WASHINGTON, D.C. — American military officials are reportedly shocked at the speed at which France was able to approve of their nation's highest award which was presented to American Airman Spencer Stone, Spc. Alek Skarlatos, and some random civilians who participated in the righteous beating of a terrorist last week in Paris.
"This was easy when we originally thought it was Marines," said Sergeant Maj. of the Marine Corps Ronald Green. "I had their charge sheets all written up and was ready to read them their Article 31 rights over the phone, but man, what a letdown."
Other senior members of the armed forces are grappling with how to deal with this blatant breach in the American military tradition of foot dragging and outright dismissal of awards for junior enlisted personnel.
"There's no way Airman Spencer rates an actual Legion d'Honneur," said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody. "We'll probably just submit it as a Letter of Appreciation in his record book. It's not like it will get him any points for promotion anyway."
Shortly after Cody's remarks, it was announced Airman Spencer would be nominated for the Air Force's highest non-combat award for being wounded while engaging in hand-to-hand combat with a fully armed enemy.
Major Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, the Adjutant General of the Oregon National Guard, agrees.
"Spc. Skarlatos hasn't even earned an ARCOM yet," said Hokanson. "How in the world can we justify this medal? Besides, I don't have one."
Hokanson further pointed out that Skarlatos hadn't re-certified on the online Level 1 Antiterrorism Awareness module so he couldn't possibly rate a medal for actually fighting terrorism.
Some senior officials speculate the French didn't bother to hold an awards board, where in American tradition, awards are sent back to be rewritten multiple times until the originator quits trying in frustration. In other cases the submission is downgraded to a certificate of commendation so junior service members do not earn an award greater than any officers they are subordinate to.
"Rank has nothing to do with the military awards process," said Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark Milley. "Except that it does."
Senior enlisted from both services are salivating in anticipation of forcing both servicemen to verbally provide the guidance allowing them to wear the award.
Duffel Blog writer Davies contributed reporting.