Monday, December 17, 2012


This is coolbert:

"'to bestow the award recommended might encourage any other staff officer, under similar conditions, to ignore the local commander, possibly interfering with the latter's plans'"

The USAF pilot Fisher having won the Medal of Honor [MoH] during the Vietnam War; valor and bravery of this aviator while in direct combat with the adversary at close quarters unquestionable. Some however may suggest that such action was not within the normal limits of battlefield comportment, rather Myers exercising initiative in a way that was reckless, however courageous?

Douglas Mac Arthur during the American Vera Cruz Expedition of 1914 while on an intelligence mission  displaying considerable mettle while in mortal combat, bravery ordinarily for which the man would have awarded the MoH [called the Congressional Medal of Honor at the time] but in this specific instance the decoration DENIED!

"MacArthur was recommended for the Medal of Honor by General Leonard Wood, a Medal of Honor recipient himself, for a daring act of reconnaissance alone in enemy territory during the Vera Cruz (1914) action. The award was denied because MacArthur's actions, while authorized at the highest levels in Washington, D.C., had been conducted without the knowledge of the local commander, Frederick Funston."

That recommendation based upon the actions of Mac Arthur again while on an intelligence gathering mission as described in the wiki entry and as liberally extracted:

 "1 May 1914. He [Mac Arthur] realized that the logistic support of an advance from Veracruz would require the use of the railroad. Finding plenty of railroad cars in Veracruz but no locomotives, MacArthur set out to verify a report that there were a number of locomotives in Alvarado, Veracruz. For $150 in gold, he acquired a handcar and the services of three Mexicans, whom he disarmed. MacArthur and his party located five engines in Alvarado, two of which were only switchers, but the other three locomotives were exactly what was required. On the way back to Veracruz, his party was set upon by five armed men. The party made a run for it and outdistanced all but two of the armed men, whom MacArthur shot. Soon after, they were attacked by a group of about fifteen horsemen. MacArthur took three bullet holes in his clothes but was unharmed. One of his companions was lightly wounded before the horsemen finally decided to retire after MacArthur shot four of them. Further on, the party was attacked a third time by three mounted men. MacArthur received another bullet hole in his shirt, but his men, using their handcart, managed to outrun all but one of their attackers. MacArthur shot both that man and his horse, and the party had to remove the horse's carcass from the track before proceeding."

A whole lot of activity for nothing and at GREAT RISK OF LIFE AND LIMB. That Mac Arthur was a soldier of some outstanding behavior on the battlefield not afraid to mix it up in a firefight without question! The action of Mac Arthur, even when successful and obviously a display of great courage and valor, was done without prior authorization and while not in violation of orders or perhaps even policy or rules of engagement, had not been APPROVED IN ADVANCE!

 Initiative on the part of those in the officer class is encouraged but only to the degree that results are POSITIVE and then even then only again to that DEGREE of measure where the "plan" as envisioned by the senior commander on the ground is not violated.

Initiative when successful encouraged but generally discouraged the PLAN more important. Rules, discipline, protocols at the very nature of the military profession beyond that of the spontaneous action however brave the behavior of the soldier preferred over that of the warrior!


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