BOSTON, MA – The top administrative soldier at the Massachusetts Army National Guard’s 215th Military Police Battalion never misses an opportunity to mention her Bronze Star citation during conversations both on and off duty, according to official sources.
Captain Lori Stewart, the battalion S1 officer, earned the award last year on deployment to Afghanistan.
“Captain Stewart’s a pretty good S1,” reported her battalion executive officer, Major Michael Sullivan, “but to hear her talk about her time down range [in Afghanistan], you’d think she got a fucking Distinguished Service Cross or something. I mean, shit, she was a battalion S1 who never left the wire. If I knew how she’d act afterwards, I’d have submitted her for a fucking ARCOM.”
Her battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Clancy, agreed with his XO.
“Lori did a good job making sure reports and awards got processed on time and to standard, but recommending her for that Bronze Star was about the dumbest thing I did in Afghanistan. One weekend a month and two weeks in the summer, I have to hear her constantly quoting the damn award write-up that Major Sullivan pulled out of his ass whenever there is a group of two or more people gathered together.”
But Stewart disagrees with her chain of command’s assessment, telling The Duffel Blog that she only mentions the citation when it is relevant to the conversation at hand.
“Do I talk about my time in the ‘Stan a lot? Maybe. But the hell I went through on Bagram Air Field changed who I am as a person. I think Major Sullivan was right when he wrote that my ‘ability to quickly and effectively process leave forms ensured all Soldiers were able to go on mid-tour R&R with no deficiencies’. If that sort of action doesn’t have a real and lasting impact on the successful conduct of the battalion’s mission in a war zone, what does?”
But it is not only fellow service members who highlight CPT Stewart’s ability to introduce her Bronze Star into every conversation.
Responding to questioning from Duffel Blog reporters, her husband James wrote, “I guess she does mention it pretty frequently. At our daughter’s soccer game the other day, she started yelling at the referee that she ‘didn’t earn a BSM by getting a 99% rating on a CIP inspection in a war zone to have some pogue civilian tell her to get off the field during play’. She also pointed at the Bronze Star thingy on her license plate to sorta drive home the point.”