How far can a Soldier’s award be downgraded? | - Leader Development for Army Professionals
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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.

1–16. Reconsideration/Appeal of disapproved or downgraded award recommendations

a. A request for reconsideration or the appeal of a disapproved or downgraded award recommendation must be placed in official channels within 1 year from the date of the awarding authority’s decision. One time reconsideration by the award approval authority will be conclusive. However, pursuant to 10 USC 1130, a member of Congress can request a review of a proposal for the award or presentation of a decoration (or the upgrading of a decoration) that is not authorized to be presented or awarded due to time limitations established by law or policy for timely submission of a recommendation.

b. Recommendations are submitted for reconsideration or appeal only if new, substantive and material information is furnished and the time limits specified in paragraph 1–14 above do not prevent such action. Requests for reconsideration or appeal must be forwarded through the same official channels as the original recommendation. The additional justification for reconsideration or appeal must be in letter format, not to exceed two single-spaced typewritten pages.

A copy of the original recommendation, with all endorsements, and the citation must be attached. If the original recommendation is not available, a new/reconstructed recommendation should be submitted.

c. If the reconsideration or appeal is approved and when a lesser decoration has already been approved, action is taken by the awarding authority to revoke the lesser awarded decoration.

d. Other options for reconsideration or appeal include the Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR) and the Inspector General. A DD Form 149 (Application for Correction of Military Record) is required for review by the ABCMR.

posted on 12/28/2011 under Q&A
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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