Bronze Star Woes.

| April 12, 2012

I have been away from my home computer and will be away for awhile. My internet is spotty at best so I have been lacking in the posting. But I saw this and thought that this needed a post. It all starts with a TSGT being awarded a Bronze Start for here tour in the Stan. Here is the back story found on thelittlep

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas — An NCO from the 802nd Comptroller Squadron earned the Bronze Star March 14 for her actions in Afghanistan.

Tech. Sgt. Christina Gamez, a financial analyst in the 802nd CPTS, received the Bronze Star for meritorious service from Brig. Gen. Theresa A. Carter, 502nd Air Base Wing commander, prior to a commander’s call at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

The Bronze Star is the U.S. military’s fourth-highest individual decoration for bravery, heroism or meritorious service.

Gamez distinguished herself by meritorious achievement as the NCO in charge during a 365-day deployment, January 2011 to January 2012. While in Afghanistan, she accurately executed operational funds across eight remote bases, providing commanders with flexibility in support of counterinsurgency efforts. Gamez trained 68 operational fund teams, reviewed 34 projects and funded 280 joint acquisition board packages enabling critical base sustainment.

It seems that the flak behind it was bad enough to have the story pulled from the Air Force’s website. Granted for how many times have we seen the Bronze Star get awarded to Senior level NCOs and Company Grade Officers during deployments but I never remember anything like this happen in the Army. Even the Air Force Times is covering it saying that there was another TSGT that was on the reciving end of harsh words. They even titled it that they were being “bullied”” on the front cover. I tried to find the story but I think that it is too new.

The story drew 70 online com­ments between March 26 and March 29, mostly from people who were livid because they said Gamez did not deserve to be recog­nized for doing her job.“I was the camp soccer mom because I was always taking care of people, so that’s the kind of pace I keep, whether it’s here or there,” Gamez said. “I knew that when I was deployed I needed to stay as busy as possible and that’s my normal.” Gamez was shocked that adults could be bullied like this.

“To all those who have gone out­side the wire and are going outside the wire wearing 70lbs of gear and return with no more than a thanks for doing your job, I’m sorry you have to see people get BSM that don’t deserve them,” one commenter wrote on the Air Force website before the story was removed.

Anyways. It is not like this has happend before. Or that people in the Military know how the Bronze Star is given out. I mean there were more Bronze Stars given out during OIF 2003-2010 than the Combat Action Badge, by about 30,000. If the Combat Action Badge has a negative image about being just handed out then what does this say about the Bronze Star without Valor?

But honestly for some reason I am not bothered by her getting a BSM. I mean I would rather worry about Admin personal that lie about their awards to rip people off.But what say you?

Category: Veterans Issues, Who knows

Comments (191)

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  1. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    @ SSG Cox … do you have a Bronze Star? Just askin’.

  2. MGySgtRet. says:

    and a hush fell over the crowd as they waited nervously for a response…….

  3. SSG Michael Cox says:

    NHSparky- What have I done to offend you ? If I make comments on this site its because I feel the Bronze Star is not being awarded properly under the existing regulations. Iv’e looked back at the history of this award and hope you have done the same rather than giving an opinion off the top of your head based entirely on how they are awarding this medal in today’s military.Regulations for awards are guidelines for medals and don’t change very much over time but the military itself changes daily. Do yourself a favor and look back at what this award was for and who should receive it then ask if that’s the same way they are awarding this medal now. Why should this medal be awarded more for non-combat than combat? In fact, its being awarded almost non-existent to soldier’s who are in combat!!!! Who told you the Bronze Star with V was the only way to recognize a soldier for combat??? No, its not a combat MSM !!!

  4. USMCE8Ret says:

    Um, SSgt Michael Cox? The Master Chief asked you a question.

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    SSG Cox, are you just a bit jealous because Gamez got a Bronze Star for busting her butt to do her job AND keep herself busy, you don’t got none?

    Gamez sounds like a workaholic to me. That’s a valuable employee in every sense of the word. She loves what she’s doing, her job is important to everyone on the receiving end of what she does, she got recognized for it, and that’s a bad thing?

    Just what is so very wrong about giving someone like that a bit of a boost?

    Oh, wait. I get it. She didn’t get shot at or step on a homemade mine, so it doesn’t count. See, you didn’t say that, Cox. You didn’t make that part clear.

  6. Hondo says:

    Aw, geez, here we go again . . . .

  7. MGySgtRet. says:

    getting down in the duck and cover position……

  8. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    Oh SSG Cox …. do you have a Bronze Star?

    If so, does it have a “V” on it?

    What is your highest award?

  9. NHSparky says:

    No, SSG–I think you’re a one-trick pony who obsesses on a site that has far more to offer than getting you to push your buttons over who gets a BSM versus who does not.

    I’ve never been in a position to get one, never got one, and frankly, I’m not going to change the awards system, and neither are you.

    In short: Let. It. GO.

  10. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    There are bronze stars issued for doing a good job and others are issued for more ‘soldiery’ stuff. An artillery guy I know got one in VN around 1970 and I asked him for what. His reply was along the lines of, ‘Damned if I know. I was just pitchin’ shells.’

  11. SSG Michael Cox says:

    No, I don’t have a Bronze Star. If you read up the posts Iv’e posted you will see I served in the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam for 11 months. Promoted twice,was awarded the Air Medal,2 Army Commendation Medals,Good Conduct Medal,and The Combat Infantry Badge. The crap with the Bronze Star happened in Vietnam too.In my Platoon of 12 men in our camp With the next camp about two miles away one of our guys had 4 Purple Hearts but he was Sp/4.He did not get a Bronze Star While our E-5’s received them for Meritorious Service. By the Way,,,it sure seems funny you can be awarded a Bronze Star with V at any rank but a lower award of the same medal you have to have RANK to QUALIFY HA, HA, HA !!! STRANGE AND WEIRD PEOPLE!!!!!

  12. USMCE8Ret says:

    That’s 42 comments now.

  13. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @162. It’s his best yet. Cox is okay–just a tad more focused and concerned about this particular matter than anyone else.

  14. SSG Michael Cox says:

    Nice To see Iv’e developed a fan club.Remember one thing people.

    You can lead a horse to water but a pencil has to be led.

  15. USMCE8Ret says:

    @163 – Yeah, I know he’s okay. I like to pull people’s chain, though – sorta like that scene from “Good Fellas” –

    “You’re alright, Spider”.

  16. SSG Michael Cox says:

    2/17 Air.Cav.-Hey, I was in Nam in 1970. Wasn’t he one of the Artillery men that received a Bronze Star after a fire mission and went back in his bunker and finished off his 7 and 7 ???

  17. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    “tad more focused”

    That could be one of the most subtle uses of understatement I’ve seen in recent months…that’s like saying SEALs receive a tad more training than admin clerks…
    I’m teasing of course, but the good SSG is a bit intense on this issue…

  18. SSG Michael Cox says:

    USMCE8Ret. I also think a blanket award of the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service should be awarded for all Marines that severed in Vietnam with the MOS of 0300. Of the 14,836 Marines KIA in Vietnam 11,327 were Infantry 0300. Marines also had more casualties in Vietnam than the total casualties in W.W.2. Crazy but true !!!! Its good to look up information before spouting off.

  19. Ex-PH2 says:

    ‘You can lead a horse to water but a pencil has to be led.’

    No, SSG Cox, you’re SO FAR off on that one. It goes this way:

    You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil has to be SHARP.

    Oh, and for the record, I knew Marines who SERVED in Vietnam, but I never, ever knew a Marine who SEVERED in Vietnam. And while I”m at it, the use of ‘it’ with ‘s’ is this way: it’s means it is. Its means belongs to it.

    Try a little proof reading, sport.

    You’re far to obssessed with jealousy of someone who got an award for MERITORIOUS service, meaning she went OVERBOARD doing her job. Meritorious service comes in all shapes, colors, sizes, and sexes.

    Maybe you’re just P.O’d. because a GIRL got one and you didn’t. I don’t know, but you have so MUCH time on your hands.

    Enlighten us. I’ll go fix some popcorn.

  20. SSG Michael Cox says:

    To respect War is to respect those who actually fight in it! What ever branch of service they are in !!!!

  21. SSG Michael Cox says:

    Sorry about the spelling {shit happens ]! No I’m not jealous of anyone who receives a Bronze Star. Regulations are clear enough to award this medal in a combat zone to anyone even those that run an R and R camp in a combat zone. The argument I have is those that engage in combat that don’t get recognized with a combat decoration E-1 to E-4 or E-5. COMMON SENSE tells anyone that these dam ranks are the ones that fights in wars so where is your brains REMF !!!!!!

    • TrueBlue says:

      Don’t let these cock smokes get you going. I for one agree with you whole heartedly. I myself fought in OIF2 as an Infantryman. Hardly any of us lower enlisted received anything above an Arcom. I was originally put in for a Bronze Star, until my squad leader came bitching at me about how the Brigade commander was reserving them to leadership positions. And because it was denied (even though it met the criteria) he had to start all over with the process and was overly pissed at me. I personally didn’t know what the hell he was talking about, nor did I know that they had witness statements and recommendations for me to receive one. In the end I received two Arcoms, all of which were for courage under fire. One for the Battle of Fallujah Nov 2004 and the other multiple other engagements in the sunni triangle. But we at least got the Presidential Unit Citation for Fallujah. I never really thought about awards while I was active, I always considered surviving to be the reward. The thing that does anger me is, tons of POG’s get Bronze Stars for just doing their jobs, especially officers. Mind you if you are a POG and do something Heroic then By God you deserve it. But there are tons of different medals to give for a job well done, instead of tarnishing the Bronze Star. But at the same time my unit played a lot of politics as far as senior nco’s and officers. When we redeployed I decided to wear my Expert Infantry Badge instead of my CIB. And I tried to explain to them it was for personal reasons, not that I didn’t value it. I just couldn’t handle new guys always asking me about what I saw and how many enemy KIA’s I had. I wanted them to understand that it is something not to take likely and that killing isn’t a game because you and your friends could also die in the fight. But my command forced me to sew my CIB on all my BDU’s anyway. I know of many instances of senior leadership abusing the awards system. Its almost a way for them to con you into enlisting for retention purposes. They didn’t offer awards for reenlisting but they definitely offered me a promotion, schools of choice, bonus and Hawaii as my next assignment. I could have taken the promotion before I got out, but I kept up to date on potential stop losses. Which I didn’t want to fall victim to again. Either way I am proud of what they did give me, I never joined to receive anything, i’m proud enough to say I fought in some pretty harsh battles and came out on top. The awards are decided ultimately by officers, they take care of other officers and mostly have disdain for the lower enlisted. No award impresses me because I know the system and the only way i’d halfway believe they deserved it is if I read their DA Form 638 that comes with their award packet. That is the only thing close enough to truly describe what actions they are cited for. There really shouldn’t be any controversy especially when there is a Meritorious service medal. I think its in poor taste to just hand out BSM’s for non-combat related themes. Its overzealous officers trying to get rank over combat officers and its a disgrace to all of us constantly in harms way. Anyways you guy’s keep saying he is jealous, what F*CKING planet do you guys live on? It’s obvious that the people bitching were obviously not combat arms or ever in harms way, especially not maneuvering through heavy enemy fire to eliminate a hostile threat. You must be the same dumbasses that agree that a president should get a noble peace prize because he is a different race. I was never jealous about awards, but was upset that some typist can get the same award (for doing paperwork) as my friends that died actively engaging the enemy. I find it a bit sickening and if you are too blind to see that then you shouldn’t be on a military blog.
      TF 2-2 1st INF DIV Vet OIF2 04-05

  22. Ex-PH2 says:

    Hmmm, yes…. And the front line fighters can’t function with out logistics support, can they now?


    Or would you prefer that the payroll office give you a blank look when you ask why your paycheck wasn’t deposited on time, when you check your account on payday?

    • TrueBlue says:

      Support units do not maneuver through heavy enemy fire to give you food or ammo. You have to rely on other infantry teams to get that to you. Just like a medevac has to be cleared through a 9-line and have a secure area to land. Same follows with other support elements, putting them in immediate danger is completely negligent and against doctrine. Also that is why we escort them anywhere outside the wire, also doing multiple route clearances, to give them clearance to move in our column. We also assign an 11b to each of there vehicles to act as there gunners for added protection. Support still will obviously be a sweet target for the enemy hence why we escort them and do so much to try to ensure their safety. That’s how an Infantry Battalion operates. That’s also why we have a formation before we take them out and explain procedures in the event of an ambush or IED. Obviously no one is stupid enough to want to drive EID infested roads, but we do multiple clearances before they ever go out. It’s not like some dumbass hate fest, most of us have friends that are support elements and have personally seen some of them act in a brave manner during an ambush. I don’t think its the question if a POG should be allowed a BSM it’s more of a question of what they received it for. I felt sorry for our mechanics when I was deployed because they were busting their asses in IRAQ heat covered in oil and grease and we only had limited access to showers, the norm being a G.I shower every two weeks. A lot of them were my friends and were nothing but courteous and professional. Because I was always willing to help them when it came to my squads truck they would always put me in the front of the line. I think everyone needs to quit the whole my ops are blacker than your ops game. I was an Infantryman but I was always friends with our support guys, I’ve called all of them POG’s but they knew I was just joking with them. Just as they’d rib me for being a Grunt.

  23. Jacobite says:

    Wow, someone’s meds need adjusting. This single minded focus on a dead issue is a bit disturbing.

    Might wanna go fishing and relax SSG, just sayin.

  24. SSG Michael Cox says:

    EX-PH2- You are a perfect example of those in the rear totally ignoring whats going on around you in a war but think your job is a bigger sacrifice then those who are getting killed or loosing arms or legs around you. Your job is important and necessary but you have missed the point of the difference in recognizing what soldiers are risking for the rest of their life’s. What makes what you do override what they do???

  25. Ex-PH2 says:

    A – I NEVER once said that logistics is more important that the frontline fighters. NOT ONCE. I said support is AS IMPORTANT AS the frontline. You need to learn to read.

    B – I do not do logistics. I was a photographer, which means that if I were IN the service now, I would be in a Combat Camera Group getting shot at or blown up. Got that part? In case you didn’t know it, aerial photography played a major part in combat operations during the Vietnam war.

    C – When you denigrate the logistics people because they aren’t getting shot at or blown up, you are saying they don’t count for anything. Try running a war without them and see how far you get without ammo or weapons resupply.

    Climb down off your high horse. And don’t you ever call me a REMF again, you shithole.

  26. SSG Michael Cox says:

    EX-PH2–I’m sorry for calling you a REMF but my point is clear about awarding this Medal only to non-combat and support units at the tune of over 130,000 of this medal,while none are given to soldiers of lower ranks that are doing the fighting. This is not the way this award was intended to be awarded! How much sense does it make to award the lowest combat decoration only awarded in a combat zone to only non-combat soldiers? The facts about this medal are already documented at this present time !!!!! Believe me I have no intention to dis-credit support or any non-combat soldiers but I am totally surprised that they display a over abundant need to close their eyes over soldiers who actually fight the wars !!!!

  27. SSG Michael Cox says:

    WHO SAID, THE ONLY WAY YOU COULD AWARD A BRONZE STAR FOR ACTUAL COMBAT WAS WHEN ITS AWARDED WITH A V-DEVICE ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  28. SSG Michael Cox says:


  29. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    SSG Cox,

    You need to take this up with your US Rep and or Senator.

    Maybe they can help you obtain the Bronze Star Medal that is the source of your frustration here.

    Just sayin’!

  30. Hondo says:

    MCPO: PLEASE do not encourage the troll by feeding it.

  31. SSG Michael Cox says:

    At my age it means nothing anymore!! I’m looking at the next generation of soldiers who my be called to fight in conflicts!

    If one goes to war and is put into a position that he or she has to risk his life in a combat action then its right and just to recognize their service by the country they serve.
    To recognize only those who do not risk their lives with a combat decoration only awarded in a combat zone by other awards that can be awarded in the states is complete disrespect to their fellow soldiers.
    The complete crap about the V-device being the only award of the Bronze star being available for combat is totally made up to deny soldiers of lower ranks proper recognition who face actual combat !!! Regulations don’t change from war to war to recognize soldiers!! Only dis-respectful leaders do for serving the own special interest !!!!!!!

  32. SSG Michael Cox says:



  33. SSG Michael Cox says:

    They say to give a Bronze Star to those that received a CIB devalues this award.

    So why is it not devalued if you only award it to people who aren’t in combat and only award it with V-device to those who are? Their is nothing in the regulations claiming the V-device is the only way to award the Bronze Star for Combat reasons!!!!!!

  34. SSG Michael Cox says:


  35. SSG Michael Cox says:



  36. Michael Cox says:

    I am not the only one arguing about the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service !!!! This argument started back during the Vietnam War when the Higher up decided to slap a V-device on a non-combat award that was never meant to be a combat award to deliberately take away the lowest combat decoration from those who actually fight and engage the enemy. Then turn around and only award higher ranks this decoration for Non-combat reasons.
    NOW in today’s Army its being EXPLOITED in large numbers by UPPER RANKS OF NON-COMBATANTS.
    By the way, where were you people back when this argument started ??? I was in the Army in 1968 and this change was not respected during the Vietnam War by Officers as well as Enlisted ranks.

  37. Michael Cox says:

    The Sec. OF Defense Chuck Hagel was a Infantryman during the Vietnam War and knows Infantry Commanders awarded Bronze Stars for Meritorious Service to ranks of PVT. PFC SP/4 and SGT. and SSG. because they risk their lives in combat actions worthy to be recognized for the lowest combat decoration. Yet Hagel himself never received a Bronze Star.
    Combat Commanders had Integrity for the understanding of what their troops were going threw. Unlike the leaches with rank in today military that are self serving in their careers!!!!!!

  38. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    Mr. Cox,

    I suggest that you visit your local VA office and put in a claim for PTMD (Post Traumatic Medal Disorder) and seek help to rid your mind and soul of this torment.

  39. Hondo says:

    MCPO: the man seems to be enjoying having a nice conversation with himself. Maybe we shouldn’t interrupt.