Magazine article Army Reserve Magazine

Change Allows More Reservists to Earn Soldier's Medal

Magazine article Army Reserve Magazine

Change Allows More Reservists to Earn Soldier's Medal

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON-More reservists and guardsmen are earning the Soldier's Medal since a new policy went into effect allowing them to receive the award for actions performed off duty, according to ArmyLINK News.

The 1998 Defense Authorization Act amended Title 10 of the U.S. Code to authorize award of the Army's highest peacetime medal "to a member of the Ready Reserve who was not in a duty status ... when the member distinguished himself by heroism." Prior to last year's legislation, soldiers of the Army Reserve and National Guard could only receive the Soldier's Medal for heroic acts while on active duty, at annual training or attending an active-duty school.

The Soldier's Medal, established July 2, 1926, is awarded to recognize any individual of the U.S. Armed Forces who, while serving in any capacity with the Army, distinguishes himself by acts of heroism and meritorious service not involving actual conflict with an enemy, officials said.

Two Army Reserve non-commissioned officers - Sgt. 1st Class Denny Skiles and Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Schmanski received the Soldier's Medal last fall for saving lives. A Soldier's Medal was recently awarded by the Chief of the Army Reserve, Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Plewes, to an Active Guard Reserve officer who left AR-PERSCOM for Los Angeles and the 311th Support Command (Corps) in summer 1998. Lt. Col. Roger Furnival is the special projects officer under 311th COSCOM Operations, or G3. Furnival came to the aid of a woman who was being carjacked at 2:30 p.m. on a Saturday in January 1999.

The Los Angeles district attorney described Furnival's heroism at a city luncheon honoring Furnival and several others:

Furnival and his two sons were just getting back into their car when he heard what he describes as a "gutwrenching, something really bad" kind of a scream from nearby in the parking lot. …

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