Last month, the Defense Department’s press secretary told critics that the new Distinguished Warfare Medal, intended for drone pilots and other “cyber warriors,” would retain its rank above the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. In a reversal today, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered a 30-day review of the situation. “In light of concerns about the medal’s place within the order of precedence, the secretary will work with the senior leadership to review the order of precedence and associated matters,” Pentagon spokesman George Little told reporters.
Pentagon re-thinks new drone warfare medal: COMPLAINTS from veterans have led the US military to re-think a new medal for drone warfare.
— MORRIS HORTON (@MORRISHORTON) March 12, 2013
The idea that a medal earned away from the battlefield would outrank combat medals such as the Bronze Star inspired a backlash from veterans as well as legislative efforts.
— Rep. Erik Paulsen (@RepErikPaulsen) March 12, 2013
— Sen. McConnell Press (@McConnellPress) March 12, 2013
I signed onto Rep Duncan Hunter's bill preserving the recognition of combat awards like Purple Heart & Bronze Star http://t.co/yXG60wjUeZ
— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) March 12, 2013
— Congressman Joe Heck (@RepJoeHeck) March 12, 2013
Glad @DeptofDefense is reviewing Distinguished Warfare Medal. Shouldn't rank above Purple Heart & other medals for actions in combat.
— Kelly Ayotte (@KellyAyotte) March 12, 2013
Pleased SecDef Hagel heard my concerns & seems to be reconsidering ranking drone medals above combat valor medals http://t.co/wpK5DGAQZI
— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) March 12, 2013
VFW Mobilizes To Oppose Rank Of Drone Medal http://t.co/1R33V0pmlC
— Joe Miller (@JoeWMiller) March 12, 2013
The review doesn’t guarantee a re-ranking of medals, but it does demonstrate the intensity of the backlash.
Score one for snarky internet comments about that silly Distinguished Warfare Medal! http://t.co/5IpkdmPFXt
— Crispin Burke (@CrispinBurke) March 12, 2013