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Hagel Eliminates So-Called ‘Drone Medal’


Distinguished Warfare Medal

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced today he's cancelled plans for the creation of the controversial Distinguished Warfare Medal. It's been called everything from the drone medal to the Nintendo medal by detractors.

Hagel released a statement moments ago that reads, in part:

The medal was originally conceived to be awarded only to those men and women who, while serving off the battlefield, have an extraordinary impact on combat operations. While the review confirmed the need to ensure such recognition, it found that misconceptions regarding the precedence of the award were distracting from its original purpose.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, with the concurrence of the service secretaries, have recommended the creation of a new distinguishing device that can be affixed to existing medals to recognize the extraordinary actions of this small number of men and women. I agree with the Joint Chiefs’ findings, and have directed the creation of a distinguishing device instead of a separate medal.

Veterans groups have been up in arms over the medal, which was to rank above the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, even though no participation in combat was required to earn it.

As Home Post previously reported, Hagel ordered a review of the medal in March.

The review came after a bipartisan group of 22 U.S. senators sent Hagel a letter urging him to demote the medal. That letter read, in part:

"We believe that medals earned in combat, or in dangerous conditions, should maintain their precedence above non-combat awards. Placing the Distinguished Warfare Medal above the Bronze Star and Purple Heart diminishes the significance of awards earned by risking one’s life in direct combat or through acts of heroism."

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Avatar for user 'keith_shannon'

keith_shannon | April 15, 2013 at 1:09 p.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

I'm actually quite glad to hear this... I'm a former Marine and two time Iraq veteran. I disagree with both wars now, but disagree even more with the drone warfare that is going on. Even though I disagree with both wars I found it to be in horrendous taste that they even CONSIDERED making the drone warfare medal a higher honor than the bronze star & purple heart. Some little PFC or officer straight out of college gets to go home every night after their day job in the war pushing buttons to kill somebody a world away with literally ZERO risk to their life, zero worrying for their safety by their families, or without even having to face a single hardship of combat get a medal that supposedly out ranks someone who was injured in combat or risked their life or even lost their life protecting someone else??

Give me a break. It shouldn't even be a medal anyways in my opinion. We already have the Global War on Terrorism Service medal for those helping the war without leaving the US. Give them that and let them be happy with that.

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