I'm posting this to see the downside of requesting the AFEM for Panama in 1990.
I was in the 82d ABN DIV and did not deploy as part of the invasion force for OPERATION JUST CAUSE. I did arrive in Panama somewhere around 26 Jan 1990 (which is still within the campaign participation dates) but it was for the Jungle Warfare Course at JOTC. I recently found out at a facebook reunion that at least one other person I was with was awarded the AFEM for OJC.
I've heard that JOTC was the only TRADOC unit to receive campaign participation credit for OJC.
My only documentation is my Certificate of Training showing the dates of the course (26 Jan 90 thru Feb 90) and my original LES showing Imminent Danger Pay during that time period. Solid stuff but not an award order.
Am I being a ****** requesting the AFEM and entry of 1 month of overseas duty on my ERB? It would be my second AFEM, so the only bling would be a bronze service star but I feel this urge to have it documented in my service record before I separate.
Highly Experienced Member
14000 posts as Cider33Alpha
If it's authorized, you should get it documented, but personally I think it would be a little cheesy to wear even that little star. That's just me.
|Highly Experienced Member|
I disagree with Cider on this a little because if Congress authorized it, it ran the gauntlet of Defense Chiefs and past War Veterans in the DoD and on the Congressional Staffer side.
Cider is right in that some of your peers might think it is cheezy. Hey, I am officially a wartime Veteran thanks to Congress. Only because two fairly major military operations happened when I was enlisted (Beirut and Grenada) plus I think terrorists were pretty active bombing everything overseas as well.
I didn't get any medals or ribbons out of the deal BUT I got the National Cemetary burial rights and American Legion Membership. It doesn't bother me because I had no control over the designation and honestly the American Legion is getting the better end of the deal $$$ with support money.
If JOTC participants were eligible for the ribbon it meant they were probably a local QRF or at risk to participate in Operation Just Cause if something went wrong and they were needed. So if it was me I would wear the star and just tell the others that complain that it wasn't up to you who got what awards.
1. The unit that operated the Jungle Operations Training Center was redesignated the Jungle Operations Training Battalion (JOTB) during the invasion of Panama in December 1989. The battalion was notified of possible contingency operations as tensions between the American and Panamanian governments increased, and prepared and trained accordingly. The JOTB was augmented with additional combat and combat support assets and as JUST CAUSE began, was designated Task Force Sherman. The task force served with the 3rd Brigade, 7th Infantry Division (Light) as part of Task Force Atlantic.
Task Force Sherman successfully maintained the security and defense of Fort Sherman and the Gatun Locks complex, including numerous key communications and transportation facilities, the Gatun Locks, dam, spillway bridge, and hydroelectric plant. The Task Force also cleared and 27 towns and villages, and 140 kilometers of coastline. They conducted 19 air assaults and Civilian Military Operations in four villages. Patrols from Task Force Sherman eliminated all Hunter Platoons south of the Rio Chagres, captured numerous prisoners of war, weapons, and large amounts of ammunition and equipment. They cleared the town of Portobello, Isla Grande and other villages located north of Colon during a joint operation with Navy SEALs and Special Operations Aviation. Patrols continued until 12 January 1990, when Task Force Sherman became the reserve for Task Force Atlantic. The Jungle Operations Training Battalion was awarded a battle streamer for its actions during Operation JUST CAUSE, making it the only TDA unit in the U.S. Army to receive this distinction.
The JOTB returned to its primary mission of training light infantry units in the art of jungle warfare after Operation JUST CAUSE.
2. So you would be seeking the AFEM for being part of a Reserve Force for six days. Just cause lasted for 42 days.
If you can convince a review board that you meet the description in AR 600-8-22
"Service members must be bona fide members of a unit participating in or be engaged in the direct support of the
operation for 30 consecutive days in the area of operations (or for the full period when an operation is less than 30
days duration) or for 60 nonconsecutive days provided this support involved entering the area of operations or meet
one or more of the following criteria:
(1) Be engaged in actual combat, or duty which is equally as hazardous as combat duty, during the operation with
armed opposition, regardless of time in the area;
(2) Is wounded or injured and requires medical evacuation from the area of eligibility while participating in the
operation, regardless of time;
(3) Accumulate 15 days service (consecutive/nonconsecutive) while participating as a regularly assigned crewmember
of an aircraft flying sorties into, out of, within, or over the area in direct support of the military operation. One
day’s service is credited for the first sortie flown on any day. Additional sorties flown on the same day receive no
If so, go ahead and apply. The worst you can receive is...
_________ ________ ______ GRANT FULL RELIEF
________ ________ ________ GRANT PARTIAL RELIEF
________ ________ ________ GRANT FORMAL HEARING
__FU____ __CK____ ___UU____ DENY APPLICATION
|Highly Experienced Member|
Earned is earned, if you qualified for it, apply for it.
Actually, I think JPfromTN nailed it. I surf at the Review Board, too. Thank you for researching that.
Edit: I see that updating my ERB wouldn't be a 'd*o*u*c*h*e' move as it's intended as provenance for genealogy purposes.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Rochambeau,
Highly Experienced Member
14000 posts as Cider33Alpha
I agree with that R. - I already said documenting it if authorized is the thing to do. It's wearing it that makes me uneasy. G/L at any rate.
So you lucked out. It's really up to you if the paperwork is worth it at this point. If you are still in you probably already have several combat awards. If you're out, it's probably a moot point.
As far as Panama goes, I was there for an exercise in early '92. A number of IMA guys rotated through SOCSOUTH while I was there, all of them had combat patches. They were too young for Vietnam and the way they talked, none of them had been in Grenada or Desert Storm.
Long story short, they told me they had been on AT at SOCSOUTH when Just Cause broke out and they all got their SSI-FWS then. Talk about a great AT!
It's only cheesy if you wear it and tell people "I was on the first chalk that jumped in!" or some other BS.
If you qualified, get it put on a DD215 and put it on the rack.
Thanks for everyone's advice and input. I had the dates entered on my ERB and it was as easy as a single email. Apparently, just the training certificate was all that was needed to justify the entry. Overseas duty need not be exclusively in a designated combat zone to have it entered and it'll help if anyone starts doing math with the overseas service bars in my DA photos.
I know the feeling. My first trip to Afghanistan was under the 30 day requirement for the OEF medal. I hated having people quiz me why I wore a combat patch but no Afghan medal. I always felt like having to explain myself = poser. Second trip took care of all that.
Since I was the First Sergeant and Chief Instructor of A Co, JOTB at the time you mention, I think I ought to add something. I don't remember starting a Jungle School rotation until late February of 1990. We finished our contingency operations for Just Cause in late January, and I'm pretty sure we didn't start a new rotation until at least 30 days after that. My memory isn't perfect, but I'm fairly sure. We had a lot of cleanup to do and had to get 3rd of the '04 out of the barracks and back to the states and get Col Kellogg's brigade HQ out of our buildings. We also had to do several rehearsals of classes and certify new OCs before we could start the school back up.
You say you have a certificate for the course. May I ask who signed it?
Robert C. Oberlender
1SG, USA Ret.
I looked at the certificate this morning. It was signed by my battalion commander, LTC Paul Tiberi, with February 16th, 1990 as the completion date. I didn't realize it until nown, but the signature block has our unit as a "TF" instead of 'A.I.R.' I suspect that you were looking for the JOTB commander's signature block.
Thanks for your interest in the subject.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Rochambeau,
Ughh. That wasn't the edit button.
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