We’re no particular fan of the new SecDef, Chuck Hagel, but he did scuttle the Distinguished Warfare Medal, the proposed award for drone operators and others far from the field of battle that make a significant contribution to the campaign.
The special medal for the Pentagon’s drone operators and cyberwarriors didn’t last long.
Two months after the military rolled out the Distinguished Warfare Medal for troops who don’t set foot on the battlefield, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has concluded it was a bad idea. Some veterans and some lawmakers spoke out against the award, arguing that it was unfair to make the medal a higher honor than some issued for valor on the battlefield.
The controversy echoed a broader debate over defense policy, irking those who feel uneasy about the extent to which remote-controlled aircraft have become the tip of America’s spear in the war against extremists abroad.
After ordering a review of a policy that was one of his predecessor’s last official moves, Hagel said Monday that he concluded no such medal was needed. Instead, he said, a “device” will be affixed to existing medals to recognize those who fly and operate drones, whom he described as “critical to our military’s mission of safeguarding the nation.”
H/T to TAH, who notes that while this is good news, it’s also a fine distraction from some of the other stupid crap coming out of DoD.