Maybe because at first, (later 50's) the engagements in the DMZ did not look as bad the fighting in the first years of the conflict (before the cease-fire) and the approvers of a service medal for the post armistice period probably didn't see it as appropriate since many of them had been there for the big shooting match.
While the CIB regs say 'active participation'
many units in WW2 used it's vagueness to create a qualifier (like 3 days in the 'line') to receive one.
In Korea the same thing happened. I beleive (not 100%) that the 1st Cav in Korea had a 90 hours on the frontline rule.
It was during Vietnam the casualty rate and morale concerns slowly moved it to the first firefight.
During Vietnam, Korean duty didn't seem as dangerous either. Of course, it only takes a second to get killed, but I'm talking the total casualty tally. A service medal for Korea would not have won much favor with all the DOD types that had been in Vietnam.
It should have been there from the start, considering the war is still not over. But the biggest thing it took was the transition to a volunteer military and the re-thinking of awards in such a volunteer force.
Few credit the increase and changes of standards in awards after 1980 to an assessment that a volunteer force (as verses a drafted force) needs more in order to maintain enlistments.
JPfromTN I appreciate your analysis.
I would add that during the cold war, especially the Vietnam war, from a strategic level they simply did not want anyone knowing that another war was going on in Korea. It was suppose to be over and it not being over wasn't good for business. This is what I think drove the 5 firefight rule in the ROK. They obviously did not want any acknowledgement that anything was going on during the cold war over there. Vietnam was enough of a public disruption, therefore the ROK was to appear to be "contained". Fortunately, under those underesoureced conditions, the troops in the ROK have never failed to contain the enemy. That is why I believe they should receive the recognition they deserve. None of the guys that came back in a box were treated as war heros or at least treated as war dead.
This was (and is still) simply wrong, especially for the families.
Right now there are zero memorials for the fallen from ROK service and there are over 1,200 plus service deaths associated with that duty since 1954 (for those that don't believe the 1,200 plus figure it is in the language of the bills that authorized the KDSM - in black and white).
This is wrong.
Ruptured Duck-Derelict Vets
When I got to Korea they made me a acting SGT and made me Como Chief for CSC 1/32nd Inf 2nd Inf Div Camp Casey, this was May 73,we had several platoons 1)Redeye platoon 2) Anti Tank Platoon, 3)Recaon Platoon, 4 Radar Platoon Radar Site 6, One of the NCOICs on the Radar site ETS and so they made me NCOIC of the Radar site we rotated out up a week down a week, we were fully loaded and we called in several times when we picked up NK movement there was some shootings down from us, two choppers hit and we went on alert several times, was I scared, you bet. I was awared the Imjin Scout Certificate, the AFEM and now the KDSM. I talk with this guy who was in Nam who was a MP gaurding a AIR Field in Nam, He said that his duty in Nam was like the DMZ in Korea. Somebody had to watch this Nut, so instead of sending me to Nam they sent me to Korea on the Z. Now being in communication we were put in Inf units, Artillary Units, just about any kind of Unit you can thank of. Here I am a Acting SGT and Como Chief and then Acting SGT as NCOIC of the Radar Site,didn't know a thing about Radar, but I learned fast, I had to make sure my team got out of there before they blew the tank traps if NK crossed the Z, I had my plate full. Here is my Question, the AFEM was awared for being in a area where you might get killed, they even awarded it in Nam, so why do we get short changed when it comes to CIB or any other Combat award? And why are we not considered a Combat Soldier. Here is what it takes to be awarded the AFEM,I don;t see anywhere that Korea was any different then any other Hostile Area.
The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal was established by Executive Order 10977 signed by President John F. Kennedy on December 4, 1961.
3. Criteria: a. The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal may be awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who after 1 July 1958 participate as members of U.S. military units in a U.S. military operation in which service members of any Military Department participate, in the opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), in significant numbers and encounter during such participation foreign armed opposition, or are otherwise place in such a position that in the opinion of the JCS, hostile action by foreign armed forces was imminent even though it does not materialize.
b. The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal may be authorized for three categories of operations: U.S. military operations; U.S. military operations in direct support of the United Nations; and U.S. operations of assistance to friendly foreign nations.
c. The medal shall be awarded only for operations for which no other U.S. campaign medal is approved.
4. Components: The following are authorized components and related items:
a. Medal (regular size): MIL-DTL-3943/230. NSN 8455-00-082-5638 for set which includes regular size medal and ribbon bar.
b. Medal (miniature size): MIL-DTL-3946/230. Available commercially.
c. Ribbon: MIL-DTL-11589/12. NSN 8455-00-082-2344.
d. Lapel Button: MIL-DTL-11484. Available commercially.
e. Streamers: MIL-S-14650. Manual requisition in accordance with AR 840-10.
5. Background: a. During the late 1950s, it became apparent that a medal was needed to recognize the services of the Armed Forces who participated in the increased involvement of the American military in peacekeeping activities. As a result, President Kennedy established the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, per Executive Order 10977, dated 4 December 1961, for operations on or after 1 July 1958.
b. In a memorandum dated 20 December 1961, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense requested that The Institute of Heraldry submit proposed designs as soon as possible. Proposed designs were submitted on 25 January 1962 and a design, created by Mr. Jay Morris, was tentatively selected. The design was submitted to the Commission of Fine Arts for comments prior to approval by the Deputy Secretary of Defense on 24 April 1962.
c. The selected design uses the eagle to represent the strength of our Armed Forces, and the sword, loose in its scabbard, denotes the readiness to serve wherever needed, as further suggested by the compass rose.
d. At the present time, JCS has designated 22 operations for which the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal may be awarded. A bronze service star is worn to denote second and subsequent awards of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. Each Service may authorize the use of campaign streamers for operations in the designated areas. The Army has authorized campaign credit and display of streamers for three areas: Grenada, Panama and the Dominican Republic. The Air Force has authorized display of streamers for all 22 operations. The Navy authorizes display of three silver stars and four bronze stars on the streamer representing 19 operations.
e. Order of precedence and wear policy for service medals awarded to Army personnel is contained in Army Regulation (AR) 670-1. Policy for awards, approving authority and supply of medals is contained in AR 600-8-22. The policy for display of campaign streamers on guidons/flags and supply of streamers is contained in Chapter 9, AR 840-10
f. The following areas have been designated for award of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal:
Attack on Libya (Eldorado Canyon): April 12-17, 1986
Berlin, Germany: August 14, 1961 to June 1, 1963
Cambodia (Eagle Pull): April 11-13, 1975
Cambodia: March 29 to August 15, 1973
Congo: July 14, 1960 to September 1, 1962
Congo: November 23-27, 1964
Cuba: October 24, 1962 to June 1, 1963
Desert Fox: December 16-22, 1998
Desert Spring: December 31, 1998 to a date to be announced
Desert Thunder: November 11, 1998 to December 22, 1998
Dominican Republic: April 23, 1965 to September 21, 1966
El Salvador: January 1, 1981 to February 1, 1992
Grenada (Urgent Fury): October 23 to November 21, 1983
Haiti (Uphold Democracy): September 15, 1994 to March 31, 1995
Iraq (Southern Watch): December 1, 1995 to March 20, 2003
Iraq (Northern Watch): January 1, 1997 to March 20, 2003
Joint Endeavor November 20 to December 20, 1996
Joint Forge: June 21, 1998 to March 23, 1999
Joint Guard: December 20, 1996 to June 20, 1998
Korea: October 1, 1966 to June 30, 1974
Laos: April 19, 1961 to October 7, 1962
Lebanon: August 25, 1982
Lebanon: July 1 to November 1, 1958
Lebanon: June 1, 1983 to December 1, 1987
Libya: January 20, 1986 to June 27, 1996
Maritime Intercept Operations: December 1, 1995 to a date to be announced
Mayaquez Rescue: May 15, 1975
Panama (Just Cause): December 20, 1989 to January 31, 1990
Persian Gulf (Earnest Will): July 24, 1987 to August 1, 1990
Persian Gulf: July 24, 1987 to August 1, 1990
Quemoy and Matsu: August 23, 1958 to June 1, 1963
Somalia (Restore Hope): December 5, 1992 to March 31, 1995
Somalia (United Shield): December 5, 1992 to March 31, 1995
Taiwan Straits: August 23, 1958 to January 1, 1959
Thailand: March 29 to August 15, 1973
Vietnam (Frequent Wind): April 29-30, 1975
Vietnam: July 1, 1958 to July 3, 1965
Vigilant Sentinel: December 1, 1995 to February 15, 1997
Executive Order 10977
Establishing The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
By virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States and as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:
SECTION 1. There is hereby established the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, with ribbons and appurtenances, for award to personnel of the Armed Forces of the United States who after July 1, 1958:
(a) Participate, or have participated, as members of United States military units in a United States military operation in which personnel of any military department participate, in the opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in significant numbers; and
(b) Encounter, incident to such participation, foreign armed opposition, or are otherwise placed, or have been placed, in such position that, in the opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hostile action by foreign armed forces was imminent even though it did not materialize.
SEC. 2. The medal, with ribbons and appurtenances, shall be of appropriate design approved by the Secretary of' Defense and shall be awarded by the Secretary of the military department directly concerned, and by the Secretary of the Treasury with respect to the United States Coast Guard, under uniform regulations to be issued by the Secretary of Defense.
SEC. 3. The medal shall be awarded only for operations for which no other United States campaign medal is approved. For operations in which personnel of only one military department participate, the medal shall be awarded only if there is no other suitable award available to that department. No more than one medal shall be awarded to any one person, but for each succeeding operation justifying such award a suitable device may be awarded to be worn on the medal or ribbon as prescribed by appropriate regulations.
SEC. 4. The medal may be awarded posthumously and, when so awarded, may be presented to such representative of the deceased as may be deemed appropriate by the Secretary of the department concerned.
JOHN F. KENNEDY
THE WHITE HOUSE, December 4, 1961.
You guys both maker some really good points. Have you ever considered writing awards branch, and seeing what they say?
Ruptured Duck-Derelict Vets
Not a bad idea,have to try that.
I say that because I feel the same way that you guys do, so I did write awards branch, and the CG of HRC. No one gave me a coherent explanation as to why ALL DMZ vets don't rate a combat patch, since DMZ service meets the criteria put forth in AR 670-1. The more people we have writing the stronger our case is.
What explaination did they give you?
Here is a copy of the letter I sent to awards branch:
My name is XXXXX XXXX. I am a proud US Army veteran, who's MOS was 11B,
infantryman. My first duty station as a young infantry soldier was in
the Republic of Korea, during 1989-1990, where I was engaged in combat
operations in two tours in the Demilitarized Zone. During my tour in the
DMZ my unit was routinely tasked to conduct combat patrols, night
ambushes, and occupy guard posts. Our orders were to engage any North
Korean infiltrators that we encountered. We routinely had to sweep the
perimeter of our guard posts for North Korean mines, and the North
Koreans were known to fire potshots at US and ROK patrols and
guardposts. I personally was involved in a hostile fire incident in
1990, to which I am still attempting to find documentation. We did this
well within range of North Korean artillery, and within the DMZ we
ALWAYS carried loaded weapons. We did this well within sight of the
North Korean Army.
The Korean DMZ has a long history of violent incidents with many US
casualties, dating back to 1953. Technically the two Koreas are still at
war, making the DMZ a combat zone.
I am wondering why US Army soldiers stationed in the DMZ from 1954-1968,
and 1973 till 1991 when the US Army withdrew from the DMZ, who conducted
combat operations, in a combat zone, against a hostile enemy, are not
authorized SSI-FWTS, commonly called Combat Patches?
Today soldiers in Kuwait, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan who will never
hear a shot fired in anger, are all authorized Combat Patches. Why are
DMZ vets forgotten?
Recently Awards Branched changed the criteria for the Combat
Infantryman's Badge, making it easier for Vets of the DMZ to be awarded
this prestigious badge. If an infantryman is in an area where he is
eligible for a CIB, then it goes with out saying that those soldiers in
that same area rate a combat patch.
In closing, the requirements for a Combat Patch are as follows:
(1) The Secretary of the Army or higher must declare as a hostile
environment the theater or area of operation to which the unit is
assigned, or Congress must pass a Declaration of War.
(2) The units must have actively participated in, or supported ground
combat operations against hostile forces in which they were exposed to
the threat of enemy action or fire, either directly or indirectly.
(3) The military operation normally must have lasted for a period of
thirty (30) days or longer. An exception may be made when U.S. Army
forces are engaged with a hostile force for a shorter period of time,
when they meet all other criteria, and a recommendation from the general
or flag officer in command is forwarded to the Chief of Staff, Army.
(4) The Chief of Staff, Army, must approve the authorization for wear of
the shoulder sleeve insignia for former wartime service.
We served in a combat zone.
US units in the DMZ actively participated in ground combat operations,
against a very hostile enemy, where we faced the THREAT of hostile fire
every hour of every day. Sometimes we faced ACTUAL hostile fire.
Most US units served at least three months in the DMZ, with some serving
an entire year.
The only requirement missing is approval from the Chief of Staff.
I personally don't want ANY back hostile fire pay or anything monetary.
All I want is recognition in the form of a Combat Patch for DMZ vets who
did a difficult, dangerous, lonely job, and helped make the Republic Of
Korea the strong democracy that it is today.
SGT. XXXXX XXXX
Here is the response I received
I appreciate your note and the detailed research you have done
to help state your case. I know this situation has been reviewed a
number of times with the decision consistently to not award the shoulder
insignia for service during the period you discuss. However, I will go
back to our awards folks t see if there any further actions being
Sean J. Byrne
Major General, U.S. Army
As you can see there is no explanation as to why we don't rate a Combat Patch, even though we meet all the requirements put forth in the AR. (except for approval from the chief of staff)
Lets see if they get back to me.
Ruptured Duck-Derelict Vets
I'll send a letter also,do you have the address handy? I'm alittle slow at remembering where to look.your letter sounds good,
Google "army awards branch" and look at the "contact us" link. You should be able to find adresses there.
This issue has been simmering for a long time, and I think that it is about to boil over. As Ab has stated the whole policy is inconsistant, and in my opinion, very unfair. As you can see from the criteria in the regulation DMZ service rates a combat patch, and if soldiers in Kuwait, or Turkmenistan get one then it is a no brainer that soldiers who served in the Z should get one as well. Recognition for a job well done.
We all need to do this. It is time we stand up and quit getting the hind tit.
I have some bad news for DMZ vets. Looks like the Army will not even think about awarding us combay patches, for service after 1973. That General got back to me, and said that nothing will change.He would'nt even tell me why they won't authorize DMZ vets combat patches even after they changed the CIB rules, and DMZ service meets the criteria set forth in AR 670-1.
If anyone wants to see his response let me know and I will post his letter.
We are still the ugly girl at the prom.
|"A Marine on duty has no friends."|
Post the letter.
|Highly Experienced Member|
+2...post the letter. This is very wrong. There needs to be a patch and a memorial (for US, UN and ROK that have died...3,500 in all since 1954 to include over 1,200 US).
Here is a great article and summary of the wrong that has happened. This was written before the KDSM was issued:
MILITARY MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2000
Norm Tredway, 24th Infantry Division
Hoyle Hodges, 2nd Infantry Division
Korea – Half a Century of Armed Conflict With No Recognition
United States Armed Service members deployed to the Republic of Korea (R.O.K.), standing vigil
on “Freedom’s Frontier”, are not recognized with a campaign or service medal. This is the only deployment directly facing an enemy or other hazardous situation not recognized with some type of service award. It is the longest containment assignment in military history. Under current regulations the Korean Service Medal awarded between June 25, 1950 and July 27, 1954, is the appropriate recognition and should be awarded. A Date Scroll Device is proposed to be affixed for post 27 July 1954. A U.N. service medal is also earned and deserved for this service, but is not awarded. The U.S. presence in Korea still serves under the United Nations Command headed by the United States. The UN Flag still flies. The UN Korea Service Medal (UNKSM), awarded during the same time as the KSM, is the deserved award for this deployment and should be authorized. The only recognition currently received for Korea service is the Overseas Service Ribbon which is the same decoration that personnel stationed in non-combat or non-conflict overseas areas receive. Even this ribbon eligibility only covers the period from August 1, 1981 to the Present with the following exception. The ribbon may be awarded retroactively to personnel
who were credited with a Korea tour completion before August 1, 1981, provided they had an
Active Army status on or after August 1, 1981. Those stationed in Korea prior to August 1981
without post August 1, 1981 service are not even entitled to this token award. This ribbon,
however, is highly inappropriate for this documented historically dangerous deployment.
Service members that have been engaged in direct hostile actions with enemy forces are also not recognized with Combat Infantry and Combat Medic Badges, Combat Patches, Combat Action Ribbons or Hazardous Duty Pay with the exception of the period October 1, 1966 to June 30, 1974 when the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) was awarded. A double-standard
exists with regard to combat awards for Korea versus other regions involved in hostile actions. To qualify for combat recognition, a soldier must serve in the hostile zone for 60 days, engage the enemy in 5 firefights during this 60 day period, and have previously had “hostile fire pay” authorized, and he must be recommended personally by each commander in the chain of command and approved at division level (AR 600-22-8.6.H ). This is very different from the regulations for the same award in other regions. The Korea regulations are written to almost preclude service members from being able to qualify. A combat zone is where and when the enemy chooses to kill you. An enemy bullet fired during a containment operation kills just as dead as a bullet during the open conflict. An enemy bullet fired in Korea kills just as dead as a bullet fired in El Salvador. An exchange of gunfire with enemy forces is combat regardless of how you choose to define combat in your regulations. To ensate for the lack of recognition given to soldiers by the Pentagon, the 2nd and 7th Infantry Divisions created awards of their own.
The 7th Division issued the “Infantryman’s Badge” and the 2nd Division issued the “Imjin Scout Badge”. A soldier would qualify for the Imjin Scout Badge with 30 continuous days inside the DMZ or 90 days total non-consecutive, and after completing 25 combat and recon patrols. Engagement in a firefight authorized an automatic award with no number of days requirements. This followed the same requirements for the CIB in a combat theater under normal circumstances. A certificate was issued with the badge (both cloth and metal varieties) and was much coveted by the recipients. These badges (honors) were later disallowed by regulations. U.S. Armed Forces members stationed in Korea are not a garrison force with a mission of training and readiness. They are stationed in one of the two remaining combat zones (Korea and Persian Gulf) after Vietnam was removed from the list in 1996. A state-of-war continues to exist on the Korean Peninsula. The Korean border is the most heavily armed border in the world. These troops are operating as a containment force during the extended “Cease-fire Campaign Operation” of the Post Conflict phase. They stand the line against the fifth largest Army in the
world with 1.2 million active military troops and an additional 5 million reserve forces. They face an Army with 65% of its forces forward deployed, poised in a threatening and offensive stance, within 100 kilometers of the DMZ. Prior to October 4, 1991, the 1st Marine Division and the U.S. Army’s 24th Infantry, 7th Infantry, 1st Cavalry, and 2nd Infantry Divisions patrolled the dangerous northwest corridor of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas. They manned the
U.N. DMZ guard posts, maintained aerial and water surveillance, and ensured security at the
Joint Security Area (JSA). The mission continues, however, today it is solely JSA soldiers performing this duty. These forces remain at a constant state of readiness, are frequently on alert status, outfitted in combat gear and they carry loaded weapons, ammo and necessary communications devices. The U.S. Army’s 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry (AASLT) is currently stationed in the northwest sector less than 2 kilometers from the DMZ, and the U.S. Army 2nd Infantry Division is stationed with units forward deployed on the convergence of the two main invasion routes into South Korea. As noted by the Secretary of Defense and others, the Korean Peninsula is one of the two most dangerous flash points in the world today. As recently as May 2000, the U.S. State Department decided to “keep” North Korea on the list of terrorist countries. Imminent danger, in its most strict definition, exists in Korea today as it has for 46 years. This is not new news. Since the signing of the 1953 Armistice Agreement there have been over 40,479 violations by the Korean Peoples Armed Forces (North Korea). These have occurred in the DMZ
by infiltrators, the coastlines south of the DMZ, small islands around the mainland as well as in the Capitol of Seoul itself. Many of them very serious acts of war and very recent. These
breaches to the cease-fire agreement began as early as 1955 with shoot-downs on two occasions of Army Recon planes over the DMZ and the deaths of 3 Americans. A dog fight in the
Yellow Sea off the Korea coastline occurred the same year with Chinese MIGS attacking a U.S.
RB-45 and 2 MIGS shot down by escorting U.S. F-86 fighters. To date there have been 1,239
U.S. KIAs (hostile fire or landmines from KPA), 224 U.S. WIAs (hostile fire from KPA), at least 87 captured and held POW (some for as long as a 1 year), plus more than 2,300 R.O.K. casualties.
This count is the officially recorded actual combat deaths since the signing of the Armistice
Agreement and does not count fratricide, accidents, and other non-battle injuries or deaths. Adding the number of U.S. plus R.O.K. casualties and dividing by the 46 years of containment, you find an average of 76.9 casualties per year. If one divides the 40,479 recorded incidents by the total number of months, 552, there are an average of 73.33 breaches to the cease-fire every month. These are very high counts. There have been ground ambushes, aerial shoot-downs, naval actions, acts of sabotage, and assassination attempts. Had these incidents occurred in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sinai, Bosnia, Kosovo or elsewhere, national media coverage would be considerable and medals would be awarded with ceremony. This lack of respect and recognition given to service members serving on the Korean peninsula is without precedent, and shameful. If you want to know how service members feel about the hazards of this deployment and the lack
of recognition, just ask! Ask the surviving crew member of the US Army helicopter shot down in 1994 over North Korea who watched as his fellow crewmember was killed, and he then became a POW. Or ask the AH-64 pilots and ground crew members deployed with Special Forces
Detachment-Korea who, along with 400,000 personnel from the R.O.K. Army, were deployed on
a massive manhunt in 1996 for KPA commandos from a grounded infiltration submarine. This
operation resulted in 24 North Koreans KIA and 1 captured, 13 South Korean KIAs, and dusk to
dawn curfews for 53 days. All this took place 60 miles south of the DMZ. The weapons and
ammunition the KPA had on the sub included 4000 items of 327 different kinds of combat gear.
This was not a spy pickup or delivery but a commando raid/assassination attempt as evidenced
by a PRC Type 63 Multiple Rocket Launcher (Mountain Model) that weighs in at 618 lbs. and is designed to be taken apart and transported in a manpack configuration. Also included were AK-47 rifles, U.S. style Battle Dress uniforms and U.S. M16 rifles with serial numbers removed. Ask the members of the South Korean Navy who fought an intense Naval Battle in the Yellow Sea with North Korean Navy vessels damaging 2, sinking 1, and killing over 30 sailors. This major battle took place less than a year ago in 1999. Ask any member of the armed forces in Korea how they feel about the North Korean long and short range missile capability, or the potential for biological, chemical or nuclear warfare. These incidents and violent hostile actions by North Korean Forces are not isolated incidents, but deliberate, calculated, aggressive actions to intimidate the military, polarize U.S.-R.O.K. relations, force UN and U.S. support to desist, and ultimately cause the North to regain control over the entire peninsula under communist control. The following are statements by U.S. officials exemplifying the dangers of this deployment:
Listen to what our own leaders say about the threat from North Korea: William S. Cohen, Secretary of Defense: “Korea is perhaps the hottest flash point in the world. As long as tensions remain high, we have to have a strong deterrent.” (DoD Web site,10/21/99).
Lt. Gen. Patrick M. Hughes, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency: "It is likely North
Korea has a limited nuclear capability and the capability to engage in chemical warfare. North
Korea and Iraq are our most likely opponents in a major theater conflict." (World’s "turmoil" is
long-term problem, Army Times, George C. Wilson, Pg. 30, February 23, 1998)
Gen. John Tilelli, Commander of the Combined Forces Command and Commander in chief of United Nations Command until December 1999: “The threat from the North hasn't diminished over time. North Korea has made steady progress in its surface-to-air missile capability, and existing SCUD missiles allow North Korea to target all of South Korea.” (DoD Web
site, 10/21/99) Lt. Col. Douglas J. Morrison, 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry, Fort Stewart, GA: "Command Post (December) failed to mention two critical duty stations in the world, Korea and Kuwait are operational theaters focused on containment of a real, viable enemy. This is unlike the peacekeeping operations in the Balkans." (February 2000, VFW Magazine)
The late, Lt. Col. Louis J. Anjier, Jr: "It has always been an anomaly that the three dead
of A Troop, 1st Recon Squadron, 9th Cavalry, had been eligible for the Purple Heart, but no other award. And those who served beside, before, and after in the DMZ until 1966, were recognized with nothing for their exposure to North Korean and Communist Chinese actions" (Firefights – Blaze on the DMZ, VFW Magazine, Pg. 35, August 1996) Ronald Reagan, President, 1984: “We know about the danger. You’re facing a heavily armed, unpredictable enemy with no regard for human life.” Very few service members are aware that the R.O.K. government created and offered a medal for all who served in their defense after 1953. This service medal was turned down by the Pentagon. This is the same action taken by our government regarding the R.O.K. War Service medal offered to our Forces in 1951. First turn it down, then deny any knowledge of it, next make an excuse, and finally, 49 years later accept and authorize it. In 1994 or 1995, the 1/503 was awarded the R.O.K. Presidential Unit Citation (ROKPUC) but the U.S. higher command would not allowed its acceptance. The 2nd Infantry Division was awarded this same ROKPUC in December 1999 and it has been disapproved. Also, very few service members are aware that Australia, Canada, and New Zealand continued to award a service medal until their last units returned home from Korea. New Zealand actually created a separate medal with eligibility from 1954 to 1957, the latter date when their ground forces returned home. Canada still awards their Special
Services Medal today. The Joint Chiefs (JCS) have awarded the AFEM at least 33 times since its inception on December 4, 1961. Imminent danger is a requirement for the AFEM. Of those 33 occasions, 22 were awarded even though there were no hostile fire casualties for those operations (66.66% without hostile fire casualties). Of the 11 times the AFEM has been awarded with casualties, 9 of these times the number of casualties has been less than suffered in Korea. The number of KIAs
inflicted by the North Koreans on US personnel in Korea since the signing of the Armistice is
greater than the KIAs from Lebanon (1958), Grenada, Panama, Dominican Republic, Sinai, Haiti, and Somolia combined! Read the regulations and it is evident that Korea meets and exceeds any emminent danger criteria. In spite of its history of hostilities, there is no service award for Korea. We mention the awarding of the AFEM to illustrate that awards are authorized for service when a threat, or perceived threat, is deemed imminent by the JCS. Although the threats are not always
realized, the award is upheld. These awards are also authorized for supporting units even when
they are not located where the hostilities are occurring. These awards have been authorized
retroactively on several occasions. With the constant threat from North Korea, its past history of armistice violations, its current incursions, and its tough talk regarding its position on reunification, the JCS sees no imminent danger in Korea. With its status as a rogue nation, a terrorist nation, potentially second hottest flash point in the world today, and one of the two most likely opponents
of a major theater conflict, the JCS does not consider Korea service deserving service medal
recognition. In 1994 the U.S. Ambassador to Korea, James Laney, evacuated his family as
tensions were very high and military strike plans were in motion. This information was released in a May 2000 issue of the Korea Herald. To further emphasize the dangers encountered by our troops, late 1999 gas masks were issued to civilians and family members.
Korea deployment does not need to have a medal created for service, and the AFEM is inappropriate because of its peacekeeping orientation. The appropriate medals for Korea service are the KSMw/D and the UNKSM. Our armed services are involved in an incredible extension of the phase of war referred to as post-conflict activities (FM 100-5). These activities are Cease-fire Campaign Operations and the operational environment has changed back and forth from limited war to post-conflict operations many times. This is all strictly from the book. To illustrate this
point, the Southwest Asia cease-fire is listed as a “Campaign” in AR 600-8-22. Our military
recognizes that cease-fire operations are inherently dangerous enough to award a separate
bronze service star for the Southwest Asia Service Medal (SWAM). Many units were awarded
campaign participation credit for the Southwest Asia Cease-fire during Desert Storm and it was
awarded for years after the Gulf War. When eligibility for the SWAM was closed, troops in Kuwait were authorized the AFEM for their service. Korea deployment is no different than the current Kuwait containment operation. Korea deployment has earned and deserves cease- fire
campaign operations service medals. This constant lack of reward for service in defense of the R.O.K. begins to be suspect as the neglect continues while evidence clearly states the contrary. This lack of Respect and Recognition for service in Korea is a mistake, more so in times of hard recruiting and tough retention environments. The current low retention and recruitment demonstrates this. This lack of visible recognition for service and sacrifice in Korea has a direct impact on service members’ careers. Service members are competing with other service members who are being properly recognized for their service in places like Bosnia, Kuwait, and Kosovo. Today’s service members have no incentive to volunteer for Korea deployment because of the double standard in the award system. This is evidenced by the bonus incentives offered for re-enlistments to Korea. Former armed services members stationed in Korea, unlike their
fathers and grandfathers, no longer encourage their children, grandchildren and others to choose the military as a career. Their loyalty to the services has diminished as a result of this unfair and neglectful treatment by their government. Reward the Korea deployed as you do the Kuwait and Bosnia deployed and special bonus incentives will not be required. Bestow the service awards earned and deserved by former military members for Korea assignments, namely the KSMw/D and the UNKSM, and the once proud and loyal will again put the nation and its military services above all else.
It is time for a Pentagon policy change. It is time to give Korea deployment its proper respect
and recognition after 46 plus years of defending freedom and democracy on “Freedom’s
Frontier”. It is time to call Korea service what it really is, a tripwire defense between two warring nations, upholding a shattered armistice agreement, courageously and with dedication containing a hostile enemy under imminent danger. It is time to right a wrong and give the respect, recognition, and prestige earned and deserved by former and current armed forces members deployed to Korea. Let us not forget, the 1950 – 1953 forces returned South Korea’s freedom and restored a fragile peace, but those deployed after July 27, 1954 have allowed these freedoms to continue under a democracy that has produced economic growth and prosperity while ensuring peace. These service members deserve better treatment. Award the KSMw/D, the UNKSM, and Combat Recognition where eligible. It is strongly urged that all former and current armed forces members who have served or are serving in the R.O.K.
Here is the letter.
Thank you for your note regarding the authorization for wear of the
SSI-FWTS for Soldiers assigned to duty on the DMZ in Korea.
Our staff researched the question and determined that, as I'm sure you
know, authorization for the SSI-FWTS for service in Korea terminated in
1973 with the exception of Soldiers who participated in the firefight
with North Korean Guards on 23 November 1984.
Our awards office also contacted the proponent for the policy governing
the Shoulder Sleeve Insignia-Former Wartime Service (SSI-FWTS) and
learned that there are no actions being considered to change the
criteria for the period you discussed.
The policy for the SSI-FWTS is published in the regulation governing the
wear of the Army uniform. You may submit a formal request for a review
of current policy to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1, which
is responsible for the uniform regulation. Their address is provided
Headquarters, Department of the Army
ATTN: DAPE-HR (SGM Easley)
300 Army Pentagon
Washington, DC 20310-0300
The fact that the SSI-FWTS was not authorized during the period of your
service should in no way be perceived to lessen the value or honor of
your service. You and your fellow Soldiers played a vital role in the
service of our country and America's allies overseas. For that service,
we sincerely thank you.
Sean J. Byrne
Major General, U.S. Army
There it is.
What really is annoying is that even though I showed them using THEIR rules that DMZ services qualifies for a combat patch, not only will they not do whats right for the DMZ vet post 1973, and prior to 1968, but they won't even explain why.
Now I know that in the Army when something stupid goes down, you generally are not supposed to ask why, but if you served on the DMZ you risked your life every time you crossed the south barrier fence. It is not cool that you get the same ribbons that some laundry and bath specialist in Youngson gets. How many times did that laundry and bath specialist have to sweep the perimeter of his guard post for mines and booby traps? How many times did that laundry and bath specialist have KPA rounds whizz by his/her tower on guardpost?
I already wrote to the SGM mentioned in the general's email, but I have a feeling that she won't get back to me.
|"A Marine on duty has no friends."|
This is what you need to do. Go through a Congressman. I'm sure someone, somewhere in office served in Korea.
e-mails do not cut it.
|Highly Experienced Member|
(Fixed the spacing for you. )
As to article itself, I agree 100%. I have a KDSM, and I only saw the DMZ on a tour, but it's clear to anyone with half a brain that DMZ Service should get a SSI-FWTS, the US accept the Service Medal the ROK offerred us so long ago and the UN should issue a Service Medal as well.
Thanks Shuman, that reads alot better. The article can also be picked up with a google search on "Korea – Half a Century of Armed Conflict With No Recognition".
I would extend the SSI-FWTS to all soldiers who operated in Area 1 from 1954 to 1968 and from 1974 to 1991 (when we went to a support roll and pulled off the DMZ).
|Powered by Social Strata||Page 1 2 3 4|