NGAUS Washington Report
(April 16, 2013) There will be no medal for drone pilots and cyber warriors no matter how well they perform.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel scrapped the Distinguished Warfare medal Monday in favor of a device that can be attached to existing medals.
The medal was announced in February as a way to honor the actions of service members who contribute to the battle, but from a far distance, such as drone pilots or cyber warriors. The immediate criticism that followed focused on the medal’s rank, which was above the Purple Heart and other medals that can be earned only in combat.
Legislation was introduced in Congress to minimize the medal’s rank.
Hagel, who took office soon after the medal was announced, promised a review. His decision came after he “found that misconceptions regarding the precedence of the award were distracting from its original purpose,” according to a Pentagon press release.
A 90-day review will be conducted to determine what medals the award will be linked to and under what circumstances.