Almost 50 House leaders called on Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to lower the precedence of a new medal designed to recognize the warfare contributions of unmanned aerial vehicle pilots and cyber troops, The Hill reported Monday.
The Distinguished Warfare Medal, introduced by former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Feb. 13, ranks higher than a Bronze Star with valor device and the Purple Heart.
“We are supportive of recognizing and rewarding such extraordinary service but in the absence of the service member exposing him or herself to imminent mortal danger, we cannot support the [Distinguished Warfare Medal] taking precedence above the Bronze Star and Purple Heart,” read the letter to Hagel.
The medal has stirred some controversy with veterans. Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Military Order of the Purple Heart have called for the Pentagon to lower the precedence of the medal.
The controversy has also led to a petition on the White House website to lower the import of the new citation.