That blog was as a result of a press release three days early that told of the story and recommendation that a bar, and later a letter "V" for valor that was in place on suspension ribbons for any second medal recipients for decades was too little. The Department of Defense thought it time that the "V" be tossed and an actual second medal be issued. DOD however also argued that while the hero was important enough to wear a 2nd medal, he or she was not important enough to also get the authorized special payment, currently at $1,000 a month to MOH recipients, doubled as well.
Penny wise and pound foolish at best!
The April 2013 letter from DOD to Congress that presumably got this ball rolling did not, according to the press release of the day, advocate that any other medals be duplicated in cases where a second was later awarded.
In this space back on May 20th you read that the whole issue was somewhat redundant for the very reason that there has not been a double recipient since October of 1918. Millions have gone to war since that day and not one individual was awarded two of these most prestigious medals for their bravery. So what, I noted, was the point of the exercise?
Well folks, I thought I had the ear of congress but I guess not!
After many a hearing the above committee issued a 35 page report of its findings and decisions regarding several meetings dealing with the Department of Defense, and national security programs. It received a 23-3 overwhelming vote and passed its findings. Presumably they are... or are on their way to becoming law in the US.
At page ten of the document, under the title of Military Personnel Policy, item 8 states that the new bill ...
Note that there is no comment with regards to pensions that may or may not come with a second medal, nor an effective date of implementing the change. Also note that while the DOD, per the earlier release did not advocate any other medals to be issued in double situations, now the bill allows this to happen not only with the MOH but also the DSC and the DSM. Nor is there any indication if these new procedures are retroactive. For example, can descendants now claim another medal to a double recipient of back in1908?
A couple of paragraphs below this change was another of most interest. Here it is. The new law ...
This appears to amalgamate all the individual honour rolls into one massive listing of over 3,500 recipients. In fact it is much more complicated than that. By its very wording.... "each person who has been awarded a Medal of Honor" is going to open up a real can of worms... and perhaps it should.
Back in 1916 the Purge removed over 900 names from the honor rolls of the day as they did not fit the new requirements of the day for the awarding of the medal. The rules were changed and many that held the Medal for over 50 years when then deemed no longer qualified and had there names removed from the lists. But there names were once on a list. They WERE awarded the medal, and by the poor wording above, seem to qualify to be again re-entered on the new Honor Roll.
About 600 of the rescinded medals ought not to be reissued but the rest should. But there is the question about the legality of the way they were all removed, those authorized and those not, and should that argument ever go before the appropriate authorities rather than bureaucrats, all medals rescinded may well be reissued.
A can of worms few would wish to tackle. I brought you blogs about this on 3, 4 and 5 January.
You can Google them to reread about the purge and why it was illegal. The first was entitled.... The answer often depends on how the question is asked, the 2nd was... I've got some good news and I've got some bad, and the 3rd was called... NO depriving of property without due process of law. For the 2nd article you might have to add the words... Canadian Medal of Honor ... also.