The Pentagon announced today [Monday] that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has cancelled the creation of the Distinguished Warfare Medal, and instead will create a new device to affix to existing medals to properly recognize drone operators, cyber warriors and others who are making a tremendous real-time impact on battlefields far away.
John E. Hamilton, national commander of the 2 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its Auxiliaries, said the right decision was made. “The VFW is appreciative of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for their review, and commends Secretary Hagel for taking this issue on so early in his tenure. This decision will clearly keep medals that can only be earned in combat in their high order of precedence, while providing proper recognition to all who support our warfighters regardless of their distance from the fight.”
The shape of the new device, the medals it can be affixed to, plus award eligibility, are expected to be determined within the next 90 days.