13 May 2010

The Butter-Cutter On The “Courageous Restraint” Medal

I entered the virtual Mess Hall uncertain as to how to caste the question I wanted to pose to The Butter-Cutter. My time ran out when he saw me.

“Hey! Welcome ta the Corps' version of a Slop Trough,” he shouted in greeting me from his station behind the Chow Line.

His characterization of Marine Corps food caught me unaware, but I tried to overlook it in asking, “Have you heard of the initiative under consideration to create a new award called a 'Courageous Restraint' Medal?” 

“A 'Courage . . .us . . .' what the f*** ya talkin' about?” he asked.

I knew this was going to be difficult, but I persevered. “The Services are considering a medal to be awarded to those who courageously refrain from an action which would otherwise cause . . .”

“Ya mean, like me 'refainin' from vomitin' as I hand out this shit we call Chow?” he blurted out.

“Don't call Marine Corps food, 'shit!' It is . . .”  

“There ya go again! It ain't me callin' this shit, shit. It's the whole freakin' Marine Corps! Didn't they call it 'Shit On A Shingle' back in ancient times when ya were on active duty?” He rejoined catching me off guard again.

“THAT was just one dish served for breakfast and, quit frankly, I liked it then and I like it now . . . when I can get it. In any case, that's not what this medal is all about. It would be awarded to those in 'Afghanistan who refrain from the use of deadly force at the risk to themselves' . . .”

“Ya mean, if I say, 'F*** YOU! I ain't gonna go on patrol cuz I wanna 'restraint' from shootin' somebody.' Do I get a medal, then, instead of a Court Martial?” he asked.

“NO! NO! This is about Marines refraining from the use of deadly force in dangerous situations where there is a chance of injuring civilians,” I explained.

“Huh?” he answered. 

“The criteria for this medal is in concert with NATO's rules of engagement which are aimed at reducing civilian casualties in Afghanistan as a way of winning the support of the populace,” I explained.

“Ya sayin', I'm supposed ta whip these Talley-Banners by not shootin' 'em?”

“As has been emphasized for some time; the war in Afghanistan can only be won with the full support of the Afghan people. By minimizing casualties inflicted on the civilian populace by US Forces, we will engender that support,” I tried to explain.

“Ya wanna 'engender' them casualties? I'll tell ya how ta 'engender' them f***in' Rag-Head civilian Mother F***ers: Pull all us guys outta there 'n' let 'em fight their own f***in' war!” The Butter-Cutter growled back.

“STOP THAT! This is a serious attempt to reward and encourage Marines and soldiers to exercise self-discipline in that very difficult environment of Afghanistan,” I said.

“Whatever the f***! Who came up with this idea anyhow?” he asked.

“Reportedly, it was the suggestion of the British commander, Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, in Afghanistan, “ I answered.

“WHAT? A f***in' Limey came up with this shit. Did he also recommend that the medal be a Yellow Lime with Dingleberry Cluster? The color talks fer itself 'n' the Dinglberry Cluster is fer the shit left in the skivvies o' them's that run away from the action,” The Butter-Cutter said.

“First of all, limes are green not yellow. Next, your assertion that this medal is for cowards could not be further from the truth. It would take manifest bravery to face down a hostile situation without resorting to the use of your weapon,” I shot back.

“Maaan, ya been retired too long. Marines are trained ta blow things up 'n' shoot people; that's why they call us WARRIORS 'N' GIVE US GUNS! Not shootin' ain't us! I'll tell ya somethin' else: AMERICANS AIN'T INTA DOIN' NOTHIN' 'N' THIS LIMEY MEDAL IS ABOUT DOIN' NOTHIN'. Let them . . .”

I cut him off to say, “Enough! British soldiers are fighting and dying in Afghanistan and do not deserve your disrespectful screed!”

“Man, I didn't come up with this medal, that Lime . . . Brit General did! Anyhow, there ain't enough words in the world ta make Americans believe that doin' nothin' in a fight is what heroes do. But, ya can bet yer sweet ass that when he pulls us outta here next year, Obummer is gonna burn up his teleprompter tryin' ta convince the world that walkin' away from this fight is the brave thing ta do. 'n' ya know what else? He might just take that Brit's advice 'n' give us them Yellow Limes with Dingleberry Cluster ta try 'n' convince us too: But, THAT ain't agonna happen!” he said with conviction and a scowl on his face.

Semper . . .

Anthony F. Milavic 

Major USMC (Ret.) 




former USAF said:   May 19th, 2010 1:00 pm

My idea of restraint is only using a single round to kill some clown instead of a dozen.

GI said:   May 15th, 2010 3:25 pm
 The insanity of political correctness and extolling the virtues of not immediately responding to threats is now epidemic and F$%^king nuts. Simply point a weapon in the general direction of and/or threaten a police office in the US with deadly force see what happens. All she wrote time!

Stolz said:   May 15th, 2010 2:34 pm
 No, the Bronze Star and Air Medal are also awarded for Valor which was its original intent until staff officers found a way to include themselves in the process and added for meritorious service.

mrb (USAF) said:   May 15th, 2010 12:34 pm
 What a great balance the Obammunists have given to our military forces: a "Bleeding Heart" medal to offset the "Purple Heart"! Never mind the field commander, it's now up to the individual soldier to determine whether or to be a warrior or a pacifist.

Robin Rebhan said:   May 14th, 2010 4:24 pm

How about a " I shot the fucking Terrorist anyway Medal " Albany, NY

Garrison said:   May 14th, 2010 10:24 am

You go to war to fight and to win the fight. We went to war but we didn't go to win and our P C so called leaders will not allow us to do so. Time to bring our brave young warriors home to our own Southern front. You can't even explain freedom to these rag heads, why give your life trying?

Gen. McChrystal said:   May 14th, 2010 6:40 am

ArmyTimes.com May 13, 2010 McChrystal: No Need For A Different Medal By William H. McMichael, Staff writer The top general in Afghanistan said Thursday he believes the concept of "courageous restraint" should be recognized but that a new medal to do so isn't the answer. A spokesman for Gen. Stanley McChrystal's International Security Assistance Force confirmed earlier this week that a proposal was making the rounds for a medal that would recognize heroic efforts to protect innocent civilians during combat "a key tenet of the force's counterinsurgency strategy to win hearts and minds. McChrystal didn't acknowledge that any sort of formal review is under way, but said in response to a question on the proposal during a Pentagon press conference that courage in uniform "can come under actions that may not be as expected or as traditional, involving killing the enemy. They may involve protecting civilians. There's a great photograph from the Marjah operation," McChrystal continued. "I think it's a U.S. Marine shielding an Afghan man and an Afghan child with his own body. He wasn't shooting anyone. He didn't kill any Taliban. But I would argue that he showed as much courage as any that I've seen on the battlefield. So when we talk about courage. I don't think we need a different medal, to differentiate different kinds of courage." McChrystal did not elaborate on what he might be contemplating. Possibilities might include awards of the Bronze Star or Air Medal, awarded for meritorious achievement or acts of heroism "in connection with military operations against an armed enemy."

John Wear said:   May 13th, 2010 9:38 pm

When you're garrisoned, the chow does taste like $hit!!!

GI said:   May 13th, 2010 5:40 pm

Seems milicrats/bureaucrats are intent upon elevating mediocrity to the heroic and EVERYONE today is a hero thus, making the common into the uncommon. 

Carl said:   May 13th, 2010 4:24 pm

Courageous Restraint....Chickenshit!!

Al said:   May 13th, 2010 1:31 pm

Have the silly Brits forgotten the Afghanistan of 1842?

capnbill said:   May 13th, 2010 12:46 pm

as the Brits say, Butter Cutter is spot on! 

sniperbait66 said:   May 13th, 2010 10:35 am

I forgot to ask: Is the ribbon Pink and UN Blue with Yellow stripes?

sniperbait66 said:   May 13th, 2010 10:30 am

Skipper, I'm already using all the restraint I can muster! We kicked The King's Army the Hell off our land 235+- years ago. Why the heck would we want to take suggestions from LOSERS! We Desperately NEED to Shit Can 85% of our General Officers (the services are far too top heavy right now anyway) and a similar number of Field grade Officers as well. It seems that being Politically Correct is now being likened to Bravery. I guess all those Officers that gave Major Hassan the Jihadist good marks on his Fitreps will all be getting the Courageous STUPIDITY Medal. Jim Cannon said it very well, I think I can safely say, we are on the SAME PAGE. Do any testicles reside in Washington? Al

Ed Blanz said:   May 13th, 2010 10:10 am

Major - we already have something that commemorates "restraint" - it is called a "clean page 12". Don't shoot people you should not, if you do your page 12/13 gets messed up. Next we will have the "I did not get a DUI" award. Remember years ago those phony USAF ribbons - "got my boss promoted" type? In six months, if this goes through, those will be real.

Cy Kammeier said:   May 13th, 2010 10:07 am

The Marine expression "ooo ah!" comes from the gutteral emination as a Marine thrusts a bayonet to the belly. A good name for the Courageous Restraint Medal would be the "oh? ah?" medal -- usually awarded posthumously.

Jack Whitesell said:   May 13th, 2010 9:42 am

The Butter Cutter and I agree---- When "take no prisoners" was the motto we won wars quickly-

Gunny G said:   May 13th, 2010 9:23 am

What would General Puller say? ***** http://www.angelfire.com/ca4/gunnyg/loyaltydown.html

Mary said:   May 13th, 2010 8:00 am

I support the Marines and sincerely agree with their opinions and outrage! 

Terron Sims, II said:   May 13th, 2010 7:44 am

I hope to GOD that the US does not create this award or allow the Brits to award it to our men and women. To believe that all of the times that I responsibly refrained from firing my weapon would result in my receiving a medal is ludicrous. The Brits ought to be ashamed of themselves for even entertaining such an idea.

Robert Osborne said:   May 13th, 2010 6:49 am

Surely you jest!

Bruce Jones said:   May 13th, 2010 1:57 am

I thought I'd heard enough of the excrescence from pacifists who litter the corridors of government. The sort of thinking this suggests is the on your knees and beg kind. It's beyond distasteful. If this is what the administration really wants then they should replace the Marines and Army people with great hoards of social workers. Unarmed social workers.

Will Clifford said:   May 13th, 2010 12:36 am

Surely you jest. If not, I can visualize a entire company standing at attention with every member receiving that medal after vacatiing their positions on the MLR. That would of course, be a British Army company, and this is in no way denigrating their courage and tenacity, but the British Army has been to Afghanistan before and they know how things turn out.

Chuck Myers said:   May 12th, 2010 11:57 pm

The Butter Cutter is right on! Where would you put the medal if they awarded you one? Certainly wouldn't consider wearing it........ Chuck

Maddy said:   May 12th, 2010 11:37 pm

Now I've heard just about evrything ...OMG!!!!!!!! Our marines are train to do a job & get the mission done as seen fit . most don't think they deserve a medal for doing what they do .It's their HONOR in their Country, Corp & fellow Brothers to get the job done . it's called team work . i must admit it takes a Good person to restrain from taking revenge .Especially when you see the abuse committ by your emeny . isn't that we call our Marine "the Proud ,Honor & Courage of the Corp . maddy

Jim Cannon said:   May 12th, 2010 11:36 pm

Anthony, We need a change of command like a year and a half ago. I am proud of my medals. I believe I served my Country , My Corps and My God well. This stupid idea of giving a yellow heart courageous Restraint Medal is like telling warriors not to be warriors....just tip toe thru the tullips until the fighting is done and we'll all just love one another. To a warrior, nothing is more satisfying that the taste of victory...the anhilation of the enemy and his support whatever that may be and the sight of blood....the enemys blood. Marines have always shown compassion and restraint. To tell them not to shoot ...to restrain themselves from shooting is absolutey repulsive. It makes me want to puke. Why haven't we heard the roar of lions from our Generals and Admirals? Chesty would not only roll over in his grave ...he would rise and assemble his legions to march toward the enemy.....in Washington, DC. Damn it. Jim

D Shea said:   May 12th, 2010 11:18 pm

What's the 90 day record for the number of times a US citizen has said " I cant believe this Shit!!"?? I think I beat it ;-(

Jack Du Bois said:   May 12th, 2010 11:15 pm

I am totally opposed to this medal. Why put our men in more danger than they are now. The enemy will just take advantage of it like they have every consession we have made for civilians. This is too much. Semper disgusted Jack Du Bois SgtMajor, USMC, Retired 1045-1972