Comments: Full Medal Jackets [Bumped]

Of all the men pictured only one appears as a General. Ike.

Posted by Terry at February 11, 2013 3:20 PM

Those are their bus tokens. That's important to the Norks.

Posted by Casey Klahn at February 11, 2013 3:25 PM

Well, to be fair, the NorK generals are good at kissing ass.

And Eisenhower had more decorations than that. He just chose to wear a few. That's probably because he was somewhat embarrassed about never having led troops on an battlefield.

But he was a master at dealing with the politics of it all. And, he had a relationship with a female on his staff that worried his subordinates. So, he and Petraeus were alike in that way.

Shoot, I have two full rows of ribbons, and I never held a gun outside of one afternoon in basic training.

Posted by Gordon at February 11, 2013 3:27 PM

I may be mistaken, as it may not be now what it once was, but Generals were supposed to have a certain amount of ... flexibility ... in the ornamentation of their uniform. Compare and contrast: Eisenhower, Bradley, and the flamboyant Patton.

At some point, you've accumulated enough fruit salad, and by the time those stars appear on your shoulder, they're supposed to talk far louder than all those other things you did.

Consider also the path that those three Generals took. Lieutenants in WWI, bumbled around the peacetime army for 20 years, not doing much (definitely not accumulating the fruit salad haul of today), and then they were pulled up to the top by their superiors, who needed men who could win, after all the other more senior officers proved themselves lacking.

Posted by John A. Fleming at February 11, 2013 3:33 PM

I may be mistaken, as it may not be now what it once was, but Generals were supposed to have a certain amount of ... flexibility ... in the ornamentation of their uniform. Compare and contrast: Eisenhower, Bradley, and the flamboyant Patton.

At some point, you've accumulated enough fruit salad, and by the time those stars appear on your shoulder, they're supposed to talk far louder than all those other things you did.

Consider also the path that those three Generals took. Lieutenants in WWI, bumbled around the peacetime army for 20 years, not doing much (definitely not accumulating the fruit salad haul of today), and then they were pulled up to the top by their superiors, who needed men who could win, after all the other more senior officers proved themselves lacking.

Posted by John A. Fleming at February 11, 2013 3:33 PM

There was some controversy when the Dems were trying to take down GEN Petraeus during the Iraq surge surrounding his appearance with all his medals on the Army Green Uniform, Class A. Typical, BS, low-intelligence and high fashion slander trying to make him out to be vain or some such thing. Compared him to Ike, whose appearance with only a couple of ribbons was commonplace (MacArthur did similar things with his Khaki uniforms, although the man had a fruit salad that would sink a battleship, he wore none on a typical day).

Although my WW II knowledge is fairly deep, I can't say why generals "got away" with uniform variances. History, and my own WW II veteran father, said that they were of such rank, that they did whatever they pleased. It is noteworthy that WW II was a very democratic effort by Americans, and appearance of officers as regular soldiers was more commonplace.

Anyway, when I served as an army officer, it was regulation to wear everything - no choice. GEN P was not free to look like a regular Joe, and therefore he wore all of his regalia as required.

All this to say that the phrase, "Kiss My A$$," has been gone from the lexicon way too long. Sorry, but complainers @ the military are shallow, and ideally suited to do just as I described in the last sentence.

Posted by Casey Klahn at February 11, 2013 4:41 PM

"... bumbled around the peacetime army for 20 years..."

Not hardly. If you read their bios, tou will see that "bumbling around" was the last thing they did. Patton bumbled around by inventing American tank tactics during the 1920s. Eisenhower was a huge part of that.

The Army officer corps between the wars was very small, isolated from larger America, and intently focused on perfecting their craft. They were united in their conviction that another major war would be fought before they retired. Practically every innovation, logistical, tactical, technical and organizational, that won WW2 was invented by these bumbling peacetime officers between the wars.

It was in the 1930s, budget constrained Army, for example, that modern field artillery fire control techniques and tactics were developed that so devastated Wehrmacht combat formations. No other Army in the world, including Britain's or Germany's, could even mount a poor imitation of the flexibility and targeting capabilities of American artillery. So it was that after the war Patton said for the record, "I don't have to tell you who won the war. You know the artillery did."

Some bumblers.

Posted by Donald Sensing at February 11, 2013 6:54 PM

The best leaders I've ever worked for were like Ike - one row of the highest-ranking ribbons (it's allowed for Navy). They had to wear the 'fruit salad' for ceremonies, but that was the only time you saw them.

Posted by Pappy at February 11, 2013 6:58 PM

In the Army, general officers do have some flexibility in their choice of uniforms, by regulation. During my 2 1/2 decades of service, I saw generals wear non-issue camouflage, non-regulation field sweaters, and other regalia that would have gotten us company- and field-grade officers a quick appointment with the CO for a one-sided discussion on the correct uniform of the day.

I don't know if Ike was embarrassed to have not led troops in battle, but at least he didn't try to look like a line doggie. His place of duty was the hqs in England, and he dressed accordingly. And when you have five stars on your shoulders, you don't need a lot of fruit salad on your chest.

Posted by waltj at February 11, 2013 7:48 PM

Grant wore a private's uniform, and I don't recall that he changed it for the ride to Appomattox. Not a man with a crease in his pants in any event.

Posted by james wilson at February 11, 2013 8:03 PM

Ike's not wearing his dress uniform, it would have been pretty impressive with the medals if he was in that painting.

Posted by Christopher Taylor at February 12, 2013 9:19 AM

Grant wore a private's uniform, and I don't recall that he changed it for the ride to Appomattox.

He did not. Grant's garb consisted of a private's coat with general's stars sewn on, muddy boots, and he was unarmed. To meet with Gen. Lee, who wore his finest dress uniform and ceremonial sword. Grant was many things, but pretentious wasn't one of them.

Posted by Anonymous at February 12, 2013 12:10 PM

And we can also compare Eisenhower's portrait with that of US Marine Gen. John Allen, commanding in Afghanistan. See here.

Posted by Donald Sensing at February 12, 2013 7:10 PM

At least Ike didn't look like Bugs Bunny. While General P. does look like Bugs Bunny, he, unfortunately, does not have Bugs' brains.

Posted by Lorne at February 12, 2013 8:41 PM

Well it didn't pay to wear conspicuous officer's garb against the South. They were damn good shots and would target officers.

Posted by Christopher Taylor at February 12, 2013 10:24 PM

Just a speculation, but I think that one of the motivations for Ike's and say, Omar Bradley's humble attire was to set themselves apart from the peacocks of the Nazi regime who wore dazzling military uniforms.

The big idea was that the glorification of war and the military with attendant dazzling pomp, especially by Germany had led to the disasters of WWI and WWII. The statement being made was that American generals were simply men who were forced to do a unpleasant job as opposed to aristocrats of death and destruction

Posted by Callmelennie at February 13, 2013 7:58 AM

Well it didn't pay to wear conspicuous officer's garb against the South. They were damn good shots and would target officers.

The North had its share of good marksmen as well, like the 2nd U.S. (Berdan's) Sharpshooters, they of the green coats, khaki pants, and first-rate breechloading target rifles. The Regiment was made up mostly of Midwestern farm boys who'd hunted at long ranges since they were kids, and had no problem hitting a man-sized target from 1,000 yards away. And just as there were many city boys from New York or Philadelphia who'd never held a gun in their lives, their urban cousins from New Orleans or Charleston often had the same problem. Overall, the average Johnny Reb was probably a better shot, but Billy Yank made up for it by expending massive quantities of ammunition that Northern industry provided him.

Posted by waltj at February 13, 2013 11:28 AM

patreus has more medals than the entire British Chiefs of the General Staff combined. We Brits have to earn our decorations the hard way, not just for eating our dinner.

Posted by tankypaul at August 22, 2013 2:07 PM

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