The Chairborne Rangers at the highest levels of the Army (including the Chief Desk Occupant Secretary McHugh) have politicized the bravery of one soldier and denied him not only the Service’s second highest award but also the Silver Star he was awarded for bravery on the battlefield.
According to a story by Aaron MacLean in The Washington Free Beacon then Captain Matt Golsteyn was awarded the Silver Star for his brave and heroic actions in combat and when he was awarded the Silver Star the powers that be indicated the award was being reviewed and would likely be upgraded to the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC).
A funny thing happened on the way to the award and that is Golsteyn was quoted in a book where he criticized the strategy in Afghanistan. The petty pencil pushers, those who send people into harm’s way and watch from afar, decided to launch and investigation into whether Golsteyn violated the rules of engagement (ROE) that led to the death of an enemy bomb maker (how is that a bad thing).
The long investigation did not result in any charges and the Chairborne Rangers could find absolutely nothing that Golsteyn did wrong but they denied the DSC. One might say they reviewed the case and decided his actions did not warrant that medal.
Fair enough BUT, the Secretary revoked the Silver Star Golsteyn was awarded for his heroic deeds.
This is all recounted by Congressman Duncan Hunter who wrote to McHugh to determine the status of the upgrade from Silver Star to DSC.
This is all petty politics by people who are more concerned with their inside the beltway cocktail luncheons and dinner parties than the welfare of the troops. The people who served with Golsteyn recommended him for the award based on what he did with them and while they were with him.
The denial of the DSC and the revocation of the Silver Star were nothing more than political moves by people whose biggest threat is a paper cut.
The powers that be don’t like the real heroes who have to fight and die pointing out that the tactics and ROE dictated by those pencil pushing powers are getting people killed and stifling their ability to prosecute and win the war.
The Secretary of the Army should be ashamed of himself for allowing politics to cloud his judgement. He should be bounced out of office for tarnishing the name of a true hero whose boots he is not fit to shine.
Never surrender, never submit.