The Purple Heart is the oldest award in our military and immediately identifiable by its purple color and the profile view of the bust of our first president General George Washington. This is extremely fitting considering the award’s origin. Originally known as the Badge of Merit and established by George Washington himself for, “not only instances of unusual gallantry in battle, but also extraordinary fidelity and essential service in any way”. Washington himself only handed out 3 of these very prestigious awards himself and it was the highest award in our military at the time.
So when did the criteria of being wounded and its current utilization come about? Well another great general in our United States Military made it his goal to revive the award. General MacArthur spearheaded the reviving of the award which was announced in 1932. A Soldier could request the award if at any time after 1917 they had been awarded both a Meritorious Service Citation Certificate and an Army wound ribbon. A soldier could also request the award if they had been authorized wound chevrons and not been awarded the Army Wound Ribbon. Once the new criteria had been established MacArthur himself was the first soldier to receive the award.
Regardless of the criteria the Purple Heart has always been a symbol of patriotism and valor to the American people, and for that reason it is regarded as an award of sacrafice to our gret country today. I know that personally I immediate have a certain level of respect that I give to someone who is driving a vehicle with a Purple Heart license plate. I know that the owner of that vehicle was put in a danger before the enemy and risked their life in some way defending our country, and our freedom. The soldier probably had a family, a mother, a father, wife, husband, or children that they were fighting for and they were wounded ensuring that those people would be safe even though they probably worried about his/her safety every night. The soldier more than likely had downplayed the danger that they were in so as not to worry the family waiting for them at home.
At the end of the day the current Purple Heart exemplifies a military member’s willingness to put the needs of others before their own and acknowledges that the recipient may have lived through the encounter but was willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice.
Vision Stike Wear put forth an amazing design to honor those who have recieved this award throughout the years. In the center of the design is the very destinquishable medal with the bust of George Washington at the center. The words Available to All stream across the top and the bottom is highlighted by the words Desired by None. If you would like to purchase one of these designs for yourself, or a special patriot that you know just follow the link below.
Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Bronze Star Medal through executive order on February 4th of 1944. The Bronze Star was created during the Second World War in a response to the Airmen’s Medal that was being awarded to pilots during the war. George C. Marshall argued in a letter to Roosevelt that the awarding of the Airmen’s Medal was creating resentment among the ground troops during the war, and hurting the morale of those troops who were suffering some of the greatest casualties. He urged for the creation of an award that could be given to troops by Company Commanders on the level of the Airmen’s Medal to increase the overall troop morale.
In response to this the medal was designed by Bailey, Banks and Biddle, who also designed the Silver Star, and awarded to the first soldiers in 1944 retroactive through December 7th 1941. Now I have seen my fair share of Bronze Medals handed out throughout my career. I will also say that I have never been lucky enough nor have I ever done anything in my miitary career that I think would be deserving of this illustreous medal. I also have the ultimate respect for anyone who has recieved this medal, which is placed above the Purple Heart in order of precedence. Think about that for a second, you can take a bullet for your country and the medal you would recieve is still below that of the Bronze Star.
We all have stories about someone who received an award that they don’t deserve, or at least we feel that they do not deserve. This rarely happens, especially today with the Bronze Star. This is because as of 2012 you must be in a combat zone to earn a Bronze Star. So the next time you meet someone who has earned this award, please do 2 things. Number one thank them for their service, and number 2 get their contact information and follow the link below to purchase one of our Bronze Star designed gifts to show your absolute appreciation for their service to this great country.
Everyone in the military has just been awaiting the appointment of General “Mad Dog” Mattis to the most senior position in the military outside of the President of the United States himself. Civilians outside of the military may not understand why we as Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines are so excited about this change in leadership. To them I would say there is no way you could possibly understand.
In recent years and most especially during Ash Carter’s short tenure as the Secretary of Defense, the military has been treated as more of a social experiment than it has a military force. People have simply forgotten what the purpose of the United States military is and why we are the greatest military in the world. The military is not a social club, it is not a business, and it definitely has no safe spaces. The reason for this is because the purpose of the US military is to fight and win wars by destroying our enemy or beating them into submission.
Instead of focusing on this fact however, the elected and appointed officials have ignored this, and tried to create a kinder gentler military that says its ok if you are different, and we will pay for sex change surgeries to make you feel like the person you should be. The military has said that woman can do anything that a man can do in combat, which (with a few exceptional exceptions) just isn’t true. I’m sorry women but you are not physically the same, were not built with the same upper body strength or testosterone levels, that while making our temper a thing to fear sometimes, also makes men better killing machines.
If you are offended that I described the members of the military as killing machines I want you to remember 2 things. Number 1, I am a member of the military and I do know what I am talking about. Number 2, you are a part of the problem because you too have forgotten or never understood the true nature of the military.
This brings me back to General Mattis. He has reiterated on numerous occasions that the military should not be used for nation building or diplomacy. He is famously quoted in saying “if you aren’t going to fully fund the State Department, then I need more ammunition.” He is not a proponent of war, but he is someone who understands the reality of war and the realities are that there are winners and there are losers (some would argue only losers, and I understand the argument). There are no safe spaces, and your feelings just don’t matter when it comes to combat. The people in those foxholes and tents want the most qualified killing machine the military can produce sitting next to them and guarding their back, because that is what is going to save their lives. General Mattis has also said that the only person who decides the war is over is the enemy, you can declare it as over but the enemy gets the final vote. We need him to give our military the tools and vision to defeat ISIS and beat them into submission. They need to say no more, and the military is looking forward to this opportunity.
Please show your support by checking out some of these ISIS hunting club t-shirts, because at the end of the day that’s what we are; hunters of the enemy.
The military saw a pay raise that matched the rise in private sector wages for the first time in six years and many feel that Trump is the one to thank for that. Prior to the election Obama and congress seemed to be in a deadlock about how much of a raise the military would receive in 2017. Congress wanted to give the troops a raise that matched the projected growth in private sector wages, while President Obama had proposed a budget reducing the raise to 1.6% or a half a percent behind private sector wage growth. This has been his strategy as a way to save on the budget for some time and many veterans and veteran groups have been upset with the Commander and Chief trying to save money on the backs of the US men and women in uniform who are readily sent into harm’s way.
The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act submitted by the Obama administration also called for cutting 20k troops from the active duty Army alone. However after the election this was removed from the act and troop levels are to be maintained at their 2016 levels. One might presume that there actually may be a buildup in troops during the Trump administration.
President Trump has touted his support of the United States Armed Forces and its veterans throughout his entire campaign. He has made the terrible state of Veterans Affairs a focal point while gaining the support of veterans across the country. If you follow the link below he can even be seen giving a job interview to a veteran who questioned him during a press conference. He calls the woman up to the podium and gives her an on the spot interview after the woman asked if Trump Towers would be part of the Veteran hiring initiative. Needless to say I think he got that veterans support when she went to the polls on Election Day.
Pair all of this with the fact that President Trump selected one of the most respected Marine Corps generals in history as his Secretary of Defense and it sounds like this administration may be a major shift from the previous administration that saw the reducing of troop levels, buying power eroded, education benefits cut, and a crumbling of the VA system.
Even if President Trump is completely hands off from this day forward the Department of Defense can still look to General Mattis as the Secretary of Defense and feel a sense of security in an organization that can only be described as the largest band of brothers you could ever assemble. The military and its veterans are a family through thick and thin. We may have our fights, we may joke around with each other, we may even knock each other around but that’s ok because we are family. If anyone outside the family were to do it we would end their world. I for one am starting to feel very secure with the direction that that family will be heading in for the next 4 years.
If you’re a veteran of the Gulf War than I am sure that you are familiar with Desert Storm the operation that essentially ended the War in the Persian Gulf in the early 90’s. For those of you that are not familiar this will be a quick history lesson along with a reminder of what the greatest fighting force in the free world can do when they are unleashed and unchained by politics and bureaucracy.
The first thing that you have to realize is that the Iraqi Army was not some small force that any nation could have just pummeled in the blink of an eye. In the 80’s the United States had offered a sizable amount of funding to Iraq during its conflict with Iran. This was due to the theory that the enemy of my enemy is my ally (in loose terms of course). So at the point in time when Saddam Hussein had decided to invade Kuwait and take over their oil fields Iraq had the 4th largest army in the world. A force that could contend with if not dominate most forces in the world at the time. Iraq was also a traditional ally of the former Soviet Union, which could present issues of its own.
Neither of these things mattered in the long run as the US and its allies proved to be too much for the Iraqi Army in a very quick manner. This war made General Norman Schwarzkopf and General Colin Powell the most famous military figures in over 2 decades.
The US gave Saddam until January 15th of 1991 to retreat from occupied Kuwait after President George W. Bush let the world know that the actions of Iraq “would not stand”. Of course we know from history that January 15th came and went and Iraq continued to occupy Kuwait, calling the bluff of the United States and its allies. The problem for Iraq was the United States had no intention of bluffing. I mean seriously if you are holding a royal flush (the US military) would you need to bluff? So the United States began to bomb Iraqi military targets for 5 consecutive weeks.
Iraq attempted to counter these strikes by launching Scud missiles at US targets in Saudi Arabia, and US allies in Israel. The attacks had limited effect, of the over 80 missiles launched only 1 hit a significant military target in Saudi Arabia. However, it did force the US to deal with the problem by hunting down and destroying these launchers which delayed the US ground attack for 1 week. In the end the American military did what it has always done, went into the country and knocked the opposition backwards in a singe week of ground fighting.
If you or someone you know is a veteran of the war, or just someone who loves the history of our great military, simply click on the image below to see some of the great designs and commemorate this event in US Military History.