Pentagon to Review Possible Medals to Drone Pilots, Cyber Warriors

Posted March 21, 2014 at 7:15am

Stars and Stripes reports that “during an upcoming review of the military’s decorations and awards system, the Defense Department will reconsider the sensitive issue of whether drone operators and cyber warriors will receive medals for their service far away from combat areas, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters Thursday.”  

“Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s announcement last year that a new Distinguished Warfare Medal had been created for drone pilots and cyber operators drew heavy fire from veterans, politicians and others who objected to it being ranked above the Purple Heart and other decorations earned in direct combat.”  

“Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel canceled the medal soon after taking office and said DOD would instead create a new device to affix to existing medals. But that decision is being revisited as part of an upcoming study of the military’s decorations and awards system that Hagel ordered Thursday.”