I put this up on Sept 5th and see it is missing!! So here goes again.
Life for members of the armed forces is under military law. Military law is strict and punishment can be swift. Screw up or step out of line and there is a whole list of nasty things that happen depending on the type of infraction. Starting with extra KP duty and other punishment details, plus the loss of passes and leaves. Then there is the possibility of reduction in rank and the loss of pay and benefits, fines and jail time. A dishonorable discharge which not only looks bad on a civilian resume but also eliminates any veterans benefits which can really bite later in life and of course if worse comes to worst there is always the death penalty. On the positive side if one follows the rules and makes the effort to be efficient and positive the military usually rewards that with promotions, pay increases and other considerations like choice assignments and medals including the Good Conduct medals. I have often wondered why, with all the aforementioned negatives and positives, is there a need for good conduct medals like these.