So those 2 medals are just for being in the Army. NDM is awarded to all those who serve in the military during a time of conflict and the GCM is for serving 3 years without getting into any trouble.
They are basically "right place at the right time" and "participation" medals.
Everyone gets a NDM in bootcamp and good conduct is just not getting caught fucking up for 3 years. Not exactly a Medal of Honor. Edit: a word
Both of those are participation trophies.
Yeah our military sort of uses medals as a service-record shorthand. If you're evaluating a soldier/sailor/marine/whatever's service record it's just HUGE and FULL of stuff you probably don't even understand too well because he doesn't do your job - qualifications for operating this thing and that thing you've never heard of, certified trainer for a procedure you don't know anything about on a particular variety of engine that gets used on a vehicle you've never seen let alone rode in, etc- so you can get a really good ball-park estimate about whether or not this guy in front of you is an all-star, average, or a total slacker by looking at his medals (a useful supplement to evals, which can be pretty subjective).
Then there's the whole fact that you can know which theaters and operations the guy went on without ever having to ask him just by looking at the candy on his uniform.
Anyway I'm saying all the medals have their uses and it's not just for excessive back-patting, but it's kind of for that too.
I learned quickly overseas that Americans love their medals.
As an Aussie, I remember sharing living quarters with an awesome American bloke (let's call him Sarge F) in Afghan. Some mates, Sarge F and I were chatting one night and got on to the topic of medals. We gestured towards another Aussie and said, y'know, "Oh, old matey here has been everywhere, he's got a fuckload of medals - like, what are you up to? 7! Holy shit!" Seven medals being, y'know, a legitimately decent amount in the Aussie Army.
Sarge F, who would have been somewhere in his forties, just burst into laughter. It's been years so I don't remember exactly how many, but it was something ludicrous, like he went, "Man, last time I came here I got my 18th medal, I can't even name all the motherfuckers anymore!"
Everyone in the Armed Forces has them.
The OCD in me is happy I got out of the (ch)air force with a full rack of 5 rows. (15 medals total for 6 years of service)
Long Tour/Short Tour: I was stationed in europe for 3+ years and korea for 1 year
Iraq Campaign/Afghanistan Campaign: I have been deployed to both those places. Also, when you deploy you get ribbons for other things. Like I think I got one because a mortar landed on the base once.
NATO Service Medal: When Libya was doing things I went and did stuff there, and I guess NATO was there too?
Air and Space Campaign: I think it was for something important, but I am going to assume it's because I beat everyone at Halo when I was TDY at Nellis.
It's so sad that he was shot by John David Stutts
"I had to do it, my dog told me he was the Antichrist."
Actually, yes I do have both. Four years active duty in the United States Marine Corps. We called the good conduct medal the good cookie award. You got it for not getting in trouble. You get the national defense ribbon for simply being active duty during a conflict or combat operations. And since we are perpetually at war, everyone gets it.
Lol. Not to downplay or shit on his service by any means, but those are literally two medals you get for showing up to work with a pulse.
Or even a Medal of Honor
Have them myself, you literally get the NDM before leaving boot camp.
NDSM is only awarded if the country is involved in a conflict. It actually stopped being given out in the late 90s and didn't get issued again until 2002.
Realistically, we are often at war, but it is not a given that someone will receive that medal.