Meeting with mixed reviews from military and civilians alike, the Pentagon announced this morning the creation of a new award.
The Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded to service members in recognition of a service member’s “extraordinary achievements directly impacting combat operations.”
In other words, the medal can and will be awarded to drone operators; as if the drone program had not come under enough fire this month.
The Army Times writes:
The Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded to pilots of unmanned aircraft, offensive cyber war experts or others who are directly involved in combat operations but who are not physically in theater and facing the physical risks that warfare historically entails.
The official DOD memo reads in part:
Modern technology enables service members with special training and capabilities to more directly and precisely impact military operations at times far from the battlefield. The Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded in the name of the secretary of defense to service members whose extraordinary achievements, regardless of their distance to the traditional combat theater, deserve distinct department-wide recognition.
What has flown in the face of some infantrymen and Army Rangers is the positioning of the award. It will will worn in a higher order of preference than the Bronze Star Medal.
Based on the order of precedence, the Distinguished Warfare Medal will sit directly below the Distinguished Flying Cross. It may be awarded for actions in any domain but not involving acts of valor.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey stated, “The criteria for this award will be highly selective and reflect high standards.”
One Army major concurred saying the awards would not be awarded “wholesale” and seemed to be in favor of the new recognition for those who do not actually put their boots in the battlefield.
The National Military Examiner publishes military and military-related content from around the world that often misses mainstream media, including all troop losses.
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