Example: [Collected via e-mail, July 2010]
Origins: In May 2010, NATO commanders were weighing options for reducing civilian casualties in Afghanistan. One notion that was considered was recognizing troops for "courageous restraint" if they avoided using force that could endanger innocent lives, and British Maj. Gen. Nick Carter proposed the idea of an award for soldiers who demonstrated that quality:
Most military awards in the past have been given for things like soldiers taking out a machine-gun nest or saving their buddies in a firefight, said U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Hall, the senior NATO enlisted man in Afghanistan.
"We are now considering how we look at awards differently," he said.
British Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, the NATO commander of troops in southern Afghanistan, proposed the idea of awarding troops for "courageous restraint" during a visit by Hall to Kandahar Airfield in
"The idea is consistent with our approach," explained Air Force
Soldiers are often recognized for non-combat achievement with decorations such as their service's commendation medal. But most of the highest U.S. military decorations are for valor in combat. A medal to recognize a conscious effort to avoid a combat action would be unique.
Consideration of such an award doesn't mean that, if approved, troops would be pressured to prevent such casualties at risk to themselves, Sholtis said.
But he doesn't think troops should get a medal for it.
His opinion neatly dovetailed with news that came out later in the day. A
Last updated: 6 July 2010
Lessig, Hugh. "Should Restraint Be Rewarded with a Medal?" [Hampton Roads] Daily Press. 14 May 2010. McMichael, William H. "Hold Fire, Earn a Medal." Marine Corps Times. 13 May 2010. Worthington, Peter. "This Proposed Medal Should Be Killed." Toronto Sun. 19 June 2010. Associated Press. "NATO Pushes 'Courageous Restraint' for Troops" Military.com. 4 May 2010.