Time for Hack to Shut Up


Active member
Im starting to find myself really annoyed at columnist and military personality David Hackworth. I don't know how many of you ever read his column, but latly he's been talking a hell of alot about the unfair rewards the army and navy have been handing out. I do agree with him, but here my problem. Heres a guy who won several silver and bronze stars in Nam, and he has the ego to complain that others are getting the same thing. He needs to put aside the whole concept of medals completly, how can one of our most honored soldiers loose sight of what exactly we fight for? It's not medals is it?

Anyway, heres his latest column:

This is a very interesting subject.
I do agree with him, medals of high valor should be handed out very carefully.
And that the soldier he was talking about deserved a h..l of a lot more than a bronze star if what Jessica Lynch did made her deserve one...
Medals are a very good thing to motivate soldiers who deserve it, and others who knows about the situations leading to the medals.

Here in Norway we have two different "categories" of medals.
The ones that's "lower" than the normal military service medal (handed out after 6-12 months of service). examples: If you take the marching and shooting merit badge for 6-8 years you get a medal/ribbon for it..
And we have the ones "higher" than the service medal.
Like your bronze/silver star and for long and faithful service and so on...
These medals should be handed out very carefully, and only to soldiers who really deserve it.

I don't know if Hackworth did deserve his silver and bronze stars in Nam, but I asume that he did..
If this is the case I think that he has the right to complain about unfair rewards.
Medals like this is supposed to mean something special, and when they are handed out to soldiers who does not deserve them it affects the ones who does.
Even if we do not fight for medals (most of us), getting one is a great honor and motivation, and it's one of the only ways for you to know that your actions/efforts are noticed and appreciated by your superiors.

Hm. I hope that you understand my Norwenglish.... :D
Well since Im not in the military, Ill take your word for it. But Im just concerned that Hack has gone so radical in his defense of the common grunt, that he's lost track of what and why you actually fight wars.
Well, on my personal judgment of what you're arguing, the fact is that even if some of Hack's 'fruit salad' is ginned up, no way in hell can it be entirely. The magnitude of those awards and the quantity of them are simply too great to have been awarded frivolously without any stink being raised.

And regardless of the fact that he may seem like pissing and moaning all the time, it is a very important issue. Because when I see a Bronze Star on up, I expect it to have been awarded for displaying some serious cojones in combat, not for being a REMF.

And for an example of what Hack had to go through in Vietnam in this respect goes as follows (described in his autobiography 'About Face'). His brigade commander, Colonel Ira Hunt, put himself in for the Distinguished Service Cross for a battle in which he did jack shit except play 'Great Squad Leader in the Sky' and came up to Hack for seconding the citation. Hack refused and the colonel offered to put Hack's unit in for the Valorous Unit Citation, a very big award for a unit. Hack refused to do so, even though he felt his unit deserved that award. Even without Hack, the colonel got the DSC and Hack's unit got screwed out of a VUC.

Just a passing though or two...
I say boycot political commentators altogether. Just give me the news and I'll form my own opinions. I don't need anyone to tell me my opinion of the news. I tend to align myself as a conservative, but I hate conservative commentators just as much as liberal commentators. It's all bad news when you publicize your opinion into the news.
I have to say I entirely agree with the outrage about the unfairness of the whole situation in question, but I gotta add something here. I say this about just near about everything that people piss and moan about, but complaining about this ad nauseum will not change anything. Pointing out that the awarding of certain medals to certain individuals is politically motivated is all well and good, but unfortunately, it is a factor of life that has always been and will always be present. It is found throughout life, both civilian and military, and favoritism, nepotism, and general unfairness are just the results of human nature and are not going away. It's a *****, but sometimes you just have to deal with, cowboy up and drive on. F.I.D.O.
I have to agree with hack on this one. Its not the awarding of the medals that is disturbing its the tarnishing of the memory in which others have gotten it for far greater sacrafice and devotion. Think about how those Vietnam vets feel when the pin on the same Bronze star that Jessica lynch does or any of the other politically or publicity motivated awards that have been given out. I think its time the American Armed forces take a step back and learn what the true meaning of some of these awards really is.
To: GuyontheRight,
Did you bother reading the column in question or did you just misunderstand it? My take on it is that Hack felt the Marine in question deserved more than a Bronze Star for Valor. He suggests the marine deserved a Navy Cross or perhaps even a Medal of Honor! Col. Hackworth is a voice in the wilderness-he is unique. I can't think of another journalist since Ernie Pyle who has been so dedicated to sticking up for the Troops, the Enlisted Men, the guys who actually do the fighting! Far from wishing him to shut up-we need to hear more from him! I have the honour to remain,
Your Most Humble Obedient servant,
Kevin J. Mansfield,
Adkins, Texas.