Army to Review Distinguished Service Cross Awards

Army to Review Distinguished Service Cross Awards jlieberher Mon, 08/30/2021 - 06:59 The Army will review Distinguished Service Cross medals awarded to African American and Native American troops for their actions in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, the Pentagon announced. The review, directed by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to all the services, will examine whether the recipients of the Service Crosses warrant the Medal of Honor. The Distinguished Service Cross, which is awarded by the Army, the Navy Cross and the Air Force Cross are the nation’s second-highest valor awards, behind only the Medal of Honor. Austin directed the review “to ensure African American and Native American Service Cross recipients are afforded the same opportunities to have their valorous actions reviewed for possible upgrade to the Medal of Honor as previously afforded to their Asian American, Native American Pacific Islander, Jewish American and Hispanic American counterparts,” the Pentagon said in an Aug. 6 statement. While at least 3,498 U.S. service members have received the Medal of Honor throughout history, only 88 African American troops were awarded the medal, according to a 2017 DoD article.  Previous awards reviews have resulted in upgrades for several veterans. In 2014, 24 Army veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam who had been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross received belated Medals of Honor in one of the largest Medal of Honor ceremonies in history.  Dubbed the Valor 24, these veterans’ upgrades were the result of a review of Jewish American and Hispanic American award recipients. During the review, records of several soldiers who were neither Jewish nor Hispanic were found to be worthy of the upgrade, according to the Army. For this new review, the services must complete their work by Aug. 2, 2026. The Army, which has already reviewed Distinguished Service Cross awards for Black World War II veterans, will review such awards for African American soldiers from Korea and Vietnam. It also will review Distinguished Service Cross awards for Native American veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Like previous reviews, “there is no requirement to show the Veteran was discriminated against to be included in the review,” DoD said. The law only requires that the veteran belong to the specified class or group, according to DoD. Austin’s memo is available here. Image Image Credit U.S. Army Lead In DoD-Directed Effort Will Examine Medals for African American, Native American Vets Publication Date Mon, 08/30/2021 - 07:00 Tags Headline news Medal of Honor Native Americans black history Members Only Off

Army to Review Distinguished Service Cross Awards
Army to Review Distinguished Service Cross Awards jlieberher Mon, 08/30/2021 - 06:59

The Army will review Distinguished Service Cross medals awarded to African American and Native American troops for their actions in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, the Pentagon announced.

The review, directed by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to all the services, will examine whether the recipients of the Service Crosses warrant the Medal of Honor. The Distinguished Service Cross, which is awarded by the Army, the Navy Cross and the Air Force Cross are the nation’s second-highest valor awards, behind only the Medal of Honor.

Austin directed the review “to ensure African American and Native American Service Cross recipients are afforded the same opportunities to have their valorous actions reviewed for possible upgrade to the Medal of Honor as previously afforded to their Asian American, Native American Pacific Islander, Jewish American and Hispanic American counterparts,” the Pentagon said in an Aug. 6 statement.

While at least 3,498 U.S. service members have received the Medal of Honor throughout history, only 88 African American troops were awarded the medal, according to a 2017 DoD article. 

Previous awards reviews have resulted in upgrades for several veterans. In 2014, 24 Army veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam who had been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross received belated Medals of Honor in one of the largest Medal of Honor ceremonies in history. 

Dubbed the Valor 24, these veterans’ upgrades were the result of a review of Jewish American and Hispanic American award recipients. During the review, records of several soldiers who were neither Jewish nor Hispanic were found to be worthy of the upgrade, according to the Army.

For this new review, the services must complete their work by Aug. 2, 2026. The Army, which has already reviewed Distinguished Service Cross awards for Black World War II veterans, will review such awards for African American soldiers from Korea and Vietnam.

It also will review Distinguished Service Cross awards for Native American veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

Like previous reviews, “there is no requirement to show the Veteran was discriminated against to be included in the review,” DoD said. The law only requires that the veteran belong to the specified class or group, according to DoD.

Austin’s memo is available here.

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Soldiers receive Medal of Honor
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DoD-Directed Effort Will Examine Medals for African American, Native American Vets
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