A Green Beret credited by his command with taking down several enemy and saving hundreds of lives during an ambush in Afghanistan was doing the job expected of a soldier of his caliber — and therefore his actions didn’t meet the standard of the Medal of Honor.

This sure-to-be controversial conclusion was drawn by a member of the Senior Army Decorations Board tasked with considering Sgt. 1st Class Earl Plumlee’s nomination for the top valor award, according to a newly released Defense Department Inspector General report.

The board member, whose name is redacted, said the bar for obtaining the MoH should be much higher for a senior NCO like Plumlee “versus a private.”

“One’s a leader. One’s a Soldier,” the member said, according to the investigation.

And so when I looked at the circumstances and, although the battle was ferocious and unfortunately a couple members were killed, I just thought that it wasn’t a sufficient level for the Medal of Honor based off the individual and the circumstance and that, I just felt that there was an expectation of a leader who did a phenomenal job, that there was something more that [the nominee] needed to have done in order to, in my mind, to make the recommendation for a Medal of Honor.

This logic is “absolutely insane,” said Joe Kasper, the chief of staff of Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., the Congressman who has lobbied for reconsideration for Plumlee to earn the MoH.

“It was another case where Army leadership was trying to be overly-cautious, and in doing so became pessimistic and prejudicial against Plumlee, personally,” Kasper told Army Times. “This underscores the fact that the Army needs to re-examine this.”

Special Forces soldier denied Medal of Honor suggests system may be 'broken'

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The three-member board ultimately recommended Plumlee receive a Silver Star for his heroism in the 2013 battle on Forward Operating Base Ghazni.

The IG report noted two other reasons the board recommended Plumlee’s award downgrade:

• There were conflicting reports of what happened

• Plumlee wasn’t the only hero that day.

 

Read More: Army Times

Featured Image – Sergeant First Class Earl D. Plumlee, right, assigned to 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), is presented the Silver Star by Maj. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl, I Corps Deputy Commanding General.(Photo: Spc. Codie Mendenhall/Army)