Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Dave Gets A Silver Star!
In response to my previous post asking why Air Force Officers shun wearing their ribbons, the all-knowing Dave at Garfield Ridge provided a very accurate answer. (Must have had help from the 'Shiny Big Bird-wearing' folks in his office) Dave will now be put in for the Air Force Silver Star, and upon receipt he can hang it next to his old TGI-Friday's vest loaded with 'Flair Pins'. ArmyNurseBoy gets the Air Force Bronze Star for his comments, though he'll probably just use it to pull the rocks and gum from his boots.
"IMHO, the reason why Air Force officers don't wear ribbons and awards on their shirts is probably pretty simple: insecurity.
Unlike the other services, the Air Force is overwhelmingly staffed with desk jockeys-- they don't call it the "Chair Force" for nothing. For every officer pilot or aircrew you meet, you're liable to run into many more officers who only get close to planes while flying TDY.
Now, in the infinitely correct wisdom of Big Blue, each of these officers-- whether they fly satellites at a terminal, supervise an engine depot, or push paper in a budget shop-- they all deserve recognition. After all, the pilots may fly the planes, but the rest of the service makes the planes fly. It's a team, right?
Unfortunately, Captain Bob and Major Jane back in CONUS don't get campaign ribbons for flying shit-hots over the sandpit. Instead, they stock up on candy like commendations and the Meritorious Service Medal.
Now, most of these are well-deserved, and quite often, they don't come close to measuring the true worth of the recipient's accomplishments. Unfortunately, however, all too often awards like this are "perfect attendance" awards-- handed out at the end of a tour merely for showing up at your job. Hell, I've even seen people pick up oak leaf clusters for planning stuff like Christmas parties and General Officer retirement ceremonies.
So, back to the insecurity: if you're an Air Force officer who's never set foot inside a combat plane, let alone inside a combat zone, would you want to telegraph that fact by displaying a chestful of bogus salad, replete with ribbons for "Shorthand" and "Best Posture"? No, of course not.
Not wearing the ribbons and awards may be a way for the rest of the Air Force to keep the pilots and aircrews from showing off any more than their wings already do. If no one is allowed to show off, ergo, no one feels excluded from the team.
Then again, this is just a theory on my part-- I'm just an idiot civilian observer of Pentagon life. But I work with some pilots, and in whispers this morning, my theory sounds as good as any to them."
posted by El Capitan at 5:22 PM
Huh. Whaddya know-- I must've paid attention at some point all these years.
Glad I could help out. . . if I did. I'm so confused. . .
Good luck with your ribbons, I'm sure you've earned yours. /cough/
I sold the most cookies last year, which got me what I have today. Of course I was going door to door in Iraq.7:13 AM
Awww c'mon, I'd never do that to a medal....even if it was AF..... ;o)5:50 PM