Medal/Ribbon. I also have the Cold War Certificate to show for my service. Since the ecomony is in the tank, it would be a waste of money to produce another medal.

With that said, I have the utmost respect, honor, and thanks for my brothers and sisters who served during the Cold War period. I wish that all Cold War veterans could be recognized, and for those who do not have their Cold War Certificates, I would encourage all eligible to go to the Cold War Certificate website and sign up. It is a piece of history that you can tell your children about...

http://usmilitary.ab...ldwar.army.mil/


I hope I contributed some to this post...

Leigh...

#8 emccomas

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 06:55 AM

I think the cat is out of the bag on this one.

Louisiana NG is authorized to wear the medal and ribbon, and Alaska NG is authorized to wear the ribbon, except while on federal
property, if my memory serves (which is always questionable).

I guess if you are Louisiana NG, and go onto Fort Polk wearing this ribbon, you could be cited for wearing an unauthorized ribbon.
I wonder if that has happened?

#9 PaulR

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 08:54 AM

I think the cat is out of the bag on this one.

Louisiana NG is authorized to wear the medal and ribbon, and Alaska NG is authorized to wear the ribbon, except while on federal
property, if my memory serves (which is always questionable).

I guess if you are Louisiana NG, and go onto Fort Polk wearing this ribbon, you could be cited for wearing an unauthorized ribbon.
I wonder if that has happened?


Thanks for the insightful replies.

You all are right. There are so many frivelous medals and ribbons out there that it is almost embarassing. It would be nice to cull some of these off(really... six different unit awards!?).

Alaska and NY Army/Air National Guards have authorized this award, only in the ribbon bar format. No medal and not to be worn while on Federal orders.

As far as the National Defense Service Medal is concerned, it was authorised for:

27 June 1950 and 27 July 1954 (Korean War)
1 January 1961 and 14 August 1974 (Vietnam War)
2 August 1990 and 30 November 1995 (Desert Shield/Desert Storm)- Still Technically the Cold War until 1991
11 September 2001 and a closing date to be determined- NA

This leaves a few holes where a stateside Cold War Veteran could potentially have no medals to show for his/her service; 28 July 1954 and 31 December 1960 as well as 15 August 1974 and 01 August 1990.

#10 Manchu Warrior

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 10:03 AM

Aside from Jack's son' s response, it would figure to be the most expensive medal to provide to service members (living and deceased) spanning 1946 to 1991 including all who served in the Korean War and Viet Nam.

This is one Cold War vet who doesn't want to see it happen as the issue is already covered by campaign and expeditionary medals. It seems like it would be watered down and very unspecific like the WWI and WWII victory medals.

I don't want to get to far off topic but I have to ask what expense would it be to the government? Because other then medals for valor or medals awarded to a soldier by their unit has the government ever provided medals to anyone? For example I was issued a good conduct ribbon but a medal was not included. And since I have been out of the Army I became eligible for three additional medals and I figured the only way I would ever get them is if I purchased them myself. So when I went to my sons graduation at Lackland, and even though I don't have an updated DD214, I purchased the additional ribbons and medals at clothing sales. And someday I hope to get an updated DD214 to go along with them.

Edited by Manchu Warrior, 29 July 2010 - 10:06 AM.


#11 atb

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 10:10 AM

I don't want to get to far off topic but I have to ask what expense would it be to the government? Because other then medals for valor or medals awarded to a soldier by their unit has the government ever provided medals to anyone? For example I was issued a good conduct ribbon but a medal was not included. And since I have been out of the Army I became eligible for three additional medals and I figured the only way I would ever get them is if I purchased them myself. So when I went to my sons graduation at Lackland, and even though I don't have an updated DD214, I purchased the additional ribbons and medals at clothing sales. And someday I hope to get an updated DD214 to go along with them.

All of my awards and service medals were issued to me free both while on active duty and after retirement in the case of the KDSM. It is required for at least the first issue. Replacements are generally purchased either from the government or a commercial source.

#12 Manchu Warrior

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 11:13 AM

All of my awards and service medals were issued to me free both while on active duty and after retirement in the case of the KDSM. It is required for at least the first issue. Replacements are generally purchased either from the government or a commercial source.

I appreciate the information and so I don't intrude any further on this thread could you send me PM on how you go about getting medals from the government? Thanks

#13 emccomas

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 03:14 AM

Both of my decorations were provided to me at no cost while I was on active duty.

#14 Lee Ragan

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 07:25 AM

Both of my decorations were provided to me at no cost while I was on active duty.


Ditto. Got my AF Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service medal handed to me at 3 year records check. No fuss, no muss.

#15 USAFnav

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 06:07 AM

Mark me down as another "cold war medal eligible" vet who agrees with Jeff Floyd. It's not a good idea; too many medals already. Can't we just stick with the National Defense Service Medal and then issue campaign or other service medals as appropriate? Why should someone get both the NDSM and the GWOTSM? Why have a GWOTEM if we have the separate campaign medals for the same time/location of service?? I agree with Mr. Floyd -- clear out the mess we have and start over. Please start with the Air Force Training Ribbon (I have one with an oak leaf cluster -- was enlisted AND an officer).
Pete
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#16 ROCKET

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 08:19 AM

I don't want to get to far off topic but I have to ask what expense would it be to the government? Because other then medals for valor or medals awarded to a soldier by their unit has the government ever provided medals to anyone?


This issue was actually researched by some members of the Cold war Veterans Association.

The NDAA for 2003 included language authorizing the Korea Defense Service Medal (KDSM), resulting in the creation of the KDSM. The KDSM's cost to the Pentagon budget was miniscule, with only 192,000 KDSM medals being purchased by June 2006, at a unit cost of $1.41. Thus, with perhaps 92,000 KDSMs being issued to currently serving troops through military supply channels, only 100,000 of the medals were issued "on application" by individuals with prior service, reflecting demand by only about 5% of those eligible due to prior service. Current procurement of KDSMs runs about 38,000 per year

DOD's opposition to the Cold War Victory Medal is cost. If you look at the KDSM as a comparable example the issue of cost is negligible.

I know of many vets who served on active duty during the Cold War period and never received any type of medal or ribbon denoting their service. If they served in between wars they never received a National Defense Service Medal and possibly not even a Good Conduct Medal if it was less than 3 years of service. This was especially true before 1981 when DOD came out with all the new service ribbons for completing basic training, overseas tours, NCO training, etc.

I personally think it's long overdue that we properly honor our Cold War Vets for their service. It's so easy these days to forget how serious the Cold War was!

John

#17 ROCKET

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 08:36 AM

Do you think that this medal will ever be approved for our Cold War Vets or do you think it will be one of those things that will never come to be...

What are your thoughts?


Paul,

The chances of the Cold War Service Medal becoming a reality are the best they've ever been. The 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall last November lead to 2 Cold War Medal bills being introduced into Congress. The senate version (S.2743) was sponsored by Sen. Olympia Snowe. It has 8 co-sponsors and bi-partisan support. The house version (H.R.4051) was sponsored by Rep. Steve Israel. It has 45 co-sponsors and bi-partisan support as well. Over 10% of the House of Representatives have co-sponsored this bill! ;)

The senate version of the "Cold War Service Medal Act of 2009" was included in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2011 (S.3454). At this point we'll have to wait and see if the Cold War Medal language survives the conference committee and doesn't get removed from the final bill. Luckily, some of the co-sponsors are members of the House Armed Services Committee.

I would like to ask members to please contact your elected officials and ask them to co-sponsor both bills (Senate - S.2743 & House - H.R.4051). It is not too late and we need as much support as possible! For more info on the Cold War Service Medal please check out the American Cold War Veterans website. They have a discussion forum as well.

http://www.americancoldwarvets.org/

The Netherlands recently approved their version of the Cold War Service Medal and several others (including the U.K.) are pushing for it as well. I think it's high time we do the same!

Thanks.

John

#18 Kadet

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 09:11 AM

The big difference between medals like the KDSM, GWOTEM etc and the Cold War medal is that the Cold War is over. Such a medal could only be awarded retroactively, and to a comparatively small portion of the active duty military. The lack of veteran interest in the KDSM is instructive...if current active duty personnel can't ever qualify for it, and the vast majority of veterans don't care, what purpose does a Cold War Medal serve? Isn't the document good enough? Don't get me wrong...I'm a 25 year active duty USMC and Navy veteran. I've served extensively in the current conflicts, but also did time "standing the watch" during the Cold War. I think (hope actually) that our elected officials and leaders have more pressing issues to address. Also, is this envisioned as a service medal or victory medal? There is a significant distinction between the two, and I think a medal commemorating the defeat of the Soviet Union (like the WWII and WWI counterparts) makes more sense than another medal for service.

Edited by Andy Hopkins, 01 August 2010 - 09:20 AM.


#19 atb

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 10:38 AM

The big difference between medals like the KDSM, GWOTEM etc and the Cold War medal is that the Cold War is over. Such a medal could only be awarded retroactively, and to a comparatively small portion of the active duty military. The lack of veteran interest in the KDSM is instructive...if current active duty personnel can't ever qualify for it, and the vast majority of veterans don't care, what purpose does a Cold War Medal serve? Isn't the document good enough? Don't get me wrong...I'm a 25 year active duty USMC and Navy veteran. I've served extensively in the current conflicts, but also did time "standing the watch" during the Cold War. I think (hope actually) that our elected officials and leaders have more pressing issues to address. Also, is this envisioned as a service medal or victory medal? There is a significant distinction between the two, and I think a medal commemorating the defeat of the Soviet Union (like the WWII and WWI counterparts) makes more sense than another medal for service.

Can you elaborate about the veteran lack of interest about the KDSM? Every active duty and former (retired or not) soldier I know who was eligible requested or applied for the KDSM.

Edited by atb, 01 August 2010 - 10:39 AM.


#20 ROCKET

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 11:18 AM

Also, is this envisioned as a service medal or victory medal? There is a significant distinction between the two, and I think a medal commemorating the defeat of the Soviet Union (like the WWII and WWI counterparts) makes more sense than another medal for service.


I agree that it should be more of a victory medal, much like the WWII victory medal. The word "victory" was used in previous bills but for the current version it was taken out. Who knows why? Maybe it was too confrontational or maybe we would upset the Russians. The bill currently in Congress defines it as the "Cold War Service Medal". It would be eligible for any military service member who served a minimum 2 years active duty during the Cold War period.

John

#21 DwightPruitt

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 12:02 PM

During my Cold War service the U.S. Government trained me as a M60A2 crewman and sent me to Europe. I got to drink German beer, chase German girls, travel to countries I probably would have never afforded to see, play with tanks, blow stuff up and a couple of other things I really shouldn't mention....all the while paying me every month.

I deserve a medal for that?

No.

Edited by DwightPruitt, 01 August 2010 - 12:06 PM.


#22 Kadet

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 03:58 PM

Can you elaborate about the veteran lack of interest about the KDSM? Every active duty and former (retired or not) soldier I know who was eligible requested or applied for the KDSM.



Quoted from the post above:


"only 100,000 of the medals were issued "on application" by individuals with prior service, reflecting demand by only about 5% of those eligible due to prior service."


Statistics aside, I guess my point is this: The KDSM, GWOTEM etc can still be used to give an 18 year old man or woman an "'at a boy" for serving in a difficult location or completing an arduous GWOT-related deployment. In that respect, they serve a purpose and have value. A Cold War Medal would be awarded exclusively to aging retirees or quite senior active duty personnel. I think that is BS, and would rather see the effort and money go to something else....

Edited by Andy Hopkins, 01 August 2010 - 04:27 PM.


#23 Kadet

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 04:01 PM

During my Cold War service the U.S. Government trained me as a M60A2 crewman and sent me to Europe. I got to drink German beer, chase German girls, travel to countries I probably would have never afforded to see, play with tanks, blow stuff up and a couple of other things I really shouldn't mention....all the while paying me every month.

I deserve a medal for that?

No.



I agree...frankly, I don't feel like I did anything extraordinarily special during the Cold War era of my service..at least nothing that wasn't adequately recognized by existing awards and ribbons.

Edited by Andy Hopkins, 01 August 2010 - 04:27 PM.


#24 barker944

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 11:15 PM

The Cold War was America's longest war. Against, arguably, it's most dangerous enemy - militarily, politically and culturally. A Cold War medal, while recognizing one's service during that period, would, more importantly, commemorate our victory over Communism. It is for this reason that if it is approved at all it will be as a service medal not a victory medal. Our pc gov't and especially DOD does not want to rub our new Russian allies' noses in it. The DOD doesn't like it for that reason, later as it gathered some support in Congress they brought up the "it's too expensive" card. When it was first proposed they waived it away with the usual canard they use for every proposed award not thought up by the brass - "Commanders already have adequate methods to recognize their troops". The Air Force even used a version of this excuse when the canned the Good Conduct Medal during their "New Coke" moment.

The solution to the politically correct issue - grow a backbone. We won. Commemorate the victory. The Russians never really liked us anyway - will hurting their feelings make them like us any less?

As for the expense - Use the distribution scheme adopted when the first campaign medals were authorized; issue them to those eligible on active duty, sell it at cost + postage to those eligible who are no longer is service. As for the cost of designing, developing and producing the dies - simply adopt the Foxfall version, if Nick will sell the the rights (the other versions just don't measure up IMO).

The Cold War Commemorative medal is the best selling medal on the market. That should give you some idea of the popularity of the idea. Besides, if the gov't stoppped producing new medals what would we collect? You guys will all the dough have scarfed up all the neat Purple Hearts :lol:

I for one wear a Cold War Medal on my mini rack and in the words of Slim Pickins in Dr. Strangelove, "I don't care if it harelips everyone in Harlan County".

To Rocket: Right on brother.

Jim

#25 dg0223

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 06:22 PM

During my Cold War service the U.S. Government trained me as a M60A2 crewman and sent me to Europe. I got to drink German beer, chase German girls, travel to countries I probably would have never afforded to see, play with tanks, blow stuff up and a couple of other things I really shouldn't mention....all the while paying me every month.

I deserve a medal for that?

No.


Of course you're entitled to your opinion, and you can very easily tell me to shut up since I wasn't there and you were, but during the Cold War, there were plenty of times when the United States and the Soviet Union were one bad bottle of Vodka away from World War III. One of those nights you were drinking German beer and chasing German women, an East German brigade could have busted through the wall and killed you and every other American soldier stationed in West Germany, or any other part of Europe for that matter.

I'm glad nothing happened to you, and I'm glad you had a good time, but that good time could have gone bad in a New York minute. It's not that you don't deserve a medal because nothing happened to you. I happen to think you deserve one because something could have happened to you. You, and every other guy who wore a uniform on this forum defended our freedom regardless of when, where, and how you served.

The cost reason for not making one is ridiculous. The government spends a hell of a lot more on a hell of a lot less. They don't even have to pay the Institute of Heraldtry to design one. I'll do it for free (I already have some ideas in mind, as a matter of fact).

It could be a Cold War service, or a Cold War victory medal. I know some of you don't want one, and I know some of you don't need one, but there are thousands of bureaucratic arms of our government that could do with some revamping. Honoring our American heroes should never take a back seat to cost. There may be many frivolous ribbons in the American military right now, but a medal for serving in a capacity where you might be killed because you're wearing a certain flag on your arm isn't frivolous in my humble opinion.


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