Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Corpsman Chief Wins Bronze Star - His Specialty Suffers no Lack of Valor

M.E. has always held navy hospital corpsman, including this one, in high regard. Accordingly, we were pleased to see this award:
A sailor at Naval Hospital Beaufort became the latest recipient Friday of one of the military's highest decorations. Chief Hospital Corpsman Troy Murphy, a 36-year-old Tucson, Ariz., native was "humbled almost to the point of embarrassment" to receive the military's fourth-highest decoration for meritorious service.
From May 2008 until July, while stationed at Combined Security Transition Command in Kabul, Murphy worked as the senior noncommissioned officer to a team teaching combat medics from the Afghan National Security Forces the most up-to-date life-saving techniques. The award citation said Murphy's leadership "enhanced the Afghan National Security Force's Combat Medic Program, significantly improving the life-saving skills of medics deployed in a combat environment."
In attempts to explore Murphy's citation (not found), we did find some interesting commentary concerning awards of the medal to SSN skippers, and tough questions by CDR Salamander that readers may find also interesting.
Readers interested in the Valor device (ā€œVā€) authorized by all services to distinguish those awards from meritorious achievement awards should read this. Basically, awards resulting from combat heroism (Army and Air Force) or earned in combat (Navy), are distinctive from meritorious achievement Bronze Stars awards.
Consider the posthumous awards to rank-and-file, WWII submariners sunk in combat. What is the Purple Heart equivalent for drowning deaths in combat? Hmmm.
Submarines are always silent and strange.



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