Yes, there is a civilian equivalent.
Is called "The Medal of Freedom."
No time to google back up info on this to post for you ... but am pretty sure that I am correct.
I followed a link from hotair.com to this post on another board, make of it what you will ...
I heard a story today from someone inside the military that I trust entirely. The story was in reference to General Ham that Panetta referenced in the quote below.
quote:The information I heard today was that General Ham as head of Africom received the same e-mails the White House received requesting help/support as the attack was taking place. General Ham immediately had a rapid response unit ready and communicated to the Pentagon that he had a unit ready.
"(The) basic principle is that you don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on; without having some real-time information about what's taking place," Panetta told Pentagon reporters. "And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation."
General Ham then received the order to stand down. His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow. Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.
The story continues that now General Rodiguez would take General Ham's place as the head of Africon. ...
It's been more then a month and Gen. Ham is still in command of AFRICOM, so I'm going to call this a pipe dream.
I'd also wager he would have long ago been before Congress explaining what had happened.