Soldiers Medal

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Sol′dier's Med`al

a medal awarded by the U.S. Army for heroism not involving conflict with an enemy.
[1926, Amer.]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Only thirty years afterwards was Thompson finally recognized as a hero with the award of the Soldiers Medal. Even then the military authoriites wanted to make the presentation in private.
John Batiste presented Gregory with the Soldiers Medal. The award cited Gregory's dedication to his fellow soldiers and complete disregard for his own safety when he swain across a canal to rescue four soldiers trapped in a submerged vehicle.
The President gave the soldiers medals and cellular phones.
So while McMahon is uncomfortable with the mechanics of this new kind of war (described by Cullen as fighting "regular people in regular people clothes"), he understands counter-insurgency enough to know "you can't help them and kill them at the same time." But his response - for instance, giving soldiers medals for "courageous restraint" (a real McChrystal suggestion) - only confuses the troops.