Military May Give Medal for Avoiding Combat

Honor for not shooting would be unique
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2010 4:52 PM CDT
Military May Give Medal for Avoiding Combat
In this Feb. 13, 2010 file photo, U.S. Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment walk in a column as they enter Marjah in Afghanistan's Helmand province.    (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder, File)

The US military is considering a medal for soldiers who show restraint in order to save civilian lives. The honor would celebrate "courageous restraint" in the line of duty—incidences in which soldiers hold their fire. While the idea of an award for not shooting might seem paradoxical, "the idea is consistent with our approach,” an Air Force lieutenant colonel tells the Navy Times.

"Our young men and women display remarkable courage every day, including situations where they refrain from using lethal force, even at risk to themselves, in order to prevent possible harm to civilians," he says. "In some situations our forces face in Afghanistan, that restraint is an act of discipline and courage not much different than those seen in combat actions.” A VFW spokesman hates the idea and says it would send confusing signals to troops.
(More US military stories.)

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