Monday, August 30, 2010

The Magically Expanding Ribbon Rack of Connie Pillich (D-OH)

Over at Free Republic, a few folks have published a curious sequence of photos related to Ohio state representative Connie Pillich, a hard-core, left-leaning Obama supporter in a very conservative region. Pillich is an Air Force vet who served "eight years on active duty in the United States Air Force."

Now it's strange enough that Pillich parades around her ribbons while wearing civilian attire, not exactly standard fare for vets. But, hey, if the USAF isn't complaining, why should we?

What some have pointed out, however, is that her ribbon rack has mysteriously grown in the intervening years.

In fact, the observers at the Republic think that there is something very, very bizarre going on with her ribbons.

Any contributors with thoughts on this matter are appreciated.

And, in the mean time, send a few bucks over to Republican Mike Wilson, founder of the Cincinnati Tea Party. He's running against this hard-core leftist and deserves our support.

Update: When Leftist Drones Attack!


Sad Hill said...


Wonder if the California ruling (Xavier Alvarez) had anything to do with it...

bostinks said...

she looks to young to be sporting the
Army of Occupation Medal
White black red white ribbon

3. Criteria: The medal was awarded for 30 days consecutive service while assigned to:

a. Germany (excluding Berlin) between 9 May 1945 and 5 May 1955. Service between 9 May and 8 November 1945 will count only if the EAME Campaign Medal was awarded for service prior to 9 May 1945.

b. Austria between 9 May 1945 and 27 July 1955. Service between 9 May and 18 November 1945 will count only if the EAME Campaign Medal was awarded for service prior to 9 May 1945.

c. Berlin between 9 May 1945 and 2 October 1990. Service between 9 May and 8 November 1945 may be counted only if the EAME Campaign Medal was awarded for service prior to 9 May 1945.

d. Italy between 9 May 1945 and 15 September 1947 in the compartment of Venezia Giulia E. Zara or Province of Udine, or with a unit in Italy designated in DA General Order 4, 1947. Service between 9 May and 8 November 1945 may be counted only if the EAME Campaign Medal was awarded for service prior to 9 May 1945.

e. Japan between 3 September 1945 and 27 April 1952 in the four main islands of Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu; the surrounding smaller islands of the Japanese homeland; the Ryukyu Islands; and the Bonin-Volcano Islands. Service between 3 September 1945 and 2 March 1946 will be counted only if the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal was awarded for service prior to 3 September 1945.

f. Korea between 3 September 1945 and 29 June 1949. Service between 3 September 1945 and 2 March 1946 will be counted only if the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal was awarded for service prior to 3 September 1945.

Bob Qat said...

From "During her eight years on active duty in the United States Air Force, Connie achieved the rank of Captain and held a Top Secret Security clearance. She was stationed in the United States and Europe, traveled to 21 countries and served in support of Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield."


Decorations are usually worn in order of the greatness of the honor. That is, the most important decoration is in the upper left hand of the panel field. The colors of the decorations are shifted enough by the photograph it a little hard to tell what is what. These are my best guesses.

The first decoration (medal, or ribbon if she is wearing only a decorations panel) is the Air Force Commendation Medal Ribbon for merit, as determined according to the personal taste of the local commander. It can be a minor award.

The second ribbon is the Outstanding Unit Award. The Outstanding Unit Award ranked directly below the Presidential Unit Citation on the precedence of Air Force awards until 2001. The decoration is awarded for excellence of the unit. Apparently she does not wear the medal.

I can't be sure what the second medal (or third ribbon in the large panel) is. I agree with bostinks --- I think it is for World War Two occupation. Odd.

The first ribbon in the second row of the large panel is the generic National Defense Service, which is awarded everyone who shows up for duty.

The second ribbon in the second row of the large panel is the Air Force Overseas Ribbon Long Tour ribbon, which means she didn't rotate somewhere else.

The third ribbon in the second row of the large panel is the Air Force Longevity Service Award -- she was in drilling status and attended regularly.

The rest of the decorations recognize less important honors than regular attendance at drill. Assuming Captain Pillich knows not to violate military law, she actually earned all those commendations, but they are stuffing of the turkey, not great honors.

Military decorations are emblems of brave achievement for our warriors, not to be worn for vulgar political gain.

Bones said...

It's just bad form.

Thomas said...

A few thoughts:

1. This reminds me a bit of how the WWII vets in the old Soviet Union used to parade around in their decorations. (Just an observation.)

2. The Air Force is a medal-and-ribbon-happy service. They give a ribbon for finishing boot camp--I'm not making this up.

3. As a Navy vet, I would never consider wearing any uniform item as a fashion accessory. (Maybe it's just a Navy thing--unlike Army-types, we don't like to salute when we're not in uniform either.) It lacks taste, class, and respect for the uniform. But among those with no familiarity with the military (i.e., the Left), maybe this makes her look like Audie Murphy. Who knows.

4. Exaggeration of one's military service and military record has hit epidemic proportions. It's not just the 45-year-old panhandler who claims to be a Vietnam vet (simple math would have made that guy a toddler during Tet), it's also our politicians. I'm not suggesting that we criminalize this behavior, just that we laugh at it.

Unknown said...

You will sometimes see servicemembers wearing a truncated "top bar" with just their highest ranking ribbons in informal circumstances (i.e., not formal dress photos). However, those are usually just one full row, plus whatever partial row is above it. And, given that the rightmost award on her upper (*two* full row) ribbon bar is a National Defense Medal, given for breathing while on active duty most of the last 20 years, it's unlikely that's the case here.

I can't tell what she's added in the bigger ribbon platters in those pics, but it definitely looks suspicious.

Spurlee said...

The last three rows are bogus ribbons. Unfortunately, today there are less and less folks who recognize what bona fide awards and decs look like. She is getting away with it because no one has called her out. It would be great if some Vet could show up at a rally with the chart of AF awards and try to get her to justify what she is wearing.
BTW, wearing them at all (even the ones she earned) is just tacky. In my experience, I have seen a lot of senior retired officers wear a small ceramic version of their highest award in their lapel, but never a rack.

Thomas said...

To qualify my earlier post, I know a former Marine who wears a very small ribbon version of his Navy Cross. (Those familiar with the Navy Cross will understand why this is done.)

Another note: All of the decorations which a service member has earned are listed on his or her discharge papers (Form DD-175). The DD-175 is a form that you are told to keep. Forever. It is your proof that you served and that you received an honorable discharge (or another type of discharge). Heck, the funeral director asks to see it in order to establish whether the deceased gets a flag and, if the family desires, funeral honors.

It would be interesting to see Connie Pillich's DD-175 and the decorations listed on it.

A_Nonny_Mouse said...

Sad Hill-


Since it's not illegal to wear faux ribbons or make unsubstantiated claims about one's service, she can wear anything, claim anything, and according to our courts it's all okee-dokee.

Personally I think that sporting a chestful of ribbons when one is in civilian dress is indescribably tacky. Perhaps the good folks of Ohio will see it the same way...

Shirley said...

According to Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Chapter 4, section 4, "Honorably discharged and retired Air Force members may wear full-size or miniature medals on civilian suits on appropriate occasions such as Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day. Female members may wear full-size or miniature medals on equivalent dress."

So, she was doing exactly what she was supposed to do. Indeed, "According to the VA, veterans don't need to wear their medals only if they're in a parade. "Wear them when you go play golf. Wear them when you go to the store. Let America know that you took that oath and served.”"

And to A_Nonny_Mouse, it is a federal crime to wear a decoration to which one is not entitled. That was established with the Stolen Valor Act of 2005.

Representative Pillich only wears her decorations during military events, such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day. She honorably served for several years and has put veterans' issues as a top priority. How long did Wilson serve?

old number 9 said...

Democrats are sinking to a new low with Pillich. She makes John Kerry look good.

directorblue said...

Hey, Shirley:

Mike Wilson isn't destroying our country, unraveling the Constitution and leaving our children with crushing deficits.

Since Pelosi and Reid took over the budgeting process, the national debt has increased 60%.

That's the Pillich way.

We need a return to fiscal sanity and that means Tea Party Republicans.

Not "moderate Democrats" (no such thing).

No "moderate Republicans" (like John McCain).

Just people who understand that the Constitution limits the government, not US!

Anonymous said...

Army of Occupation Medal was awarded for being stationed in Berlin up until 1990.

The two bottom rows look like Gaurd Ribbons.

I wouldn't make a big stink out of this, It doesn't look like she is doing anything wrong.

Thomas said...


OK, so it's in an Air Force instruction...please consider the source. While I can't claim to speak for all in the Navy/Marine Corps world, I'm confident that I speak for many in saying that it is tacky.

Anonymous said...


How long did Wilson and you serve? What have you done to help your fellow crountrymen?

Without Democrats the women in your life couldn't get birth control or proper reproductive instruction, I think you should want to protect their interests more than Wilson's.

Anonymous said...

The last time someone made fun of a veteran was when Mean Jean Schmidt made her infamous comment that became a Saturday Night Live legend.

Be careful who you piss-off. Veterans don't like to see criticism of one of their own, especially when neither you nor Wilson have done anything to serve your county.

Representative Pillich has served her country.

Questioning her medals was one area you never should have touched, especially as a front for Wilson.

You have discredited yourself and your blog.

Anonymous said...

Re: Connie Pillich’s Ribbon Rack

As an Air Force veteran, I have some understanding of ribbons and offer the following as possible explanations for the increasing numbers.

1. The picture in uniform was is probably an earlier photo of her and not the last photo before she was discharged and had all her officially awarded medals on her uniform. Not all medals are awarded to the member before discharge due to an administrative time lag but they would be included on the members discharge DD214 form or an officially corrected DD214. It appears to show five (5) ribbons.
Please note that all medals have a corresponding ribbon that is worn on Class A uniforms but not all ribbons have a medal. The medals by themselves are usually worn only on more formal occasions.

2. The picture in a blue civilian shirt appears to show seven (7) ribbons plus two (2) medals. It is unusual to wear both ribbons and medals at the same time but this may not be outside regulations since it is not on a military uniform. She may have been officially awarded all of them.

3. The picture in a red civilian shirt appears to show eighteen (18) ribbons which may be all her officially awarded medals plus a number of Commemorative medals. Commemorative medals are not officially awarded medals but medals purchased by the member to commemorate qualified service activities and are worn on civilian clothing or hats. For example, one of the most popular is a Cold War Victory Medal which has not been officially recognized be the U.S. military with a medal but only with a Certificate. There are any number of different Commemorative medals available.

4. The picture in the dark blue civilian shirt is too blurry to accurately determine the number of ribbons she is wearing but it appears to be the same number as on the red shirt.

With larger, clearer photos it would be possible to determine exactly which ribbons she is wearing.

directorblue said...

@anon 4:30p

My response to you deserves its own, extra-special post.


2nd amendment man said...

She is Ohio's version of John Kerry!

Cadet Second Lieutenant said...

Third row from bottom, red white and blue ribbon.

It is a cadet ribbon of the Civil Air Patrol.

She's too old to have earned it- it's for 12-18 year olds.
And was not around in her youth in such a form.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, sirs?

Anonymous said...

I am real late coming to this article but some of her bottom ribbons look like commemorative ribbons. I see the cold war victory commemorative, the Air Force commemorative ribbon and others.