During yesterday's House Armed Services Committee hearing on the FY2010 Department of the Army budget, California Congressman and Marine Corps combat veteran Duncan D. Hunter (R-52) questioned Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey on troubling trends in today's Medal of Honor awards process.
Video from yesterday's full hearing can be viewed Here. Hunter's question on the Medal of Honor can be found at 1:06:30 into the video.
Since 9/11, the U.S. military has only awarded five Medals of Honor, all posthumous, raising some eyebrows within the veterans' community. At this year's AMVETS Medal of Honor Inaugural Breakfast, several living Medal of Honor recipients expressed concerns over the lack of living recipients from the present conflicts, sparking AMVETS to ask the same questions as Hunter.
Hunter asked Gen. Casey directly whether or not the criteria for the medal have changed, or whether our troops simply had not committed any acts of valor over the last eight years of close-quarters combat.
After seemingly avoiding the issue of characterizing valorous acts or acknowledging a overt change in policy, Casey assured Hunter that he would look into the awards process.
As this story develops over the next few months, check back with American Veteran Online for updates.
Rep. Hunter was recently featured in the spring issue of American Veteran magazine, highlighting Iraq veterans recently elected to Congress.