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How far can a Soldier’s award be downgraded?

I was put in for a Soldiers Medal for saving a civilian's life. How far can it be downgraded?

Congratulations on the recommendation. It is a distinct honor just to be recommended.

Awards are usually downgraded one or two levels at most. It depends on how the recommendation was written. In other words, does it meet the requirements of AR 600-8-22? If the write up justifies the award there should be no problem. If the award is downgraded, the action can be reviewed. I have included two extracts of AR 600-8-22 for your review.

3–13. Soldier’s Medal

a. The Soldier’s Medal, 10 USC 3750 was established by Act of Congress 2 July 1926 amended 10 USC 3750.

b. The Soldier’s Medal is awarded to any person of the Armed Forces of the United States or of a friendly foreign nation who, while serving in any capacity with the Army of the United States, including reserve component Soldiers not serving in a duty status, as defined in 10 USC 101(d), at the time of the heroic act, who distinguished himself or herself by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy. The same degree of heroism is required as that of the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross. The performance must have involved personal hazard or danger and the voluntary risk of life under conditions not involving conflict with an armed enemy. Awards will not be made solely on the basis of having saved a life.

posted on 12/28/2011 under Q&A
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Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training..

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    Comments

  • Dimas Magundayao

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    My End of Tour award has been downgraded from Bronze Star Medal to Army Commendation Medal with “C” Device. When I looked at the DA Form 638 block Intermediate Authority, it was recommended for Downgrade to ARCOM; however, the Award Approval Authority only checked-off on Approved, which I thought my award is BSM not ARCOM w/C device. I checked AR 600-8-22, para 3-21, table 3-5, steps 24-27 and it clearly states there. I brought this up to my Battalion S1 and was turned-in to BDE S1 to get fixed. Instead the BDE S1 altered the DA Form 638 to “Downgrade to ARCOM.” I know that is a big NO GO because it’s forging a document. What can I do at this point to get my ward fixed?

    • Mark Gerecht

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      This was most likely an oversight by the general’s staff. It should be an easy fit. The BDE S-1 should simply contact the G-1 an ask if this was a mistake. You can always speak to the General on open door policy.

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