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New DoD Warfare Medal

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The new Distinguished Warfare Medal annouced yesterday at the Pentagon. DoD Photo

The new Distinguished Warfare Medal annouced yesterday at the Pentagon. DoD Photo

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta unveiled a new decoration that recognizes efforts of troops that effect combat even if they are outside a battle zone, Wednesday.

“This award recognizes the reality of the kind of technological warfare that we are engaged in, in the 21st century,” Panetta said in a Penatgon briefing Wednesday.

In the last ten years, the proliferation of unmanned vehicles and cyber warfare prompted officials to create an award to recognize service members who effect the battlefield from a distance.

“I’ve seen firsthand how modern tools, like remotely piloted platforms and cyber systems, have changed the way wars are fought. And they’ve given our men and women the ability to engage the enemy and change the course of battle, even from afar,” Panetta said.

“For that reason, recognizing these technological advances, I’m pleased to announce that I have formally approved the establishment of a new distinguished warfare medal. The medal provides distinct department-wide recognition for the extraordinary achievements that directly impact on combat operations, but that do not involve acts of valor or physical risk that combat entails.”

The medal is causing some controversy. The Navy Times reported that the medal will reside in precedence above the Bronze Star with Valor Device, a combat decoration.

“It’s got me puzzled,” said Doug Sterner, curator of the Military Times Hall of Valor in the report.
“I understand the need to recognize the guys at the console who are doing some pretty important things. But to see it ranking above the Bronze Star [with] V?”

The award will be included in the next update of revision of the Manual of Military Decorations and Awards.

 

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Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the USNI Online Editor at the U.S. Naval Institute.
He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. In his role he covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
Sam is a 2003 graduate of Virginia Military Institute.

  • RD

    And who, exactly, believed there were any conceivable meritorious acts that could not have been adequately and appropriately recognized with existing awards?

    Who in his right mind, I meant…

  • Michael Wilson

    Ridiculous. But I suppose it’s better than the “The White House had me killing American citizens without Constitutional protection and all I got was this lousy t-shirt”.