Outside The Wire

White House petition created to institute Army retirement medal

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Sgt. 1st Class Steven Janotta recently shared his idea for a retirement medal with the readers of Army Times, and he’s since garnered thousands of supporters. Now one soldier has gone so far as to lobby the commander-in-chief himself.

On Feb. 5, a White House petition was created compelling President Obama to consider instituting a retirement medal. The petition (which has a LONG way to go to reach the 100,000-signature threshold for actual consideration) states:

“If a Soldier continued faithful service for at least two decades or more to the US Army; then, their service and this significant event should be recognized in the same light of day as medals awards for achievement or commendation at the successful completion of a tour of duty; the only difference being this award would be a culmination of decades of successful tours of duty around the world.”

The petition, as of Monday afternoon, had only garnered 32 signatures. It needs 99,968 by March 7 to get a response from the White House.

The retirement medal has attracted a fair number of supporters, based on feedback on Army Times’ Facebook page and emails sent to Army Times editors and Janotta himself. It also, of course, has its fair share of detractors.

So, what do you think? Will you sign the petition?

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Comments

  1. David Rea (SSG, USA, Ret) Says:
    February 10th, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Should have happened a long time ago.

  2. James Sackett Says:
    February 10th, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    I agree with the thought of this Medal I will be retiring in a few months. I just don’t think it should sit higher than the Purple Heart

  3. ken meyerkorth Says:
    February 10th, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    This ‘medal’ should be a device associated with the default service medal. Because once you retire you don’t go back therefore creating a whole new medal is very redundant. Better to attach a silver “20″ to the service medal than a brand new medal. If the retirement is a thirty year then the device is gold. Excluding general officers, retirement should be mandatory at thirty years.

  4. Ken Mcneal Says:
    February 10th, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    I believe it’s a good idea to recognize those soldiers that have performed 20

  5. mark farley (msg,usa retired) Says:
    February 10th, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    to bad this was not done a long time ago

  6. Jenn Acker Says:
    February 10th, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Thank you for reaching out to others

  7. David J Says:
    February 10th, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Recognizing 20 years and retirement is good, but I agree with James – this medal should not be higher than valor awards or the Purple Heart.

  8. Ruben Hernandez Says:
    February 10th, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    It’s a great idea, yes we can, together as a Veteran Team we can. A retired Desert Storm Veteran….

  9. Harley Crawford Says:
    February 10th, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Not everyone dedicates 20 hers of their lives to military service. This medal is a MUST for ALL retired veterans.

  10. Angelita Patterson Says:
    February 10th, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Is this also for the reserve side of the house, plus how far back will they go or just for the future retiree’s. Well deserve medal

  11. Lois Armstrong Says:
    February 10th, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Yes, definitely!

  12. Fabian Balarezo Says:
    February 10th, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Yes..

  13. danny lewis Says:
    February 10th, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    I thank its a great thing to do for our military.

  14. John Do Says:
    February 10th, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Depnding on the rank and time in service, some people get the Legion of Merit or the Meritorious Service Medal; creating another medal will hurt those getting the LOM because their raters will be forced to award them with this proposed medal if it gets approve. If we go this way to award something for 20 years of service, I believe that there should be a device made for the service ribbon or make the service ribbon a medal. Can you imagine if we create a medal for every single thing that we think deserves a medal?

  15. Ginger Walsh Says:
    February 10th, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    It is about time,The Army gets the recognition they deserve.They are always the first to go and they certainly deserve a Retirement Medal !!!

  16. Jeff Gurchinoff (25 yr US Army Ret) Says:
    February 10th, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    It matters not to me. I think it is a great idea don’t get me wrong, I think the “Actual” 20 plus year retirees should be distinguished from the 1 or 2 year medical “Retiree”. I understand there are thousands of deserving individuals who because of injury are retired and compensated which is completely deserving for their sacrifice. It is a different individual who wears the uniform through multiple deployments and years and attains 20 plus years of service. It is these people I think that get looked over because they were lucky to have remained healthy enough to complete their time. They are also the individuals who are currently being belittled by our leaders in Washington and are told they do not “Deserve” their retirements. Criminal absolutely criminal. So if it is these representatives you are asking to approve a retirement medal, while you are at it ask them to have some respect and uphold the promise they made to us who have sacrificed years of our lives in defense of this country. You claim we can just get a job and in the very next briefing tell people that lost jobs due to Obamacare well they can just get higher healthcare subsidies and take up painting. We can get a job… they can take up painting and get free healthcare….. priorities, this country needs some.

  17. Eugene Speer Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 12:00 am

    His argument for this medal makes sense. Twenty or more years of service is a long period in a persons life. More than 4 years of my 21 were overseas and away from family and friends!

  18. Scott Miroddi Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 4:45 am

    Sure why not looks cool… They should have 20, 30 yr devices for service..

  19. Mike Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 7:22 am

    Isn’t the Good Conduct Medal good enough for this??? I can’t see there being another medal like this. Anyway, if you retire, where you plan on wearing this one anyway? And why??

  20. Anthony Harbison Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 7:42 am

    I wanted to add this to the petition when I started the petition; however, it has limited space, so I will try adding to here:

    RECOMMENDATION:
    Recommend the approval for the establishment of this medal for all personnel identified with an “Honorable” discharge as reflected on Department of Defense (DD) Form 214, Discharge Certificate.
    APPLICABILITY: This regulation applies to Active Duty, the Army National Guard/Army National Guard of the United States, and the U.S. Army Reserve, and all currently retired personnel (retroactive) as well as future double decade Soldiers whom receive a DD Form 214 that reads:
    BLOCK 24 = HONORABLE BLOCK 23 = RETIREMENT BLOCK 25 = AR 635-200, CHAP 12 or AR 600-8-24BLOCK 28 = SUFFICIENT SERVICE FOR RETIREMENT
    It is further recommend this medal –
    A)be assigned an order or precedence in accordance with (IAW) Army Regulation 600-8-22, Military Awards,
    Chapter 3-2, as deemed appropriate by the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, Army G-1, for inclusion within the following publications:
    - Army Regulation 600-8-22, Military Awards,
    - Army Regulation 672-8, Manufacture, Sale, Wear, And Quality Control Of Heraldic Items
    - Army Regulation 670-1, Wear And Appearance Of Army Uniforms And Insignia
    B)Recommend retroactive amendment for all previously published and issued DD Form 214 to reflect the addition ofthis medal with inclusion in block number 13 and subsequent update to Army Regulation 600-8-104, Army Military Human Resource Records Management.
    C)Recommend retroactive publication of military orders for awards as defined by Army Regulation 600-8-105, MilitaryOrders.
    D)Recommend the use of the Department of the Army Seal as detailed within Army Regulation 840-1, Department ofthe Army Seal, and Department of the Army Emblem and Branch of Service Plaques, Figure 3-1, and Section 3012, Title 10, United States Code (10 USC 3012), as the symbol embossed on the medal, with Army black and gold colors; gold numbers to identify years of service:
    a)have a separate identification symbol (numeral design) for service that exceeds 30 or more years.
    b)have a separate identification symbol (numeral design) for service that exceeds 20 or more years.

    E) this medal would not be a substitute for the award units normally give soldiers for their time in service award.
    FLAGGED SOLDIERS: Recommend individuals flagged under Army Regulation 600-8-2, Suspension Of Favorable
    Personnel Actions for the exceeding the standards of the Army Regulation 600-9, The Army Body Composition Program,
    are deemed still eligible to receive this award so long as a waiver for overweight is approved. As defined within Army
    Regulation 600-8-22, Chapter 1-17, b, an exception to for a Soldier who is flagged for overweight may be recommended
    for and presented the award based length of service retirement. A waiver of the overweight flag must be processed to
    the first general officer in the Soldier’s chain of command for approval or disapproval. Approval or disapproval authority
    is delegated to the first general officer in the chain of command. Waivers will be processed as separate and distinct
    actions from the award recommendation, and should be submitted and adjudicated prior to submission of the award
    recommendation. Approved waivers will accompany the award recommendation once submitted as defined within AR
    600-8-22, Chapter 1-17, b. In addition, Soldiers flagged for the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) as still eligible, without
    a waiver, as defined within AR 600-8-22, Chapter 1-17, a (1).

  21. Anthony Harbison Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Updated, as of Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014, at 10:49 AM, the signature count was 294.

  22. ryan Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Retirement awards are already awarded to deserving soldiers just like PCS and DTS awards. There is no need to create an entirely new medal specifically for retirement. If this new retirement award is created, would a retired SSG with 20 years of service receive the same award as a retired COL with 30 years service?

  23. Anthony Harbison Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    YES, WHY NOT ???

  24. Anthony Harbison Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Guidance within Army Regulation 600-8-22, Chapter 1-22, stipulates the Soldier’s last 10 years of service be recognized on a retirement award with a mention of total years within the citation; the intent behind this NEW award if for recognition of 20 OR more years (or 30 or more years) – AND – Eliminate the requirement for the RECOMMENDER of a Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) to write up any narrative to go along with the DA Form 638 for retirement awards (both the requirement for a DA Form 638 and narrative would be eliminated); with the use of Soldier’s DD Form 214 cited as authority for this new award, as defined by:

    DD Form 214 / BLOCK 23 = RETIREMENT
    DD Form 214 / BLOCK 24 = HONORABLE
    DD Form 214 / BLOCK 23 = RETIREMENT
    DD Form 214 / BLOCK 25 = AR 635-200, CHAP 12 or AR 600-8-24

    This also would lend more credibility to already diminished MSMs, which are often marginalized when handed out like candy by commands to every Soldier retiring.

    There are MANY Soldiers who exceed to 20 year requirement to qualify for retirement; for example I completed 25 years and 8 days. Not everyone can dedicate themselves to MORE THAN 20 years in the US Army. I could have checked out right at 20 years, but there is something to be said for Soldiers with 20 PLUS years of service also.

  25. R Gates Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Great Idea! Many serve with honor for a few years however, to retire after 20 or more years deserves it’s own distinct medal. It’s not about rank or who served more than the 20 years required for retirement. The medal would simply mean that a soldier carried the ball all the way to the end zone – to the best of their ability.y

  26. Anthony Harbison Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Disregard my above stated comment on eliminate the MSM as a retirement award. The MSM should still be used as an award for retirement.

  27. Vicente Rojas III Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    All power for it. :)

  28. John O'Brien Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    good

  29. Matt Swan Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    I’m all for this medal, but to single out someone who did 20 or more years and retired, vs. a Soldier who was medically retired due to combat wounds or training accidents is wrong. There is no way to tell if these Soldiers were on track to make it to 20 or 20+ so to not recognize their service is a slap in their face. And just because you did make it to 20 or 20+ with multiple deployments isn’t a solid reason in this day and age when there are many Soldiers who have 10, 15, even 18 years and have quite a few combat/non combat deployments under their belts. Please make a revision in there for those that answered the call, served selflessly, but do to no fault of their own were retired early. If all can serve, all can bleed, any can die, then any should be eligible for this award if this revision is added and they meet the criteria.

  30. C.D.Crawford II Says:
    February 12th, 2014 at 12:06 am

    Great idea, include all retirees no matter number years served to include retroactive award to all past retires.

  31. W. Lloyd Says:
    February 12th, 2014 at 11:24 am

    I still believe the retirement medal is a great concept. It is designed to honor all retirees past, present and future. Your DD 214 is the orders for the medal; if it states retired then you get the medal. Whether or not you choose to wear the hat, pin, sticker or whatever is up to you. Most everyone gets awarded MSM’s, ARCOM’s and AAM’s throughout their career for doing great things for the Army. The retirement medal is specifically designed for just retirement. When you look at a Soldiers’ picture or uniform, it tells a story. At your retirement ceremony you will be awarded the medal along with any other final medals you have been put in for.

  32. S. Janotta Says:
    February 12th, 2014 at 11:41 am

    The Retirement medal originally was designed to recognize those that retired from the Army. When you retire, you will get a medal for retirement. LOM, MSM, ARCOM, or an AAM. Some medals get downgraded. Some feel they earned more and some say they earned less. The retirement medal is a medal that cannot be downgraded. It is for retirement. However many years you put into the Army, the personnel that submit your award did not know you your entire career. That’s where medals get downgraded or upgraded. Again this medal cannot be up or downgraded. Any additional medals they submit such as mentioned above would be for the last duty assignment you served in the Army. So for example you can get the Army Retirement Medal and an ARCOM or whatever was submitted. The medal is for this significant event and prevents you from receiving a duplicated medal (if you will) for your dedicated service. This medal is a retroactive medal. So if you joined the Army in 1775 and met the criteria for retirement whether is was 20 or more years, or if you were medically retired then you get the Army Retirement Medal. The orders for the medal is your DD 214. This is to allow EVERYONE WHO HAS EVER RETIRED from the Army to have the medal. The number on the medal was to indicate the actual amount of years you served. The Good Conduct Medal and service stripes are awarded every three years to everyone as long as you didn’t get into trouble. The Army Retirement does the same, but says you retired, which is a great event. The number on the retirement medal can be dropped and just have the medal for retirement, which is an option to look at. The placement of the medal can go below valorous medals / combat medals, that is another option to look at. Only 18% of the Army actually retires. This medal is designed for those Soldiers that have, are, and will dedicate themselves to such an event. If you have already retired and feel as though you don’t need the medal, then don’t buy it. But keep in mind those that are dedicating themselves, such as you have done to achieve retirement, will have it presented to them at their retirement ceremony. If the Army Retirement Medal is approved.

  33. W. Lloyd Says:
    February 12th, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Also, saying that awarding this medal to retirees is like a slap in the face to those medically retired or chaptered out sounds like saying awarding medals to the winners of olympic events is like a slap in the face to any who couldn’t compete due to injury. Had I been out on a medical, I would not begrudge the awarding of this medal to retirees. That, in my opinion would be wrong.

  34. CPT Rodgers Says:
    February 12th, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    For currently retired personnel that are content with just a DD 214, a lapel pin, retirement pay and other benefits that seem to draw numerous complaints going forward; then, so be it. However, for future retirees, this award would provide them the opportunity to be acknowledged with a medal for honorably serving and reaching retirement eligibility in accordance with AR 635-200, Chapter 12 and AR 600-8-24. Needless to say, this is a colossal lifetime occurrence, for one can only retire from the US Army once. A majority of Soldiers joined the US Army for 2, 3, or 4 years to earn select benefits, or serve their country. Whatsoever their reasons are, I am sure they were well intended and demonstrated the willingness to share the calling of protecting our country. When these short term Soldiers elect to separate (not reenlist) for whatever purpose, they were most likely awarded a medal to recognize their service. On the flip side, there are Soldiers that elected to continue on with their commitment to the US Army (and country) as a way of life. With that dedication to commit themselves over and over again, deserves special recognition. The intent for the applicability for this proposed award is intended for all past, present, and future US Army Retirees.

  35. Tom Bosley Says:
    February 13th, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Sounds like a great thing to do. Almost all soldiers retiring from the Army Reserve do not receive a LOM, MSM, ARCOM OR AAR, a commander will but no one else. This would give the Army Reservist at least something to reconize his/her 20 years of service. Army Reserve does not give a DD 214 at retirement, just a 20 year letter. In my case I have a DD 214 from Vietnam and one from OJE that would show 20 years plus.

  36. SFC (Ret.) Anthony Harbison Says:
    February 13th, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    White House petition now has 401 signatures as of 1:24 PM on 13 Feb 2014.

  37. Matt Swan Says:
    February 13th, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    If ANY Soldier is retired whether he is a 20 year person or a medical retiree, the end result he is a retiree and should be treated with the same respect that we seem to be showing those that did 20+. That comparison is not a good one, being that no Olympian expects to be shot at, bombed, or back to back deployments. I am sensitive to medically retired Soldiers being they are the temporary norm right now, and they too should get this medal and get the numerical device that denotes their time in service. I’m not downing anyone that did their time whether it be 20yrs or 20 days. They came, they answered the call show them the same respect that GEN did. Time doesn’t have a rank associated it with it.

  38. P.Murphy Says:
    February 13th, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    I think that this award is a waste of money and time. What should be done is make it a requirement for all retirees to receive a Retirement award (MSM, LOM, DSM or other similiar decoration) based on years of honorable, faithful and reliable service. Also require that, if an award is not given, the responsible Commander must write a statement addressing why he or she is not deserving to the First General Officer for concurrance and then to the Army Chief of Staff or designate for final approval/disapproval of same. If the Commander chooses to award a Soldier on his retirement, it should be required that the award should be of a level matching the awardee’s rank, years of service and degree of appreciative responsibility and reputation but not allow a retiree to receive an award below the MSM for those accomplishing 20 and above years of service and no more than the MSM for those medically retired for peacetime injuries and the same as 20 + retirees for med retirement for wartime injuries.

  39. hogman Says:
    February 14th, 2014 at 7:34 am

    I believe this is a good idea in theory. However, having been retired now for almost 18 years, I have never worn my uniform since. Just no occasion to do so. I can’t see spending more tax payers money for this.

  40. SFC (Ret.) Anthony Harbison Says:
    February 14th, 2014 at 7:38 am

    TOTALLY DISAGREE WITH ABOVE STATEMENT

    “REQUIRED THAT THE AWARD SHOULD BE OF A LEVEL MATCHING THE AWARDEE’S RANK”.

    This feeds into the long been complaint that SFC should get MSMs and SSG should get ARCOMs.

    This new “Retirement Award” addresses this very issue ensuring Soldiers are recognized for 20 (or more) continuous years of service, regardless of rank.

    To add even more fuel to the fire the US Army just announced changes to how long Soldiers are allowed to stay in the service with the change to Retention Control Points (reference: ALARACT 026/ 14, DTG: 312112Z JAN 14); now a Soldier must attain the rank of Staff Sergeant / E6 in order to meet the minimum 20 year requirement to retire. Prior to this change, which became effective 01 Feb 2014, a Soldier in the rank of Sergeant (Promotable) /E-5 could have retired at 20 years of service (reference current version of Army regulation 601-280, Table 3-1).

    Based upon the flawed concept above, of an award level matching the rank, had the old policy stayed in place; I pose the obvious question to the author, to which level of award would a Sergeant E5 be commensurate too?

    If we say SFC get MSMs and SSG get ARCOMs, are we really going to pin an AAM on a Soldier for 20 years of service?

    Most rationale Soldiers would say no thank you sir, just please render me a “Honorable” DD Form 214 and I will frame that in place of any 20 year AAM.

    I served 25 years a Human Resource Sergeant (1985 – 2010), and as a S1 NCOIC in both TOE and TDA units, I “NEVER” witnessed (set up the event), nor heard of your average SFC receiving an LOM or DSM for retirement; by sad default the retirement award for a SFC in 2010 was the MSM and ARCOM for SSG (I am sure not much has changed since I retired 3 and half years ago).

    The primary point of focus on the new proposed award, emphasis the NUMERIC VALUE (years of service) coupled with honorable service for past, present, and future “DOUBLE DECADE” or TRIPLE DECADE” Soldiers.

  41. Matt Swan Says:
    February 14th, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    This award just proved how much “An Army of One” we really aren’t. If this is how it’s going to be played, then I say let the award go. The intent was good, execution with refinement would’ve been perfect, but not it comes down to the same ol BS of I did this and you didn’t, my rank trumps what you could’ve done or my rank deserves a higher award. How’s this for an easy solution to all this. Make it mandatory that anyone that retires gets a MSM regardless of time served, rank or position, and for those that got 20 or more, you got this nice trinket to show your buddies I did 20, no I did 25 or whatever.

  42. Mark Says:
    February 15th, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    “shouldn’t rank above a Purple Heart”

    To that I say, it in no way detracts from the Purple Heart or Bronze Star, or Silver Star, etc, if it were placed at the top of the ribbon rack. To those of you making that comment about valor awards, consider that there are already numerous non-valor awards that rank above valor awards: Distinguished Service Medals for each branch is a non-valor medal awarded to only General Offficers. It ranks ABOVE a Silver Star, the third highest medal for valor.

    But yeah, complain about a retirement award that only a small fraction of the military would ever earn, just like you complained about the Distinguished Warfare Medal that was meant to recognize the efforts of Remotely Piloted Aircraft crews or cyberwarfare specialists. BTW, those RPA crews do a damn good job of putting missiles into the bad guys and they don’t get any recognition for it – they are specifically barred from getting DFCs and Air Medals. They can only get Aerial Achievement Medals (an AF only award, not DoD-level) and those AAMs can’t be used for single action awards like a strike, only for X-amount of combat support sorties flown.

  43. S. Janotta Says:
    February 16th, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    I think were beating each other up over opinions about the medal, kind of like when we put someone in for a medal. What did they do? What rank are they? Why should they get the medal? We all know the drill. Been there did that. We all have. The purpose of the medal was to recognize all soldiers regardless of rank and MOS for their commitment equal and the same to eliminate debate. Granted some did different than others. But we all worked together in one way shape or form to accomplish missions, tasks that we couldn’t do independently. The medal is designed to recognize those who chose to retire. I have seen some come in for a couple of years and do a great job, but chose to get out. That’s great; you volunteered and did your part. I have seen some come in and stay in till they retired, which is also great. We all have. With that you would see them both get the same medal, granted not all. Again the medal was designed to take the emotions, rank, and MOS out of getting a retirement award. This medal would recognize you for your retirement and that would be the only way you could get it, by retiring. Yes, you do get benefits for retiring, but the medal is for retired, almost everyone gets a medal when they get out or retire. This medal is to recognize those who chose to retire. Now Soldiers can be recognized for retiring with their own medal that is not the same as a short termer, nothing against that, we made choices to stay in or get out. But as you read previous comments, this would take the emotions out of getting a retirement award. Some do not want or care for recognition, that’s great and your choice. At the end of your career you’re going to be recognized whether you want to or not. True you will probably never wear it except for your retirement ceremony. But you have one and that would be your choice what you do with it just like all the other medals and badges you have earned. Awarding a Soldier who retires this medal would cost no different than awarding any other medal they would get for retirement.

  44. David D'Arcy Says:
    February 17th, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Why? You wear medals on uniforms. Why spend millions on a medal that won’t see service? We couldn’t get a Cold War Victory medal, which to me is more meaningful.

  45. SFC (Ret.) Anthony Harbison Says:
    February 18th, 2014 at 7:45 am

    What does “Cold War Victory medal” have to do with 20 years of service, during ANY period of service? If you served during the Cold War era is not relevant to the issue at hand. You are missing the point, in reference to your “won’t see service” comment; the medal would be PINNED ON future Soldiers during their retirement ceremony while they are still in uniform. In addition, personnel who have already retired would also be eligible to apply for the award.

  46. Retired Vet Says:
    February 18th, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Feel good idea, worthless otherwise. You want to honor retired soldiers. Fire that Congressman or Senator who agreed to steal their pay a few weeks ago.

    I personally would not take any medal that this President had his name near.

    I suspect most Vets feel the same.

  47. johnny armenta Says:
    February 18th, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    it’s about time after serving 20 honorable active service years to our country. i am alll for it. thank you.

  48. Matt Says:
    February 18th, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Isn’t it standard to receive a series of meritorious service medals in the Army, to include upon retirement? Is there no ribbon that reflects years served? A separate medal seems superfluous.

  49. SFC (Ret.) Anthony Harbison Says:
    February 19th, 2014 at 7:25 am

    To answer the question above “Isn’t it standard to receive a series of meritorious service medals in the Army, to include upon retirement?”, the answer is no. There is no standard set for receiving a series of MSMs (Reference: Army Regulation 600-8-22, Chapter 1-22) and the MSM is often (but not the standard) the award given at retirement to Senior NCO and LOM to field grade (O-4) and above officers.

  50. Chris Says:
    February 19th, 2014 at 10:10 am

    This is flawed…the originator is attempting to make the case that every single soldier who retires deserves an award that cannot be upgraded nor downgraded, and should be at a level of precedence that gives it significance….hogwash!! AGREED, retiring at 20+/- years for whatever reason is a significant accomplishment. AGREED, the accomplishment should be appropriately recognized. Just making it to retirement is NOT always a commandable accomplishment. There are those who retire in lieu of Court Martial, or those who received some sort of UCMJ which results in an immediate requirement to retire. Should they also receive this retirement award that supposedly stands for and represents a longstanding career of everincreasing accomplishments?? NO. No they should not. Agreed that not everyone receives the GCMDL every three years, there is a reason for that, this medal would then be counter to that. And as far as just acknowleding retirement? If strictly for retirement then it still is not needed. Other awards exist to recognize 20+/- years of service culminating in retirement. Do I agree with awards designated by rank? No. If commanders and NCO’s who write the retirement awards are truely doing their job, they will get copies of the persons previous awards and elavuatuion reports to construct a write up for said retirement award, then once the award is written let the accomplishments of that person speak to the level of award to be recommended. Thats how you do that. Then the entire length of service is truely spoken for…to include those late in career “aw shits” that on occassion results in an immediate retirement. If you end up with an LOM, so be it. If you end up with an AAM, again, so be it. As I read this, this award is only for length of service, but is supposed be of a precendence that would be of signifance. This just don’t work. Everyone know, you can’t just say…as an EXAMPLE…this award is higher than the MSM, or even equivilant to the MSM, and honors just longevity of service (20+/- years) without taking into consideration that some who reitre WILL NOT deserve an award of that precedence. Its a novel idea, commandable even, but when you truely examin all the other criteria, where you would like to have this award in the order of precedence and what it would represent, along with what all the other existing awards represent, well, as my friends in the Navy say, this ship don’t float. Its counter to too many other existing awards when you look at all the awards presently in existence. If someoone doesn’t like what they received as a retirement award, be it an AAM or a LOM, maybe, just maybe, they should have put a little more effort in while they were serving. As for our friends in the Guard and Reserve who state they do not receive retirement award at the culmination of their service resulting in a retirement, that is a command and leaderhsip problem, not an award problem.

  51. Mark Dutton Says:
    February 19th, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    I thought after 20 years you were paid by the government for the rest of your life. Now you think you deserve a medal more then the guy that only spent 10 years but may have been wounded or scared for life and not able to stay in for 20 years. Yeah sounds like a great idea for people that should not have any need for a medal. When you retire you don’t walk around as a civilian wearing your military medals anyway. Good grief!

  52. SFC (Ret.) Anthony Harbison Says:
    February 20th, 2014 at 7:33 am

    Based upon the context of the above cited comments; it is obvious you either:

    A) never worn the uniform

    B) served one enlistment and went back to civilian life, or

    C) served 10 years and separated for a reason you may regret now that you see the life time pay benefit for serving a full 20 years.

    Collecting half your base pay for the rest of your life is not what drives an individual to serve 20 or more years. Looking back on it now; I could serve 10 years standing on my head.

    Those of us you have made this multiple decade commitment to country, do so in the belief we can better prepare the next generation coming in behind us to stay alive in battle and garrison.

    No rational person who may receive this medal will pin it to civilian attire and parade around like a lunatic. The author above fails to acknowledge the significance of how much an individual must push themselves to endure the grind of PT every morning at 6:00 AM, going to the field and freezing your rear off, separated from love ones for extended periods of time (more than a year).

    As the passage from the movie “A Few Good Men” when Colonel Jessep (Jack Nicholson) says:

    “We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a LIFE SPENT DEFENDING SOMETHING. You use them as a punch line. I HAVE NEITHER THE TIME NOR THE INCLINATION TO EXPLAIN MYSELF TO A MAN WHO RISES AND SLEEPS UNDER THE BLANKET OF THE VERY FREEDOM THAT I PROVIDE, AND THEN QUESTIONS THE MANNER IN WHICH I PROVIDE IT.”

    The same hold true to the author above; unless you have marched in the boots of a double or triple decade Soldier, you would not understand how a typical retiree views this proposal. Formal recognition of multiple decade service, in uniform, means very much to a retiree; not the current policy of receiving the Army Retiree Lapel Button (positioned in the recipient’s hand with a hardy handshake) an item than can only be worn on civilian attire (ref: AR 600-8-22, Chapter 1-32, Sub-paragraph I).

  53. SFC (Ret.) Anthony Harbison Says:
    February 20th, 2014 at 7:51 am

    “Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifice.”
    President Harry S. Truman

  54. Bonaparte Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    I’d go for the idea with three caveats:

    1. The DD214 hasn’t been around since the Revolution, and is post WW2, for the sake of the author. You can’t make the DD214 the retroactive standard for issuance then.

    2. The medal should be approved at the Battalion level. You’d say “Why, this should be at the MSM level?”… but how many times do you know of units having to jump through hoops at the last moment just because the medal has to be approved at the Brigade or Division level. How many hands and desks does it pass through to be lost or changed? Has anyone thought this out in how much additional paperwork collectively it might take at the higher level? Does this mean you’d have to make this a 180 day out from retirement submission?

    3. Order of precedence: Just above the Army Service Ribbon. Coming in and going out share honor together, and this gets around the 20 years vs. 4 medically retired issue.

    That’s it. Sidebar: The Purple Heart is something that happens to you, sometimes by “luck”, and is not something you do. Therefore it should be in the middle between personal decorations (things you do) and campaign medals (places you’ve been).

  55. Mark Metzler, SSG, USA Retired Says:
    February 22nd, 2014 at 12:03 am

    Well, I was signature #592. However, just a note, when I submitted paperwork for retirement in 1994, and it was approved, I was informed by my Company Commander, my status automatically became non promotable, non moveable/deployable, and I was therefore of no use to the command. When I submitted my 88 days termination leave, they just hit the wall, and I submitted it just 15 months in advance. Life was really fun until I left. I rescued a family from an off post San Francisco mansion house fire, this was just three weeks until my termination leave. I was given a Generals coin, for my afford, oh and an article in post newspaper. The award is a good idea and thoughtful gesture, but the President won’t support this and neither will his Commanders. It’s just my thought process.

  56. SFC (Ret.) Anthony Harbison Says:
    February 24th, 2014 at 7:52 am

    In reference to the flawed statement stated above, item # 54:

    “YOU CAN’T MAKE THE DD214 THE RETROACTIVE STANDARD FOR ISSUANCE THEN.”

    Your premise of the argument falls well short of common sense.

    If the first DD Form 214 was issued in 1950; then, anyone who pursued a request for this award with a DD Form 214 dated 1950 would be 102 years old this year (if they joined at age 18 and retired at age 38 = 20 years).

    The expectation there are people in excess of age 102 years old today, who are going to get cheated out of getting this award is ridiculous. (Reference: National Archives at St. Louis, History of DD Form 214 – http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/dd-214.html

    Before January 1, 1950, several similar forms were used by the military services, including the WD AGO 53, WD AGO 55, WD AGO 53-55, NAVPERS 553, NAVMC 78PD and the NAVCG 553.)

    The use of the DD Form 214 is the perfect document to serve as a source document, in the confirmation of service for anyone UNDER the age of 102 years old !!!

    As to the statement the MSM is at Battalion level, the author fails to know whom the approval authority for an MSM is. I will give you one guess and it is NOT the Battalion Commander. The approval authority for the MSM is a one-star BRIGADIER GENERAL (equal to your typical Assistant Division Commander – Reference: Army Regulation 600-8-22, Table 3-1). After these two obvious flawed statements, I gave up reading the rest of whatever point was trying to be made.

  57. Retiree Says:
    February 25th, 2014 at 9:08 am

    A true waste of money!

  58. SFC (Ret.) Anthony Harbison Says:
    February 26th, 2014 at 6:55 am

    As of 25 Feb 2014, at the very least, 679 people disagree with the statement above (item # 57) who stated: “A true waste of money!”.

    Reference: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/establishment-20-or-30-years-service-us-army-retirement-award/kblcN3Vl

  59. Afred Lord Lord Says:
    February 26th, 2014 at 9:02 am

    I served for 21 years and think the medal is a good idea, retired as Sfc in 1971

  60. Matthew Says:
    February 27th, 2014 at 1:07 am

    Nah, 20 years active duty is plenty of time to get awards based on merit and action, not simply serving. Add “, Retired” to your former title, drink water, take motrin, and drive on… ’cause it don’t mean nothing…

  61. Matthew Says:
    February 27th, 2014 at 1:25 am

    For the easily offended I’ll clarify my above “’cause it don’t mean nothing statement,” I was combining a cadence reference and a popular Johnny Cash song lyric. I wont return to this page to view any of your internet rage or get in a pissing contest. If you love the idea, sign the petition and recruit 99,000+ supporters.

  62. Ruben Hernandez Says:
    February 27th, 2014 at 1:37 am

    As retired Vietnam Era Veteran & a Desert Storm Veteran I totally support instituting a Retirement Medal.
    1SG Hernandez (Retired)…

  63. Tom Bosley Says:
    February 28th, 2014 at 3:33 am

    I retired from the army reserve with 13 months infantry combat in vietnam and 9 months in OJE for a total of 28 years active and reserve. Reserve soldiers retiring do not get a DD214 only a 20 year letter. It is very, very, very rare for a reserve soldier retiring to get any medal such as a MSM or LOM unless they are a E-9 or an officer. Getting anything less than a MSM or LOM such as a ARCOM or AAR would be an insult to a retiring reserve soldier. At my last reserve day as a 1SG I asked the commander if I would receive any retirement medal and she said that she had only been the commander for 2 months and did not know me well enough to submit me for a MSM, LOM, ARCOM or a AAR at retirement. If she had tried to give me a ARCOM or AAR I would have told her to keep it. Sometimes nothing is better. Bottom line it would be good to give a retirement mdeal.

  64. SFC (Ret.) Anthony Harbison Says:
    February 28th, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Mr. Tom Bosley, you bring up a great point. They would need to establish some sort or criteria for a reserve soldier to receive this proposed new medal. I hope they do for your sake and for the sake of those whom have served as members of the reserve.

  65. SSG(R) Michael Treglazoff Says:
    March 4th, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    I think its a great idea, I did my 24-years, where do I sign the petition? I’m thinking it should be placed just above the Army Service Ribbon you get when you first enter military service.

  66. Ross Says:
    March 10th, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    This is just the silliest thing I’ve ever heard . For an army awash with “medals” for doing our job – just plain crazy – 24 year infantryman

  67. A Retiree Says:
    March 11th, 2014 at 5:27 am

    If you create just one standard award; maybe then undeserving Officers wouldn’t receive a LOM.

  68. SFC (Ret.) Anthony Harbison Says:
    March 11th, 2014 at 6:10 am

    As to the comment (item 66 this page) “This is just the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. For an army awash with “medals” for doing our job – just plain crazy – 24 year infantryman”

    It (this subject) was just silly enough for you to take the time and effort to scroll all the way to the bottom of this page and motivate you to write something. For this simple reason alone, should be cause for deliberate debate.