Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to UK politicians for their service during the cold war but our troops get nothing.
" " " " " VETERANS BLOW WHISTLE ON MOD SECRETS
A fifty one-page report has blown the whistle on the MoD’s secretive Medal Review. The report by the National Defence Medal which includes the 'British Cold War Veterans' provides an insight into current MoD Medal Review process and report, which Prime Minister David Cameron sent back to MoD for failing to consult with veterans.
It outlines how the MoD failed to notify the public of the review’s terms of reference, the date it commenced, the date of completion; the mystic surrounding its progress and failure to engage with veterans, service organisations or representatives of medal campaigns; the very people the review was about were excluded.
BCWV Co-ordinator Andy Davies; "It's nothing short of a total farce and a two-fingered salute to those who want to overhaul an antiquated and failing system. The MoD have already been accused of wasting huge sums of money on non-existent equipment and now can't even conduct a fair and objective review in consultation with the very people it was supposed to consider."
The report shows how subjective statements, displaying a lack of analysis, reliant on misleading, inaccurate facts and false assumptions; produced unsubstantiated conclusions as reasons not to honour our veterans. Just why did MoD officials give a clean bill of health to the existing medal system, which has produced so much injustice in respect of medallic recognition over 60 years?
A spotlight has been shone on the flawed process and discredited Medal Review report. “You will be startled at what you find when you read the report.”, said Tony Morland Co-Chairman of the UK National Defence medal campaign.
" " " " New MOD position as of 16th May
Click here to see the new MOD Position as of 16th May.
The Coalition set out its intention in the Programme for Government, published in May 2010, to review the rules governing the award of medals as apart of its commitment to rebuild the military covenant. A draft medal review has now been completed by the Ministry of Defence. In line with theGovernment's Transparency Agenda, the relevant elements of the report will shortly be sent to representatives of the various medal campaign groups, including for the National Defence Medal, that have pressed in recent years for recognition for service which they consider has gone unacknowledged. This will provide an opportunity for us to consider the views of the various campaign groups and it would be inappropriate to comment on the likely outcome of the review until any representations received have been fully considered.
I understand the motives and reasons behind the call for such a medal, but we must await the final outcome of the review before any decision is reached.
I hope this explains the situation.
The Rt Hon Andrew Robathan MP,
Minister For Defence Personnel Welfare And Veterans
Ministry Of Defence
Floor 5 Zone B MainBuilding
Whitehall London SW1A 2HB
Telephone: 02072189000 (Switchboard)
" " Dutch National Cold War rememberance day.
For the first time in Dutch Military History, KOVOM ”Dutch Cold war Veterans Association” is going to organize in cooperation with the DutchMoD an National Cold War rememberance day.This commemorative day will be attended by 250 men and women Cold War Veterans. Several that day will receive the Dutch Cold War Medal! Guests of the department of Defense have been invited and will be also attending !
Click here to download poster
"" 75 KOVOM members receive Cold War Medal
75 KOVOM members received their so long waited for Cold war medal. They also officially received a Cold War Veterans banner issued by a colonel of the Armed forces.
The Dutch Cold War Veterans commissioned their own Cold War medal which their MoD permits veterans to wear. They have also been presented with an official Cold War Veterans Banner by the Dutch MoD.
"""Lib Dem Coalition give backing for a Medal
The Liberal Democratic party of the coalition government recently gave unanimous backing to calls for a National Defence Medal, to incorporate British Cold War Veterans.
Colonel Terry Scriven (Rtd) a former RMP Commanding Officer, gave a rousing speech at the Lib Dem Conference to secure a unanimous vote in favour of a Medal, which veterans groups have demonstrated would be self-financing.
With huge cross party support for such a medal, it only remains for the Conservative Party and Tory Ministers to accept widespread public and political opinion and formally recognise the contribution of Cold War, and many other Armed Forces veterans.
British Forces news
National Defence Medal UK
******** Americans stand by UK Veterans
An American Veteran says: "That their service didn't rate. Read the article; the lack of respect for the men who guarded his freedoms while he was young man is astounding to me as a foreign observer. They do not merit a simple thank you and identity a simple national service medal would provide? I guess not according to a Brown representative.
To all the UK vets who stood watch as our allies during the Cold War you are not forgotten by us here. Keep up the fight and remember this at election time."
**********Unofficial Medals officially awarded to Politicians on Parliamentary Armed Forces Scheme
Whilst the MoD has said that ‘the wearing of unofficial medals by Veterans is not to be encouraged because it devalues ‘official’ medals and gives the public the wrong impression’, it has not prevented Britain’s most senior Military officer the Chief of Defence Staff; Air Marshall Sir Jock Stirrup and the Secretary of State for Defence; John Hutton, officially presenting an ‘unofficial’ medal to Labour MP Frank Cook for his support of the Parliamentary Armed Forces Scheme.
When asked about the medals issued under this scheme, the Chairman Sir Neil Thorne said; “The medals we issue are unofficial Service Medals.”
Speaking of his medal, Mr Cook commented: "It was a great honour to receive the medal. I will wear it on appropriate occasions with considerable pride."
However, in contrast and in response to local authorities previously planned award ceremonies of Commemorative medals to Veterans the MoD stated: “The MoD does not encourage official presentations or wearing by veterans.”
This is yet another case of one rule for politicians and another for the likes of veterans, many of whom are already angry that political leaders received honours and medals for Service during the Cold War whilst those who served in the armed forces at the same time are denied any similar medal recognition.
******BROWN SCORNS A MEDAL FOR OUR FORGOTTEN HEROES
Daily Express: By David Pilditch
GORDON Brown’s Government was yesterday accused of treating millions of British Armed Forces veterans with contempt after refusing to agree to a medal to honour their willingness to put their lives on the line for their country.
Huge numbers of servicemen and women have received no recognition for the time they spent in the forces because they were not actually in combat areas.
Nevertheless, many died or were seriously injured while on active duty – including those killed by the IRA in bomb attacks outside Northern Ireland.
But Veterans Minister Kevan Jones has informed campaigners that it was “not appropriate” to award a National Defence Medal to our proud sailors, marines, soldiers and airmen for protecting the nation since the Second World War.
Former servicemen and women are currently entitled only to a disliked “veteran’s badge” to be worn with civilian clothes and not given to the families of those killed.
The medal decision means defeat for a two-year campaign to get a “small token of recognition” that could be worn by veterans during regimental parades and on Remembrance Day.
Hundreds of thousands of servicemen have never been awarded a single medal, simply because of where they were posted.
They include forgotten heroes who served in Korea but after the armistice, during the Berlin Airlift and during the Cold War. In all some 2,000 were killed during their service and, were the medals to be agreed, theirs would go posthumously to their families.
Mr Jones insisted he was responding on behalf of the Prime Minister and the Queen. But comrades from Australia have been awarded a defence medal, with Her Majesty’s official approval.
The New Zealand Government has backed a similar award. And US troops qualify for a National Defence Medal after just 90 days in uniform.
Last night the Defence Ministry was accused of “petty meanness and a lack of patriotism”.
Colonel Terry Scriven said: “The MOD’s decision is dreadfully wrong.”
He described the case for a medal as overwhelming, adding: “The reasons for non-recognition are shallow at best.”
Colonel Scriven served in the Royal Military Police and completed tours of duty in Northern Ireland, with the UN in Cyprus and in Bosnia. Tony Morland, 43, who served as a sergeant in the Royal Corps of Signals for 15 years, helped compile a 58-page document outlining the case for the medal, calling for it to be awarded to 4.5million personnel.
Mr Morland said: “It is a token of the nation’s thanks for men and women who have stepped up in a day and age when fewer and fewer people are prepared to do that.”
Tory MP Andrew Rosindell said: “It is shameful that this practice already exists in Australia, a nation with whom we share such close ties, yet our Government has not seen fit to follow their example.”
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said: “I will continue to pressure the Government on the issues surrounding the National Defence Medal.” Each medal would cost just £12.50.
****Declassified documents 'X' The truth is out there!
Documents marked "Top Secret, UK eyes only" which have just been de-classified by the National Archives, show a damning assessment after former Prime Minister Mr Callaghan ordered a defence analysis in response to a Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) report on the reality of the Soviet threat to the UK.
The then Defence Secretary Mr Fred Mulley wrote: "It is unlikely that the UK defences could prevent the loss of a substantial proportion of Nato's forces based in the UK, including important US assets." Thus proving that the UK was at the heart of the theatre of operations.
The scale of the threat was so real and so great and Britains' defensive capabilities so poor that the PrimeMinister of the time Mr Jim Callaghan was furious and said "one or two people should be sacked" The documents are scrawled with his exasperated comments. At one point he writes: "Heaven help us if there is a war!"
One letter to the prime minister reads: "The problem is made worse by the rate at which the offensive capability which the Russians might use against the United Kingdom 'is growing'. We shall have to run hard to stand still."
This disproves official suggestions that there was no widespread heightened risk or rigour. The truth is that all Military Personnel during the Cold War were in a state of heightened risk and rigour as the recently released documents now appear to confirm.
It is the criteria of 'heightened risk or rigour' which is regularly seen as a prerequisite in determining qualification for a medal.
***MP backs call for Cold War honours
Veterans who served during the Cold War should be given a medal recognising their military service, a Northampton MP has claimed.
Brian Binley, Conservative MP for Northampton South, said those who had served in the forces since World War Two should be given a National Defence Medal, similar to an award given out in France.
would particularly recognise the efforts of those who served in the Cold War period between the mid-1940s and 1991, which was dominated by a stand-off between America and Russia.
The MP's letter stated: "I add my voice to the many who are calling for a National Defence Medal for those veterans, past and present, who served for many years in our armed forces with nothing to show for it.
"I don't need to tell you that many of those, of course, served during the Cold War and received no official recognition whatsoever."
Mr Binley decided to write to the Government minister after being contacted by residents and veterans living in Northampton.
He said: "It's about time the Government listened to our veterans because they are the ones who have put their lives on the line in order to serve Queen and country.
"Our veterans just want to receive the recognition that they deserve."
The national campaign for the creation of a National Defence Medal is being led by a group of service veterans.
The group said: "It is our belief that an National Defence Medal is a reasonable and proper way for the nation to demonstrate to all the armed forces that their service is appreciated.
"A small token of recognition for putting themselves at the mercy of the country's leaders in the hope it will act in the citizens' best interests.
"A medal that can be officially worn on parade with pride."
In a letter to John Hutton, the Secretary of State for Defence, Mr Binley said the medal
Published in the Northampton Chronicle 3/4/09
***US PRESIDENT ELECT CALLS FOR A COLD WAR MEDAL FOR VETERANS
Barack Obama, the US President Elect has acknowledged that military Veterans should be issued with a medal for service during the Cold War and said: "The Cold War was a period that required both skilled diplomacy and military readiness. For veterans who had to be prepared to fight a war that most people agreed would be catastrophic, there certainly should be some recognition of service and willingness to defend and go to battle for the United States"
Speaking about the process of ensuring recognition is achieved in the USA he continued: "In each of the past two years, the Cold War Victory Medal has passed the House as part of its version of the annual defense authorization bill but has been stymied by influential members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. I agree that the Cold War Victory medal would be an appropriate honour and I certainly share the hope that this impasse can be broken soon."
We ask the British Government to do likewise and rightly honour its Veterans of this period.
**WORLD WIDE CALL FOR A COLD WAR MEDAL
The call for a Cold War Medal has now reached global proportions with former service men and women in countries across the world calling for official recognition through the issue of a medal.
Cold War Medals For Our Leaders
MIKHAIL GORBACHEV: USSR. Liberty Medal from the U.S for his role in ending the Cold War, Gorbachev took a tremendous risk in bringing what we knew as the Soviet Union to the point where it is today. It was a dangerous time and it's hard for a lot of people today to remember what those times were like, how threatening it all was.
LORD ROBERTSON: UK. Presidential Medal of Freedom for his pursuit of the defence of freedom during the period of the cold war and in the establishing of the Russian-NATO Council.
LORD CARRINGTON: UK. Former Defence Secretary, Presidential Medal of Freedom for his leadership of the the UN (General Secretary) during the era of the Cold War. He also received the Medal of Honor for his contribution to investigating Serbian War Crimes.
LADY MARGARET THATCHER: UK. Presidential Medal of Freedom for her resolute defence of the unity of the west and overcoming post war division in Europe – in other words the ‘Cold War’
TONY BLAIR: UK. Presidential Medal of Freedom for the former Prime Minister who has also previously been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal
RONAL REAGAN: USA. Honorary Knighthood
For his leadership during the cold war and services to the UK.
NICOLAE CEAUCESCU: Romania. Honorary Knighthood.
The former Romanian dictator was given an honorary Knighthood by the British government for standing up to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Nobody looked too deeply at his domestic record, or cared, it seems.
VACLAV HAVEL: Czech. US Medal of Freedom
Czech President Vaclav Havel received the US Medal of Freedom for his stance on democracy in his homeland during the Cold War.
HELMUT KOHL: West Germany. US Medal of Freedom
West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl received the US Medal of Freedom as the leader of a democratic Germany during the Cold War in which he visited the Soviet Union to seek assurances from Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that would eventually enable German reunification.
It has also been widely reported that the end of the Cold War saw a flurry of awards from the UK and US Governments to one another, close ideological friends seemed to be the criteria, with many top officials and civil servants being the beneficiaries (No surprises there then).
Cold War Veterans around the world know all too well how threatening it all was. They were the ones ready and willing to do the fighting (without recognition of any kind), not the ones sat securely in protected bunkers!
*Ministry of Defence accept there were risks but say 'NO' to Cold War Medal
The Ministry of Defence, Defence Services Secretary; Mr R. T Cooney has acknowledged in a letter dated 28th July 2008 that: "During the 'Cold War' years, some military units or formations doubtless experienced incidents or periods of service as a result of activity by Warsaw Pact forces, where their exposure to risk and rigour may have been heightened."
He continues; "The professionalism and resolve of the British, American and other NATO Armed Forces doubtless played their part in the factors that led to the collapse of the Warsaw Pact Military Alliance."
Sadly, whilst clearly accepting that Cold War veterans were not only at risk but that their service contributed to the collapse of the Warsaw Pact Military threat, Mr Cooney is keen to add; "However, military activity arising from imperatives of the 'Cold War' political posture adopted by the British Government never reached a position where it would have been appropriate to institute a campaign service award."
If this is the officially adopted position of the British Government, can we now expect Lady Thatcher, Lord Robertson and any other British, or former British Government official to return any awards or medals that they may have received for service during the Cold War?
A Poignant Reminder From The Era
I SERVED as a Cold War warrior from 1972-84, including six years in Germany, where the invasion of West Berlin was taken as a real threat. When the Russians invaded Afghanistan, everything on wheels, tracks and jet powered was mobilised.
For nine months of the year we perfected our craft in the art of radio communications; all traffic was done in real time in all weathers under all conditions, and if you haven’t experienced a German winter at 2am on the Deiester Ridge you do not know what cold is.
All elements of the British Army of the Rhine were ready and willing to repel the Russian bear. When not on exercise we were putting out forest fires and patrolling the inner German border, guarding atomic rocket and warhead sites.
Living in field conditions, eating field rations, burdened with weapons and back packs month after month took its toll, but we did it with a will and solid determination.
Now I’m a civilian I have nothing to show that I served my country. That is why I will stand on the sidelines and applaud the be-medalled warriors who were able to prove themselves under fire – something I never had a chance to do.
The veterans’ badge I wear on my lapel is no substitute for a more tangible symbol of time served as a soldier, defending what’s left of Great Britain. A medal would suffice. –
Tony Levy, Served 1972-84
Extract from letter to Soldier Magazine
I’m confused about exactly what can be worn on the official medal line on official parades. The MOD I suppose makes it clear on their website:
The term ‘official’ could be used to describe any medals for which Her Majesty, or her predecessors, has given approval.
So on occasions when Medals are appropriate, I believe only ‘Official’ awards should be worn. Essentially a badge issued by the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency falls outside this criteria. But what of the 'Commemorative' Queens Golden Jubilee Medal? It was produced for all ex-servicemen and women who served during the 50 year reign and ACCEPTED for use by 'BUCKINGHAM PALACE' and approved by SSAFA.
The medal has a portrait of the Queen inspired by Pietro Annigoni’s popular depiction of a youthful, beautiful Queen, painted in 1955, which is now held at Fishmongers Hall. The reverse shows the Queens Armorial Shield and Motto.
I'm informed that it's design and permission to 'carry the crown' as depicted in HM's Armorial Shield was approved by Buckingham Palace through the Lord Chamberlains Office. It appears to meet the MODs criteria of an ‘Official’ award, and certainly has more substance than the governments (Not Monarchs) Veterans Badge, the medal requiring a minimum of 28 days service as opposed to 1 day for the Veterans badge.
The Veterans badge has NOT followed the awards full due process and is therefore exactly like so much other 'Bling'. With this in mind the call once again is for all service men and women to be afforded 'OFFICIAL' recognition in the form of a Medal, not a New Labour Gimmick in the form of a cheap badge.
Best wishes and kindest regards,
Mr Anthony Morland
Government Medal Review
The British Cold War Veterans are pleased that the
Independent Chairperson of the Government Medal Review;
Sir John Holmes has agreed to meet with representatives to
consider a formal submission for a British Cold War Medal.
The meeting will take place on Wednesday 13th June at