A feature on the Navy Times shares information regarding a proposal that is making the rounds in the Kabul headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
Another medal may eventually be added to the array of medals that service members can earn while in combat – and it is a medal that may be earned for doing nothing. The proposal was reportedly put on the table by British Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, commander for the Regional Command South of the ISAF, during a visit by Army Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Hall, the top U.S. enlisted member in Afghanistan.
This award is an effort towards the prevention of civilian casualties; the proposed award will be in commendation for what was termed as “courageous restraint,” where a service member chooses to hold their fire, even if they are at risk, in order to save civilian lives.
Air Force Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis shares: “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. 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.”
There are concerns, however, that having such an award may cause confusion among service members and embolden further the tactics of enemy combatants, who recognize that U.S. Troops are concerned about civilian casualties and already use them as shields or even turn them into targets, as shared by Veterans of Foreign Wars spokesman Joe Davis.