National Defence Medal
What is it?
The United Kingdom National Defence Medal (NDM) is a proposal to the UK Government to recognise and honour military service wherever undertaken from 1945 onwards. And is proposed by those who feel themselves inadequate by the racks being worn by today's soldiers.
Winter of Discontent
The NDM proposal has created something of a shit storm, with much vitriol flying... usually in one direction (and from the usual suspects). It is generally perceived to be nothing more than a pathetic attempt by people who have no medals to get one.
The 'Against' camp are, of course, perfectly entitled to their opinion but the 'For' camp suspect it would be somewhat different if they'd involuntarily given up over two years of their lives to be sent to an area that - at any time - could have boiled over from a Cold War in to the uncomfortably hot variety. The 1950s in North-West Europe were no joke, despite what many think.
The 'Against' camp counter this argument with the suggestion that the NDM will be a medal for those who did fuck all during their career worthy of a medal (apart from tax free perks and regular trips to the whore house), and that the 'For's feel inadequate standing next to soldiers who have earned their medals. Quite. Compounding this is the fact that some other Commonwealth have introduced - or are in the process of introducing - such an equivalent award, notably Australia and New Zealand. This is countered by the argument that the Veterans Badge is perfectly adequate recognition, and that the 'For' camp should stop throwing teddies and grow up.
For a general feel of the bathwater's temperature, read the several ARRSE threads that have materialised over the previous few months. They're entertaining if nothing else:
On the Other Hand...
The Veterans Recognition Report
The Veterans Recognition Report was commissioned by the NDM campaign team to highlight the reasons why such a medal is appropriate for HM Forces. It details several case studies as well as unpicking the rather flawed arguments put forward by the MoD. It was presented to 10 Downing Street on 10th June 2009... and roundly ignored.
Whatever one's viewpoint. The report is a well-written paper that highlights the complicated and baffling inconsistencies that abound within the honours and awards system of the United Kingdom. Don your anorak and pour yourself a large one before reading.