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Defense Department scraps medal for cyberwarriors, drone pilots

The Department of Defense yesterday announced it was scrapping its plan to create a new medal to honor “cyberwarriors,” such as those who remotely pilot unmanned drones. The medal invited criticism and controversy when it was announced it would rank above the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Thank God. RT @starsandstripes: Breaking: #Pentagon could announce ‘drone medal’ demotion today… by @chriscarroll_

— Jason Robertson (@JasonMRobertson) April 15, 2013

In a statement issued today, Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) applauded the decision while clarifying his opposition to the medal.

Our problem has never been the creation of a new medal for cyber warriors and pilots of UAVs, rather the fact that initial proposals intended to rank this medal higher than the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart even though it would honor service away from the front lines.

While we should acknowledge the important role that our UAV pilots play on the modern-day battlefield and recognize their distinguished service, we must recognize the preeminence of commendations for those commit acts of bravery in combat and are killed or injured in service to our nation.

As an alternative, the Defense Department has said it will create “a special pin or device that would be attached to already existing medals or ribbons.”

Pleased to report that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has discontinued the #drone medal: #sayfie #FL06

— Ron DeSantis (@RepDeSantis) April 16, 2013

Finally,Hagel does the right thing

— Lou Dobbs (@loudobbsnews) April 16, 2013

“I applaud SECDEF Hagel’s decision to cancel DWM medal & uphold the honor of Bronze Star & Purple Heart” Sen Inhofe

— Inhofe Press Office (@InhofePress) April 16, 2013

Bravo RT @blogsofwar: Hagel scraps medal for drone pilots

— Toby Harnden (@tobyharnden) April 15, 2013

So far, I like this guy. A lot. Hagel Scraps Drone Medal

— Gary Owen (@ElSnarkistani) April 16, 2013

When an 11B becomes SecDef… RT @elsnarkistani So far, I like this guy. A lot. Hagel Scraps Drone Medal

— Andrew Exum (@abumuqawama) April 16, 2013

The decision has won some respect for new Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, but drone pilots still have quite a way to go.

Pentagon Cancels Medal For Moving A Joystick In An Air-Conditioned Trailer In Nevada

— someecards (@someecards) April 16, 2013

Pentagon drops drone medal – instead, you have to settle for Chuck E. Cheese tickets coming out of the CPU when you bravely hit a “target”.

— Boyd’s Pittiful News (@ThePittifulNews) April 16, 2013

Why not a beautiful bejeweled brooch? RT @huffpostpol Hagel cancels new medal for drone and cyber-warriors; wants them to get special pin.

— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 15, 2013

Guess they couldn’t fit the joystick on the ribbon bar: Hagel drops controversial medal for drone operators

— Hatton Humphrey (@ECConservative) April 15, 2013


Chuck Hagel orders review of new medal for drone operators and cyber warriors

Sen. Pat Toomey, Allen West question ranking of new medal for drone operators

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