Thursday, February 12, 2009

Air Force To Bring Back Good Conduct Medal

The Air Force has decided to bring back the Good Conduct Medal. It appears they
did not go through Congress to authorize this.

Everyone contact your elected officials and the Secretary of Defense ask them to
authorize a Cold War Service Medal.

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UPDATED: February 12, 2009

Full Version

Air Force brings back Good Conduct Medal

BY: Jeff Schogol , Stars and Stripes

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Air Force Good Conduct Medal is back. The medal is being awarded retroactively to 2006, when it was discontinued, so airmen’s records are being updated "just exactly like that policy change never happened," said Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley.

Enlisted airmen who have not had disciplinary problems over the past three years will be getting a new cluster on their Good Conduct Medals, and other airmen who joined the service since 2006 will be eligible for their first medal, McKinley said Wednesday.

"They will have the records updated today, and as far of actual presentation and pinning on, that’s at the command’s discretion," said Denise Harris, chief, Air Force awards policy and programs.

The award recognizes enlisted airmen who have demonstrated exemplary behavior for three years.

The Air Force Uniform Board initially recommended discontinuing the medal because the Air Force expects airmen to display good behavior all the time, McKinley said.

"That was not really vetted out to all the major commands and we didn’t really have a chance to really discuss whether or not it was the right thing to do to discontinue the Good Conduct Medal," he said.

In January 2008, the Air Force held an awards and decorations summit that recommended bringing the medal back, said Lt. Gen. Richard Y. Newton III, deputy chief of staff for manpower and personnel.

Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley ultimately approved reinstating the Good Conduct Medal in November, Newton said.

"We needed to give [Air Force Personnel Center] the time work out all the procedures and how we were going to go back and make this happen," McKinley said.

The decision to reinstate the medal was not "a slam" against the Air Force officials who decided to rescind the award, he said. Those officials had good intentions but rescinding the medal was seen as "taking something away from our airmen," McKinley said.

"And what was the Air Force’s gain for that? Did we get better? Did we improve Air Force capability by taking away the Good Conduct Medal? My answer is no. What we did is anger a lot of people," he said.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Vice Chairman/Treasurer
American Cold War Medal
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