Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

New bill would reduce rank of drone medal

Feb. 26, 2013 - 04:42PM   |   Last Updated: Feb. 26, 2013 - 04:42PM  |  
The Pentagon is creating the Distinguished Service Medal to recognize troops in high-tech career fields who affect the battlefield without actually being in theater.
The Pentagon is creating the Distinguished Service Medal to recognize troops in high-tech career fields who affect the battlefield without actually being in theater. ()
  • Filed Under

A trio of Republican lawmakers moved Tuesday to prevent the Defense Department from establishing the Distinguished Warfare Medal for drone operators as an award that ranks higher than the Bronze Star or Purple Heart.

Reps. Duncan Hunter of California, Timothy Murphy of Pennsylvania and Tom Rooney of Florida, introduced H.R. 833, a rare bill that tells the Defense Department how to set the precedence of medals. While introduced as a stand-alone bill, there is a strong chance the legislation will end up as an amendment to the 2014 defense authorization bill, congressional sources said.

The Defense Department's announcement that the new Distinguished Warfare Medal for operators of unmanned aerial vehicles would rank above awards for ground combat troops has drawn criticism from combat veterans.

On Tuesday morning, the national commander of the 2.4 million-member American Legion, the nation's largest veterans groups, urged Legionnaires to include complaints about the medal in conversations with lawmakers.

Hunter, an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, said there is a difference between direct combat and flying a drone from a safe location. "Those engaged in direct combat put their lives on the line, accepting extraordinary personal risk," Hunter said. "There is nothing wrong with having a military award that recognizes commendable actions off the battlefield, but it's absolutely necessary to ensure that combat valor awards are not diminished in any way."

Rooney, an Army veteran, said he has "grave concerns" about the ranking of the new medal. "There is no greater sacrifice than risking your own life to save another on the battlefield, and the order of precedence should appropriately reflect the reverence we hold for those willing to make that sacrifice."

Murphy, who served in the Navy, said the legislation would not be necessary if the Pentagon would, on its own, reduce the ranking of the award. "If the Pentagon will not reconsider the decision to rank this medal above the Purple Heart, the House will take action."

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Marine Corps Times

This Week's Marine Corps Times

'My career was defaced'
Sergeant major tells his side of viral video confrontation

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook