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To Day is the 63Rd Anniversary of the Forgotten War and the Men that Served.This is for the under 30Yr old Boys....NO peeking.

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  • #16
    Ozarkghost,
    Not all Generals are self aggrandizing. General Bruce K. Halloway, Commander,Strategic Air Command,1968-74? had four stars and he did things like drove his own car and things like visit with the troops in the Hospital on Christmas Eve.
    He was a fighter Ace in WW II with 13 kills.
    The General wore four of the smallest stars he could find on his collar. No, he was not self-aggrandizing.

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    • #17
      I agree with jimbo on this one. Not all generals are fatheaded morons. When I was an MP shift sergeant at a large army medical center I was regularly invited to have breakfast at the hospital mess hall with the facility's commanding general. A real fine gentleman. Not the least bit self-pontificating. Totally professional. His first order of business when assuming command was to drop the requirement for wearing hats/caps and saluting of superior officers on the hospital grounds. Doctors had too much on their hands to be bothered with using them to return salutes or carry around hats. I couldn't count how many times some unknowing scramble-eggs balloon head from off post would drag an enlisted man into my office and insist that I write him up for failing to salute. Oh, how I delighted in watching those heads deflate as I explained our general's rules.

      Ozarkghost: MacArthur was ordered to get the marchers out of DC. His instructions were pretty open-ended. If he had gone out to the Bonus Army's encampment and simply ordered them to leave, they almost certainly would have left. He was, after all, the Commander in Chief and the demonstrators were under strict military discipline during their protest. But a peaceful departure would have been a much less grandiose way of resolving the matter. MacArthur wanted grandiose and he got it. As the Bonus Army made its way marching in formation down Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House, they spotted MacArthur's troops coming towards them and cheered thinking the US Army was making a show of support for the veterans cause. The cheering stopped when Patton's mounted thugs piled into them with clubs! Frankly, I can't imagine any soldier worth a pinch of poop obeying those orders. After the initial confrontation the marchers retreated across the Anacostia River and an appalled Hoover ordered the assault stopped. MacArthur ignored him and pursued the marchers into their encampment where his troops burned and beat the marchers out. He should have been court-martialed for that. My dad, who lived through those times as a young lad and later served in the South Pacific during WWII, had ABSOLUTELY NO use for MacArthur. Dad seldom said anything about his military service and was totally non-political as far as I knew but he never minced words about that guy! Dad's brother was an Army artillery officer in the Philippines and he also had no use for that "arrogant idiot." MacArthur had a habit of ignoring orders ... but of course he didn't ignore the one to abandon Corregidor and flee to Australia!

      As the ultimate example of his arrogance, in 1932 as Chief of Staff, MacArthur initiated the Purple Heart medal but insisted that he be the recipient of the first one issued which he had engraved "#1". Wow!

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      • #18
        Lost Lure: I'm not sure exactly when the simple cord lanyard evolved into a multiple braid decorative symbol (called simply a shoulder "cord" - "braid" usually refers to the color band on the sleeve of dress military uniform). You're correct in asserting that the blue cord evolved as a symbol for the infantry during the Korean War. But I'm not sure the infantry was the first to use the decorative shoulder cord. I would have thought that cavalry would have been the first to adapt a lanyard into a uniform emblem shoulder cord (pistols and sabers, both of which often had lanyards, being the commonly issued weapons for even enlisted men in the cavalry). The cavalry shoulder cord is, incidentally, gold and military police is white. MPs, of course, have always primarily been armed with handguns so lanyards have been a traditional part of their uniform but even in modern times usually more functional than decorative.

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        • #19
          FYI - I just checked, and found that the National Defense Service Medal is authorized for four specific time periods, with intervals as long a sixteen years between some of them.
          It ranks eleven of 29 medals in order of precedence.

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          • #20
            Well, I don't doubt it, 99, but that's certainly strange. Since 1953, US Army MPs have been pulling bodyguard and escort duty at Panmunjom where the peace negotiations are conducted every month. They draw combat pay. I know because I was one of them. A few other US 2nd Cav units stationed on the DMZ also drew combat pay. I guess combat pay does not necessarily imply "conflict?" Maybe that's the answer. I figured the two terms were synonymous. Quite frankly I have never seen a dress uniformed US serviceman of any rank who was not wearing the KP Badge.

            Hmmm. Okay, let's do the math. Hypothetically speaking, if each of the four periods was sixteen years then going backwards from today the ribbon would have to have been first issued in 1949. It was in fact first issued in 1953 so each period being sixteen years or a little less would put the first issuance at the correct date. 99, are the four periods of "conflict" consecutive?

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            • #21
              As a further note on MacArthur, he was great chums with FDR. The Bonus Army fiasco essentially killed Hoover's chances of reelection (not the Depression as is commonly believed). Was it a coincidence that this horrible public relations nightmare was single-handedly orchestrated by the presidential challenger's bosom buddy? Not a historian out there believes it was a coincidence! Doesn't say much about an "old soldier" who would beat up his fellow old soldiers to further his own career. Whata guy!

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              • #22
                For the record, the four specific time periods during which the NDSM is authorized are:
                Korean War 6/27/50 - 7/27/54
                Vietnam War 1/1/61 - 8/14/74
                Persian Gulf War 8/2/90 - 11/30/95
                Global War on Terrorism 9/11/01 - present
                The NDSM is awarded to anyone who serves on active duty in the U.S. military during the above time periods.
                An individual could have served for sixteen years between the Vietnam War and the Persian Gulf War without being awarded the medal.
                BTW, old soldiers never die. They just smell that way!

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                • #23
                  Honker - Let me hasten to add that the old soldier joke was not directed at you, but at MacArthur, who referred to himself as the "old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty." Boo Hoo!

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                  • #24
                    WoW...look at all the History and Knowledge exchanged here on this site......Great Job to ALL!
                    and may the Good LORD watch over the Men & Woman that Served in Korea.

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                    • #25
                      I can honestly say I have never met a Commander and Chief. But I have met a few Trauma and High Risk Surgeons. Allow me to play the Devils Advocate. Carrying that mantle of life and death is not a place for self doubt or a shrinking violet. The Professionals although very good men with only the best intentions all posses an air of self importance. They do, where others would hesitate. Look at Lincoln and Jefferson Davis. They pitted Americas best against each other with a lose who's total has not been equaled in total in all the future wars Combined. Churchhill was shunned when he wasn't needed for a war. My Dad once said Great Men do not always make Great Friends.

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                      • #26
                        The highest ranking man I have ever met is the deputy chief of our local police dept.

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                        • #27
                          I once shook the plump soft little hand of Nelson Rockefeller as he passed through my town in a motorcade, riding in an open limo just ahead of Richard Nixon. The Secret Service didn't let me get anywhere close to Nixon's limo.
                          My brush with immortality.
                          I believe Carl once said he was acquainted with Willie Sutton.

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                          • #28
                            Honker- I also do not know who was the first to actually wear a cord on their shoulder/sleeve. I just know the history behind the blue cord for the infantry. After arriving at my first duty station I was given the assignment of learning the background/history if the infantry blue cord.

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                            • #29
                              Not really acquainted 99. I met him in my Dad's real estate lawyers office as a child. The lawyer was Mr. Sutton's pro-bono lawyer. He was very well dressed and took the time to shake a Little kids hand. Something that was not common in those days. My Dad later told me that he was a famous bank robber. My Dad also introduced me to Jack Dempsey. His restaurant was around the corner from my Aunt's apartment. Another nice man with a hands that went half way up my forearm as I remember.

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                              • #30
                                99explorer, thanks for those dates. Extremely interesting. I was an MP desk sergeant at a medical center until my end of duty December 1974. I know for a fact that I had at least three new patrolpersons coming out of AIT right at the end of 1974 that started working for me and each still wore that ribbon (and only that ribbon). Hmmm. I guess they would maybe have been in basic just at the tail end of that Vietnam "conflict" period. Incidentally, the Expeditionary Medal, which you also mentioned, has without a doubt the most colorful ribbon of any medal ever issued by the US military. As a Korean vet I wore that one too. The Korean government awarded a presidential unit citation to various UN forces units that is perhaps the most beautiful unit ribbon (worn over the opposite side breast pocket as the personal ribbons). Once a unit receives a unit citation any soldier who serves in that unit is entitled to wear that ribbon as long as the unit remains extant, but I cannot remember if it is only while he is in the unit or for perpetuity. Seems I wore mine even after I came stateside but that may have been because I served in a combat unit (at Panmunjom) and was thereafter entitled to continue wearing that unit's shoulder patch on my opposite shoulder (current unit's shoulder patch always being worn over the right shoulder). Combat designation MAY have entitled me to continue wearing the unit citations as well? Some of the retired lifers on here (WAM) might have a better recollection of how that went. My post-Korea combat shoulder patch was Eighth Army which only the very small MP detachment in Panmunjom was entitled to wear (being the only soldiers attached directly to Eighth Army who received combat pay). Can't tell you how many times some officer stopped me stateside and asked me about that patch.

                                I would have to say that the ribbon for the Medal of Honor is one of the most nondescript. A dark blue background with tiny white stars. You really have to look for it. And as a soldier you MUST NOT overlook it because the Medal of Honor ribbon MUST BE SALUTED even if it is worn by a private (and yes, I did see one worn by a private). A five star general would be required to salute that private's medal (and I would have been thrilled to write him up if he didn't!). But he would salute ONLY the medal, looking at it and not the wearer (though out of respect many did also salute the wearer, however the wearer is not required to return the salute and if he is an enlisted man or NCO he properly SHOULD NOT return the salute and the saluter should not expect it).

                                The Vietnam service medals/ribbons were pretty nice looking. Purple heart gets my vote as the most beautiful medal - in the world (but Expeditionary Medal's ribbon is still nicer looking than the Purple Heart's). Army Commendation Medal has an easily noticeable unique forest green ribbon with white stripes. Too bad it's such a useless award. I could have written myself up for several. My boss in Korea wrote himself up for one for conducting people out of the PX during a silly phoned in bomb scare. Pffft. What a hero! Maybe Sgt Perkins was related to General MacArthur. :-)

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