Survey: Should U.S. Military Medal Issue Regulations Be More Restrictive?
Copyright © Since 1988  Email The American War Library | Home

Should U.S. Military Medal Issue Regulations Be More Restrictive to Certain Individuals or Groups?

TOPIC: Small groups of American military personnel and veterans have historically challenged U.S. military medal Issue Regulations on the basis of sex, race or other criteria. For example, during WW2 no African-American was permitted to be considered for the Medal of Honor because white commanders believed bestowing such a high honor on a black American would adversely harm the morale of white G.I.'s who believed that no black G.I. was capable of performing an act of courage or self-sacrifice comparable to a white G.I.

Another example is the recent Combat Action Badge established by the U.S. Army. Previous to the CAB, the Army planned to create the CCB (Close Combat Badge). However, during a publicly broadcast press conference chaired by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and attended by enlisted military personnel, a female Army corporal informed SecDef Rumsfeld that because women were not (officially) permitted to serve in front-line combat units they would be highly restricted from CCB eligibility. The SecDef agreed. Within 24 hours of that press conference the CCB was canceled and the CAB was established, rendering a larger group of personnel eligible, including females.

Other examples include the demand by some American veterans during the 2004 presidential campaign who called for the revocation of John Kerry's medals on political grounds. Several Medal of Honor recipients joined in this demand by asserting through implication that holder's of our nation's highest medal had the "moral right" to determine the issue regulations of all lesser ranking medals such as the Purple Heart, even though many MOH reciepients never received the Purple Heart (as well as other 'lesser medals'). A similar movement is now underway calling for the revocation of Rep. John Murtha's wartime medals because of his criticism of Bush Administration problems in Iraq. Although this movement is led by people who never served in the U.S. military it is joined by veterans who were never awarded some of the medals John Murtha was authorized. Some U.S. veterans believe that any American veteran who does not share membership in their political party or support their political beliefs should have their military medals challenged, if not revoked.

Lastly, some veteran organizations have recently made dramatic changes in their membership policies. The VFW, for example, permitted many of its Posts to exclude membership of Vietnam War veterans in the 1960's, 70's and 80's because the VFW did not consider Vietnam to be a "foreign war". However, due to its current shrinking membership the VFW is now changing its membership rules to permit a wide range of new members, including those who served in a non-hostile environment that had the potential of becoming hostile.

Some American veterans feel strongly that U.S. military medal Issue Regulations should be changed by Congress to provide a narrower range of eligibility standards, and that medal eligibility should now include non-military considerations such as the serviceperson's sex, race and political affiliation.

Before responding to this Survey you should first familiarize yourself with the current, official DOD Issue Regulations. The complete list of medal DeptDef Issue Regulations is available at URL: After reviewing the official Issue Regulations you may proceed to the Survey website to state which medal(s) you feel should be restricted from eligibility to certain individuals or groups of American servicepersonnel... What do YOU think?

Do you believe that the regulations for awarding some U.S. military medals should be changed to restrict certain individuals or groups?


Do you believe that military medals should be revoked from veterans who criticize a presidential policy?


Do you believe there should be different Issue Regulations based on age, rank, race, sex or political party affiliation?

Yes, Race
Yes, Rank
Yes, Age
Yes, Sex
Yes, Politics

Who do you think should determine U.S. medal eligibility?

The Joint Chiefs
The President
The President, Congress and the Joint Chiefs
Officers only
Enlisted personnel only
Officers and Enlisted personnel
Previous Recipients only
The general public

Do you believe that holders of high military awards, such as the Medal of Honor, have the "moral right" to second-guess or overrule the medal decisions of theater commanders who award medals that are lower than the Medal of Honor in the Order of Precedence?


Which U.S. medal do you think requires an immediate change in its Issue Regulations?

Why do you think this change should be made?

Please lower your mouse then wait a moment for your info to be logged.

Mailing Address: The American War Library
817 East Via Carmelitos
Virginia Building 319
Long Beach CA 90805-7549
Telephone 1-562-422-4100