Las Vegas Sun

August 20, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

New medal carries too much stature

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The new Distinguished Warfare Medal, which will be awarded to drone operators and those in cyberwarfare operations, is the product of wrongheadedness at the top level of the civilian leadership in the Defense Department, many of whom have never served in uniform other than a Brooks Brothers suit.

There are medals currently within the services that may be awarded to drone and cyberwarfare operators.

You may receive a service achievement or commendation medal for outstanding service in support of ground operations today. An air medal may also be appropriate for the demanding job of operating drones.

I believe, as a decorated combat veteran, that recognizing enlisted service members and officers for exemplary service is of tremendous value. Recognition contributes to morale and celebrates individual achievement.

Most all logical service members have no issue acknowledging the contributions of drone pilots, cyberwarfare specialists and their community.

Having said that, the precedence of the DWM is where the defense secretary has erred. The DWM should not be ahead of the Bronze Star nor the Purple Heart in order of precedence.

Those who receive this medal in the future will be embarrassed to wear it. One thing about the men and women in uniform, past and present, we recognize civilian political buffoonery in a New York minute.

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  1. When medals and awards are given frivolously it diminishes the meaning for those that were earned and deserved.

    CarmineD

  2. Again, I have to agree with Carmine. Military medals are awarded primarily to those who have actually put their skins on the line.

    For those who spend their workdays in front of a monitor risking eyestrain and a headache and then go home to dinner with the family, I'd argue that something like a "Superior Accomplishment Award," a paper certificate to hang on the cubical wall, might be more appropriate.

  3. Drone metals should be based on the lack of "innocents" killed.

    Cybersecurity should be based on the number and completeness of stopping breaches to our security.

    It's a new warfare game!

  4. The escalation of meaningless "fruit salad" decorations can only be addressed by the military chiefs and Congress. Nobody sitting at a console at Indian Springs should be "decorated" for much of anything. After 20 years in the Air Force, I retired honorably. That was the main goal, not superfluous "decorations" that, in the end, mean NOTHING.