Mainstream Media – Medals for Pen Pushers

Medals for Pen Pushers, outrage!

The Daily Mail has a story today about the Afghanistan Operational Service Medal and how it has been awarded to civil servants operating in Camp bastion, the UK Forces Headquarters location in Helmand.


Completely misjudging the mood of the armed forces the Daily Mail launches into a condemnation of the award and uses the now common term, pen pushers.

Liam Fox, wisely decides to stay out of this one but the LibDem Defence spokesman, Willie Rennie chips in with this gem;

“It is quite offensive that civil servants should be regarded and rewarded the same as soldiers who are putting themselves in danger to fight the Taliban”

Camp Bastion has come under fire, that fire is indisciminate and many service personnel will never venture outside of Bastion either but they will get the OSM (Afghanistan)

Civil Servants may well be pushing pens and they may well not be, but it is certain that they will be under exactly the same risks and conditions of those service personnel also at Bastion.

There are more important things to be worrying about but whilst this does seem like a bit of a non story as the Armed Forces become increasingly civilianised perhaps a review might be in order.

Mr Drury, the journalist who wrote this piece might also like to have a read here or do some research on how many reporters have a South Atlantic Medal.


The mainstream media in years gone by would have had well researched and argued articles on military equipment and strategies. This kind of dumbed down sensationalised reporting that targets the MoD and hence the Government is doing no one any favours, least of all the armed forces

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November 30, 2009 3:10 pm

It’s a campaign medal, the MoD civvies should be entitled, the journalists certainly are not !

John Ireland
John Ireland
September 14, 2011 9:41 am

All civil servants are entitled to this medal if they have worked in the operational area for the required period of time as are the journalists.

Veterans do not deny them this right and indeed support it however, it was a fact that they also received the GSM for other such places as Malaya etc. what angers veterans is that a civil servant at Whitehall, Mr. Brennan is responsible for denying 35,000 veterans the right to wear one such award, the Pingat Jasa Malaysia given by Malaysia to all Commonwealth participants, military and civilian, in the emergency there from 1957 to 1966.

Medals do cause arguments especially when every other Commonwealth nation accepts one which our civil service do not, yes civil service as it is they who are denying our veterans not the mainstream politicians.