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The E-Sylum: Volume 16, Number 7, February 17, 2013, Article 26

THE DISTINGUISHED WARFARE MEDAL

Gar Travis sent this article about a new medal for U.S. drone pilots and other deskside warriors. Thanks! -Editor

Drone The Pentagon is creating a new high-level military medal that will recognize drone pilots and, in a controversial twist, giving it added clout by placing it above some traditional combat valor medals in the military's "order of precedence."

The Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded to pilots of unmanned aircraft, offensive cyber war experts or others who are directly involved in combat operations but who are not physically in theater and facing the physical risks that warfare historically entails.

The new medal will rank just below the Distinguished Flying Cross. It will have precedence over -- and be worn on the uniform above -- the Bronze Star with Valor device, a medal awarded to troops for specific heroic acts performed under fire in combat.

Drone Pilot medal The new medal is a brass pendant, nearly 2-inches tall, with a laurel wreath that circles a globe. An eagle is in the center. The ribbon has blue, red and white stripes.

"This award recognizes the reality of the kind of technological warfare we are engaged in the 21st century," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters in Washington on Wednesday.

The new medal will be awarded for specific acts, such as the successful targeting of a particular individual at a critical time.

"Our military reserves its highest decorations obviously for those who display gallantry and valor in actions when their lives are on the line, and we will continue to do so," Panetta said.

"But we should also have the ability to honor the extraordinary actions that make a true difference in combat operations," Panetta said. "The contribution they make does contribute to the success of combat operations, particularly when they remove the enemy from the field of battle, even if those actions are physically removed from the fight."

To read the complete article, see: New medal for drone pilots outranks Bronze Star (www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/02/13/new-medal
-for-drone-pilots/1917735/)

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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