Pentagon to reconsider medals for UAV pilots and cyber warriors
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered a comprehensive review of the military decorations and awards program that will reconsider allowing drone operators and cyber warriors to be eligible to receive medals.
The one-year review, which will begin in June under Acting Undersecretary of Defense Jessica L. Wright, will consider the lessons of the last 13 years of combat in an effort to improve the program. Among the topics to be considered is whether the program reflects the joint nature of today’s operations.
In 2013, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that a Distinguished Warfare Medal had been created for UAV pilots and cyber warriors. Veterans and politicians heavily criticized the medal for ranking above the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart, both of which are earned in direct combat.
We don’t need a new medal for those operating drones and so on. There are medals currently in place such as the Commendation Medal. YMMV.