Originally Posted by urluckyday
In this case they weren't disobeying orders; rather, they denied a request by an allied officer who they did not answer to directly. I feel like it's almost more heroic because they put the faith in their ability to stop the enemy by using a maneuver that requires more precision and concentration than just pressing a button to drop a bomb. By doing so, they also saved a school and possibly civilian lives.
This might beg the question, though...what makes a hero? Aren't heroes made when they take a gamble?
I'd say that esp given the man's rank and knowledge about the effects of a GBU38, it wasn't heroics on display, but prudence. As to what constitutes a heroic display, that is likely something of a judgement call. It many times involves putting oneself in dire circumstances specifically to try to save fellow soldiers (dropping on a grenade, drawing enemy fire to take pressure off fellow soldiers, rescuing a comrade under fire, etc..) In the case of someone like Sgt York in WW1, flanking and successfully capturing many enemy troops all/mostly by himself. It's likely that for every man that gets a medal (Bronze Star and up) for courageous acts in a combat zone, there are likely several/many more who don't for any number of reasons.
Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton
There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt
I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.---Groucho
And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot
How would you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass.---Red Foreman