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RECENT MOH TO NAVY SEAL CONTROVERSY


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If you have any interest in the controversy over the recent MOH award to retired Navy SEAL Britt Slabinksi, you'll find the full story here:

 

http://www.newsweek.com/2018/05/18/navy-seals-seal-team-6-left-behind-die-operation-anaconda-slabinski-chapman-912343.html

 

Not only is Slabinski's Navy Cross upgrade very controversial, attempts to upgrade John Chapman's Air Force Cross to the MOH has resulted in a considerable amount of inter-service rivalry and consternation among the special operations community.

 

In addition, if Chapman's MOH package is approved, it will be the first time that the award was made without a single statement from an actual eye witness. Regulations require two eyewitnesses to submit supporting statements, but Chapman's upgrade is based entirely on drone video.

 

This is quite an interesting story and how it has played out over the last 15 years is amazing. I believe it says a lot regarding how technology is changing the way personal awards will be recommended and approved.

 

 

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You bring up a good point about technology. History states it takes 2 witnesses to verify the action. With things like GoPro cameras on helmets and drones, technology will change the "verifying" part of medal awards.

Wanted: Missouri Medals

 

I am always in search of Missouri Medals and Items. This could be anything from WW1, WW2, Prisoners of War, Ephemera, or anything pertaining to Missourians.

 

I thank you for your time and consideration.

 

-Without a witness, they just disappear.-

 

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GoPro not so much...personal cameras have been banned outside the wire for some time now. Idiots and their social media being a large part of that decision

-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

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GoPro not so much...personal cameras have been banned outside the wire for some time now. Idiots and their social media being a large part of that decision

 

As somebody who was in in the early to mid 90's, I find it ludicrous that social media is even allowed in the military. Seriously a bad idea...

 

 

 

*SEMPER FORTIS*

USN '92-'96 USS GEORGE WASHINGTON CVN-73

HONOR*COURAGE*COMMITMENT

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Been saying that myself for years. It is blocked on government networks

-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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As somebody who was in in the early to mid 90's, I find it ludicrous that social media is even allowed in the military. Seriously a bad idea...

It's like when the military had to adjust to the Fitbit tracking thing. The government is always having to adjust to societal situations. As they say in batman..."We start carrying semi-automatics, they buy automatics. We start wearing Kevlar...they buy armor-piercing rounds." Circle of life.

Wanted: Missouri Medals

 

I am always in search of Missouri Medals and Items. This could be anything from WW1, WW2, Prisoners of War, Ephemera, or anything pertaining to Missourians.

 

I thank you for your time and consideration.

 

-Without a witness, they just disappear.-

 

donation2020.gif

 

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It's like when the military had to adjust to the Fitbit tracking thing. The government is always having to adjust to societal situations. As they say in batman..."We start carrying semi-automatics, they buy automatics. We start wearing Kevlar...they buy armor-piercing rounds." Circle of life.

It has nothing to do with "societal situations", it has to do with people having rights.

-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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Chapman's upgrade evidenced by the drone video, the corroborating distress call signal, and the autopsy, seems pretty solid as that article describes it. The Navy's opposition to Chapman's upgrade and denial that he was still alive (and so, mistakenly and tragically left behind by the Seal team) and fighting, in order to preserve the honor of the Seal organization, ironically does not enhance that honor. Better to acknowledge a mistake and let the truth fall where it may. In these fractious and divided times, I guess it's not surprising to see this kind of unprecedented service infighting-- that a man in another branch should not get a MOH.

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So now we have a sort of real-life parallel to the move, "Courage Under Fire."

 

In the end, we have two heroes. One who sacrificed his life for his team and another who may or may not carry guilt for his actions.

 

Lets not muddy the real story here with politics and inter-service bickering.

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  • 3 weeks later...

It appears that Tech. Sgt. John Chapman, the airman involved in this combat action, will be awarded the Medal of Honor.

 

Apparently Chapman's family was notified in March that his Air Force Cross has been upgraded to the Medal of Honor.

 

The Defense Department has not yet confirmed this award.

 

He will be the first airman awarded the Medal of Honor since Vietnam.

 

I also saw on the news this evening that the Medal of Honor was posthumously awarded to a World War II veteran. 1LT Garlin Murl Conner's DSC was upgraded to the Medal of Honor when eyewitness reports of his actions were finally discovered in the National Archives. He now becomes the second most decorated soldier in World War II.

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I also saw on the news this evening that the Medal of Honor was posthumously awarded to a World War II veteran. 1LT Garlin Murl Conner's DSC was upgraded to the Medal of Honor when eyewitness reports of his actions were finally discovered in the National Archives. He now becomes the second most decorated soldier in World War II.

 

I had not read that info regarding lost eyewitness reports. From all the on-line accounts I read the upgrade was due primarily to the persistence of Conner's widow and a relative of a KIA member of Conner's squad. They campaigned for over 20 years, including two federal law suits, trying to get the corrections board to upgrade Conner's DSC award. ( Conner himself was apparently too humble to make the attempt while he was alive. ) Finally, after the second suit was at the appellate level, the judge strongly urged mediation between the two sides and, bingo, the MoH was approved. Reminds me of Cassamento's wife chaining herself to the White House gate until her spouse's MoH was approved.

 

That's not to say Conner wasn't deserving. The 3d ID had in its G-1 section a former newspaper editor who wrote most of the MoH recommendations for WWII. He knew what he was doing. The division had something like 37 recipients for WWII. The former newspaper man apparently knew how to package a recommendation so that it met all the criteria of higher headquarters. Again, that is not to disparage those who did receive the MoH. As we all know its a difficult award to receive and at times the thoroughness of the recommendation package is more important that the deed itself. I've always felt that not everyone who earns a MoH receives it, but all those who do receive it, earned it. There have been other cases of the MoH going to observer's calling artillery fire in on their position. John Fox is one that comes to mind. Some have compared Conner's deed to Audie Murphy's. While there are similarities, Murphy took direct offensive action in repulsing the enemy, including climbing on the deck of a burning tank destroyer to man its .50 machine gun.

 

BTW, a very, very high ranking government executive mentioned at the presentation ceremony that Conner's action occurred during the Battle of the Bulge. As we all know, the 3d ID had nothing to do with the Belgium fighting. At the time of Conner's deed, the 7th Inf Regt was east of the Vosges mountains, on the plains of eastern France, just west of the Rhine River, north of Colmar, reducing the redoubtable Colmar Pocket.. This is the same vicinity that Murphy and Jose Valdez, also of the 7th Inf Regt, earned their MoHs around the same time. So, not Battle of the Bulge related at all. That's Fake News.

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From one of the news articles...

 

The Medal of Honor makes Conner the second-most decorated soldier of World War II, according to the Army, surpassed only by legendary 1st Lt. Audie Murphy.

As it turns out, the veteran’s upgrade needed eyewitness accounts, which were finally found by Kentucky Congressman Ed Whitfield, who sent a staff member to the National Archives where the necessary documentation was discovered.

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  • 1 month later...

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