Skip to comments.Lawmakers introduce bill to demote Pentagon's new medal
Posted on 02/27/2013 9:24:19 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
Lawmakers are lashing out at the Pentagons creation of the Distinguished Warfare Medal - intended to honor the contributions of drone pilots and cyber warriors who havent set foot on the battlefield - by introducing legislation that would ban it from being rated on par with or above the Purple Heart.
A trio of veterans serving in Congress, Reps. Duncan Hunter, D-Calif., Tom Rooney, R- Fl., and Tim Murphy, R-Pa., introduced the bill on Wednesday, in response to what has been a public outcry against the creation of the medal, which was announced on Feb. 13.
Combat valor awards have a deep and significant meaning to those who serve in Americas military, said Hunter, a former Marine, in a statement. These awards represent not just actions, but also the courage and sacrifice that derive from experiences while in harms way. And those engaged in direct combat put their lives on the line, accepting extraordinary personal risk.
According to Pentagon officials, the medal, which ranks immediately below the Distinguished Flying Cross, was intended to recognize extraordinary achievements that directly impact on combat operations, but do not involve acts of valor or physical risks that combat entails.
But that has led to public outrage over it from groups such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Military Order of the Purple Heart, which have expressed fears that it cheapens the significance of other combat medals that are awarded at risk of physical harm, injury or loss of life.
Rooney, an Army veteran, urged the Pentagon to reconsider its ranking of the new medal, which would be ranked above the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, in a letter to military top brass earlier this month. And the number of petitions demanding a change have continued to grow online on the White Houses We the People website. However, Pentagon officials have not said they would reconsider the medals placement.
Rooney said in a statement on the new bill that he and other veterans had grave concerns about the ranking of the medal.
There is no greater sacrifice than risking your own life to save another on the battlefield, he said, and the order of precedence should appropriately reflect the reverence we hold for those willing to make that sacrifice.
Murphy, a Navy veteran, said he strongly believed from his personal experiences of serving with combat-wounded veterans at Walter Reed (Army Medical Center), that their Purple Heart should and must rank above the Distinguished Warfare Medal.
"If the Pentagon will not reconsider the decision to rank this medal above the Purple Heart, the House will take action, he said.
Do they also have wings on their tunic?
This is a really tough issue. Some people are just plain better at controlling remote assets than others.
How do we retain and incentivize these people?
If a man kills 10,000 enemy from thousands of miles away how much has he contributed to the war effort? How many purple hearts has he prevented? How many combat deaths did we just avoid?
How many World Trade Center attacks have we prevented?
John Kerry got a Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts while being a coward from his head to his toes and doing nothing very worthy of mention. One of his wounds was so bad he needed a whole band-aid.
And, if you think our drone control centers are not considered high-value targets by our enemies, just wait until one of them blows up.
I’m fine with awarding a ribbon to guys who are really good at their craft and make a contribution to the war effort, but equating that with putting yourself in harm’s way on a battlefield? Gimme a break.
(( ping ))
They had originally rated it higher than Bronze Star.
I am fine with awarding the medal with points.
But, higher than Bronze Star?
I agree with the legisation.
See post 7.
Personally, the zoomie drone medal ought to rate just above the National Defense Service Medal. What's the most serious thing that can happen to a drone controller? He/she crashes the drone or carpal tunnel syndrome?
“Im fine with awarding a ribbon to guys who are really good at their craft and make a contribution to the war effort..”
The services all have commendation medals for that. That’s sufficient.
“Rep. Duncan Hunter, D-Calif” should read: “Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, R-Calif.” Hunter represents the 52nd District (now 50th) in California. He succeeded his father Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-52) in 2009. Duncan D. Hunter is a former Marine officer with service in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
You give paper awards, awards in their file, achievement awards for the wall, but not medals for the uniform, besides, what is super achievement. heroism, in a room of people looking at computer screens all day?
Kerry saw combat and killing, these guys sit at an air-conditioned desk, they do a valuable important job, but so do all people in the military, or in support.
This is just weird.
Now, now! Everyone needs to be aware that self-esteem can be had by winning prizes or medals.
Sitting in a building, completely safe from everything, becomes boring and the worst part of it for a serviceman, servicewoman, or a serviceit is the fact that you can’t go out and earn a medal to enhance your SELF-ESTEEM.
Now the military has become aware that fact and wish to give everyone some type of medal to increase their warm and fuzzy feeling of self-esteem so they came up with this one for the military that watch computer screens in a safe environment while playing drone games on their screens.
This is the new sensitive military and it is here to stay.
Nice - a participation medal for the armed forces...
It should rank no higher than the National Defense Service Medal.
I agree with you. Just another example of medal-creep in the military. When my son came back from his deployment in Iraq he told me that everyone in his battalion received a medal based upon their rank. He called them “Special Olympic Medals”, you get one for just showing up.
To recognize their abilities is fine but the medal should be ranked well below the Purple Heart.
Many in the military are highly skilled and in slots that are vital but their personal risk is minimal.
Thanks for the ping.
Purple Heart medals for joystick blisters on one’s thumb.
“This is a really tough issue”
Yeh it will be tough to figure out how many american citizens a drone operator has to kill before getting the medal.
You need to reflect Dude.
I agree with the poster that says possibly a Paper award or even Letters of Commendation.
Even a Medal that depicts what they are doing BUT you know they are probably claiming PTSD etc....
Before long (If they already don’t) the Civilians under contract to the CIA, FBI, DOD that are serving in Indian Country will be getting the same awards as the Grunt is -
The excuse they will use is “Well, it is a Voluntary Army so you can’t complain you are making 1/3 of what the Contract employee is making...so then ‘they’ will be eligible for FULL VA services (If they already aren’t).
A lot of this started back when the occupants of the WH, Congress etal started treating the Military like ‘useful tools, when needed - put back in box after use’ and started telling the GS in the Pentagon that they were doing the same thing the ‘troops’ were doing, one of the early forerunners of the Class Warfare that has beset us.
Remember the ‘hue and cry’ trying to get the WWII Merchant Marine the same status as Vets?
Right, they did they same job (for the most part) did navigate unfriendly waters BUT were doing so at 2-4 times the money of the average Sailor, were more than likely Union Represented AND if their ship ever hit a friendly port, they could sign off - granted anyone that ‘ran’ from the MM probably went high up on the draft list but, they had that option.
Great example of CIV vs MIL is when the RR’s were going to strike and Truman gave them a day or so to decide if they wanted to work for the RR as Union Employees OR as PVT’s in the US Army.
The STRIKE ended rather quickly...after all you don’t really mess with a guy that had no problem giving the order that resulted in disintegrating a few people.
No it is NOT. You and others seem to forget just what these medals represent or entail - personal RISK of life and SACRIFICE in the face of real live combat. Now please tell me just what risk and sacrifice what an armchair drone operator might face?! Getting a hangnail maybe?!
These people want a medal then give them a rifle, a helmet and put them out in the field and do something that is actually deserving of any medal for valor. This issue leaves me livid, too many of my friends came back home in body bags or minus some limbs or minus their minds and here we have a bunch of armchair weenies wanting to lay claim to something they don't earn nor deserve. Give them a plaque they can hang on their wall but no medals.
As a recipient of the Purple Heart this makes me mad but also saddens me at the same time that we have someone wanting to cheapen the merits of the medal I received in combat for my wounds received (I was actually eligible for 2 more additional PH's but I refused them for personal reasons each time). This proposed medal is crazy.
It saddens me - that anyone deserving decoration for valor, risk, and sacrifice should find it necessary to disparage their fellow servicemembers or gainsay the value of their contributions. Not everyone in the RE is an MF. For instance, I know of one airman drone operator who spotted very obscure IED placements, not once but twice, through diligence and skill that borders on heroic. Lives were saved. Such servicemembers are deserving of decoration. This one was (AFAAM). I agree completely with all of you who feel such decorations should order below the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
You want to recognize these people then give them a plaque or certificate of achievement as been already suggested or something similar. By giving them medals that are on par for those that are reserved for actual fighting service members the risk is run that at some point these armchair service members will one day demand overburdened and already very thinly stretched VA medical medical care and or compensation set aside specifically for combat related injuries and/or causalities.
As a veteran with a 100%+ service connected disability rating (actually rated at 150% and with a need to file for even a further rating increase soon) and confined to a wheelchair most of my waking days and in need of the medical facilities and care resulting from my time spent in actual combat in the jungles of Viet Nam I don't want to be denied even more care should these armchair drone vets start demanding coverage for a claim for carpal tunnel or calluses on their butts from sitting for too long or for some other related armchair claims.
NO! I for one have joined my VFW, MOPH and DAV service organizations in opposing this move by the Pentagon as unnecessary and unworthy. I am honored they are serving their country in this manner but I do resent them being awarded medals for what they are doing. Achievement awards are fine but not medals.