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DOD Awards and Decorations Review

Service Cross and Silver Star Review
The secretary of defense directed the military departments to
review Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Air Force
Cross, and Silver Star Medal recommendations from the
recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan to ensure service
members awarded these medals were appropriately
recognized for their valorous actions.

The preeminent goal of the department’s Military Decorations
and Awards program is to appropriately recognize our service
members for their combat heroism. Although there is no
indication that members were inappropriately recognized, the
secretary determined that unusual Medal of Honor awards
trends reported by the recent Military Decorations and Awards
Review justified a review. The first seven Medal of Honor
awards for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan were posthumous;
however, after the department clarified the ‘risk of life’ portion
of the Medal of Honor award criteria in 2010 all ten recipients
have been living. Additionally, trends showed an increased
willingness of commanders to upgrade recommendations
submitted from subordinate commands as the wars
progressed. Accordingly, the secretary directed the review as
a cautionary measure on behalf of the service members who
have performed heroically in combat.

The reviews will be separately led by each of the military
department secretaries; the results of the reviews are due to
the secretary of defense on Sept. 30, 2017.