‘This space purposefully left blank,’ reads the award.
THE PENTAGON — The Air Force HAS announced a new medal, the National Place Saver Medal, which has been approved and will be awarded starting Jan. 1, 2023. Air Force leaders say the rapid approval came in response to the Pentagon’s decision to discontinue awarding the National Defense Service Medal at the end of the year.
“When we realized that starting next year some Basic Training graduates will only be eligible to wear from one to three medals, we sprang into action,” said Lt. Gen. Mark McAllister, an Air Force spokesman. “We like our best airmen to be decorated like leaders of a third world junta. With the National Defense medal going away, we needed to do something.”
“Plus, the feng shui of a single ribbon is just terrible.”
To earn the award, the Air Force member must have been honorably serving and breathing at any time starting this January.
“We didn’t want our newest graduates to feel left out,” said Lt. Col. Meredith Tanner. “Imagine reporting to tech school and only having a single ribbon on your rack. How humiliating.”
The medal is a subdued, off-white color. Unlike any other, however, the ribbon for this medal has the words “This space purposefully left blank” inscribed on it.
“The medal isn’t meant to be a permanent award, given in perpetuity,” said Clyde Baskins, who works on awards and decorations at the Air Force Personnel Center. “Once we get another national emergency and the NDSM comes back, the NPSM will be set aside until needed.”
This isn’t the only new award that airmen may qualify for.
“Air Force leaders were concerned by the decision to narrow who qualifies for the Global War on Terror medal,” said Baskins. “That’s why airmen may soon get to wear a new ‘I Took the ASVAB medal’ right next to their Air Force Training ribbons. It will look glorious!”
W.E. Linde (aka Major Crunch) writes a lot. Former military intelligence officer, amateur historian, blogger/writer at DamperThree.com. Strives to be a satirist, but probably just sarcastic. Twitter @welinde