On Sept. 17 President Obama presented the Medal of Honor to the parents of Army Staff Sgt. Jared C. Monti for "conspicuous gallantry." Monti, 30, was serving with the 10th Mountain Division when he was killed June 21, 2006, in a battle at Gowardesh, Afghanistan.
This was the sixth occasion since Sept. 11, 2001, that the nation's highest military award has been bestowed. Unfortunately, some are pushing for this decoration to be awarded more generously because they believe the number of recipients is too low.
More than a dozen groups and lawmakers are lobbyingthe Defense Department toawardthishonor more frequently -- in effect, to lower its standards -- and to upgrade to the Medal of Honor other decorations that soldiers have received. In debate over the National Defense Authorization Act for 2010, the Pentagon was criticized for setting decoration standards too high. The "low numbers" led Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) to insert a conference report in the authorization act "to review the current trends in awarding the Medal of Honor to identify whether there is an inadvertent subjective bias amongst commanders that has contributed to the low numbers of awards of the Medal of Honor." It directs Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to report back to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees next March.