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Stay at home, eat pies - earn yourself a medal....

Discussion in 'General Military & Topical News' started by Ninja_Stoker, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

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    Thought this was an early April Fool's joke, but apparently not, you can now earn yourself a "campaign service" gong from remote ...

    s300_medal.jpg

    Under new rules, personnel from all three services serving from outside the traditional area of operations, such as operators of RAF Reaper remotely piloted aerial systems, will receive the Operation Shader medal without clasp.

    The announcement comes as Mr Williamson attends a meeting of defence ministers in Munich from nations within the Global Coalition against Daesh. Daesh is currently struggling to hold its last pocket of territory in eastern Syria, as the UK and its coalition partners continue to support the Syrian Democratic Forces on the ground.

    The award of the medal reflects the changing nature of modern conflict and recognises the vital contribution that personnel working from outside the operational area of Iraq and Syria have made to the campaign.

    The personnel to be awarded the Op Shader medal without clasp include RAF Reaper crews, based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire and Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, US. This is the first time that Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems crews have received formal medallic recognition.

    Ground crew serving at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, where UK airstrikes over Iraq and Syria are launched from are also eligible, as well as Army and Navy personnel providing logistic and communications support.

    The changing character of warfare means that personnel based outside an area of military operations increasingly play a vital role in allowing the UK to be successful militarily overseas. For example, ground crew based at RAF Akrotiri play a key role in ensuring that RAF Tornado and Typhoon fast-jets are able to conduct air strikes over Iraq and Syria, through their maintenance, engineering and weapons technician skills.

    Last year Her Majesty The Queen approved the extension of the eligibility criteria for the medal to new groups of personnel.

    The Op Shader medal is the first operational service medal to be created since 2003 and has its own distinct ribbon; it is fitting recognition of those who have contributed to the fight against Daesh. Operation Shader is the name of the UK’s military contribution to the campaign to defeat Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

    Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

    “Our Armed Forces can be extremely proud of the campaign against Daesh.

    “The expanded medal criteria means that those personnel who have played a vital role in defeating Daesh but have been based outside the conventional area of operations will receive the recognition they deserve.

    “This new medal reflects the changing character of warfare. I am very pleased that personnel who previously would not have received an operational medal, will now do so.”

    Alongside this milestone, RAF Akrotiri recently saw the last of the operational Tornado fighter jets fly home for the final time as they approach retirement after 40 years of service.

    Despite recent success over the last year, the operation continues and fast jets continue to fly out of RAF Akrotiri and remotely-piloted Reaper aircraft continue to provide support to the Syrian Democratic Forces on the ground who are clearing the last remaining pockets of Daesh terrorists in Eastern Syria.

    Since 2014 the UK Armed Forces have taken a leading role in the counter-Daesh Global Coalition. The RAF has so far conducted airstrikes against Daesh terrorist targets and units from across the Armed Forces have helped train over 77,000 Iraqi Security Forces in infantry skills, counter-IED, engineering, and medical expertise. As a result, their capacity to defeat Daesh has increased considerably, contributing to the success of this campaign.

    Currently around 1,400 personnel still play an important role in the Global Coalition’s counter-Daesh operations in the wider region.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-medal-awarded-to-recognise-the-changing-character-of-warfare
     
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  2. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    A few months back I heard an interesting BBC World Service Radio broadcast about PTSD issues affecting US personnel operating UAVs from Nevada. Hadn't even considered that aspect to be honest.
     
  3. MumtoRM

    MumtoRM Moderator

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    I think those that served on HMS Daring back in 2016 (?) are also eligible for this?

    Do you know how and when this will be bestowed on those eligible?
     
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  4. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

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    To be honest, there are some pretty gory clips of snipers using Barrett M107 .50 Cal rifle on insurgents on YouTube. Whether watching that is psychologically as profound as being the guy that made it happen for real, I'm not sure.

    Arguably a warship or submarine firing over-the-horizon Tomahawk missiles at inland targets is more virtual than actual but the difference, I guess, is risk rather than proximity.

    The RAF Regiment have long had a two-tier Battle Honours system to take into consideration the fact that guarding a UK-based aircraft which is going on bombing missions against a target 100o's of miles away, is not quite the same as the guy with the weaponry at the point of contact. For remote military support ops, the Battle Honour is not emblazoned on the RAF Regiment Squadron Colours, but obviously is in the case of the aircraft squadron delivering the lethal cargo.

    Medals are always a contentious issue. There'll be servicemen & women who served throughout WW2 without hearing a shot fired in anger, earning the same medal(s) as those on the ground at the sharp end. The rosette or clasp system recognises this in part, but as ever, there'll always be those confusing commemorative medals, campaign medals and the awards for distinguishing onself in combat.

    Nothing heard through official channels yet, but I think it'll be the General Service Medal with "Gulf of Aden Clasp": https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/new...daring-during-a-period-of-significant-threat/
    General_Service_2008_copy.jpg
     
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  5. Caversham

    Caversham Former RM Commando, Moderator

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    We seem to have moved from one operational medal, the GSM 1962, which attracted clasps for each campaign from South Arabia to NI, including one for Vietnam of all places! (Be aware of anyone sporting one of those though as I believe that there were only a few awarded, far different to the numbers seen on Remembrance Sunday!) The most clasps that I ever saw on a GSM was, I think, four, possibly five.

    Contrast that to nowadays where they seem to be minting a new one for every operational theatre. My nephew who was in the Army, accumulated 10 during his 25 years, although that did include two Jubilee and one LSGC.

    Alan
     
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  6. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

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    Yep, the commemorative stuff like Jubilee Medals, the revised criteria for the Accumulated Campaign Service Medal (ACSM) and Long Service medals certainly add to the cache nowadays (myself included). The only one that puzzled me was the ACSM operational deployment criteria discounted Op Corporate & Armilla deployments.

    When I joined (1981) the only gongs I saw commonly were the 1962 GSM with Northern Ireland Clasp, the LS&GC and maybe the odd Borneo clasp. That was it.

    Nowadays, commissioned officers get awarded the Long Service & Good Conduct medal, which we were always told wasn't awarded as Officers shouldn't need regarding for "Good Conduct" but the concept was so unique amongst those without a commission that it was felt worthy of a medal.
     
  7. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    One I believe belongs to a Royal Marine....
    GSM 4 CLASP 002.JPG
     
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  8. Caversham

    Caversham Former RM Commando, Moderator

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    The few that I saw were NI, Saudi Arabia, Malay Peninsula and Borneo. I’m sure I saw a guy with five, but for the life of me can’t think what it was.

    Alan
     
  9. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    Those with the Borneo, Malay Peninsula clasp also tended to have the Pingat Jasa Malaysia awarded by the Malay Government.
     
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