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talljasperman's avatar

Does this quote still apply today? “A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.”- Napoleon Bonaparte?

Asked by talljasperman (21820points) September 28th, 2010

Napoleon Bonaparte
Sounds like he doesn’t have respect for anyone or anything… but does he have a point…? What do you think of his sayings?

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10 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Yes, it’s still about honor and manhood and laying down your life for your country.

josie's avatar

Speaking only for myself. I managed to collect a few medals. I did not choose my actions in order to win a medal. But when I got them, I felt good about it. I think the quote sounds a little cynical. I suspect that it was taken “out of context”. But I was not there with Napoleon, so who knows.

TexasDude's avatar

I know an awful lot of soldiers and I can tell you that not one of them signed up expecting or even wanting an award.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

It’s not the medal per se, but what it represents. It’s a symbol the winner rose above ordinary in defense of his fellow soldiers and his country. They don’t fight for it, but for the guys around them and country.

jerv's avatar

During my years in the Navy, it would’ve taken a hell of a lot more than that to get me to fight. Hell, for a colored ribbon, I wouldn’t even walk my ass to the vending machine to get you a soda!

wundayatta's avatar

Folks: it’s not the ribbon or the color of the ribbon that’s important; it’s what it stands for – valor, honor, support of comrades, courage, stupidity, pluck, etc, etc, etc. It’s behaviors that people deem valuable and surprising and courageous. The colored ribbon comes later. The soldiers fight for that other stuff whether or not the ribbon is ever bestowed on them.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Just one correction. You don’t win a medal. It is something you recieve, some may say earn. It is a small distinction, but one that is very important to the men and women that I know that are recipients of those bits of ribbon.

Most of them say they don’t want them, or that the soldiers they were with deserved them more.

jerv's avatar

@wundayatta Pretty much. Most of the people I served with agreed with me that being rewarded for doing your damn job really isn’t a reward.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

I’m not sure if this is what Napoleon was referring to, but doing something worth a prestigious military medal was one of the ways to advance socially when it was harder thing to do than it is today. I specifically remember someone referring to the Knight’s Cross with Diamonds (WW2 German decoration) as something that would “open doors” for anyone bearing it (one needed to accomplish a series of spectacular feats to achieve that distinction, only 27 made that cut during the war).

iamthemob's avatar

yes. if you can convince him what it means.

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