Pentagon calls off new medal for drone, cyber warriors
2013 04 16

By Shahzad | AllVoices

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday cancelled a new combat medal for US troops who launch drone strikes or cyber attacks after a torrent of criticism from veterans and lawmakers.

Hagel opted to scrap the new "Distinguished Warfare Medal" for a pin or device that could be added to existing medals to recognize service members operating unmanned aircraft or cyber weapons, Hagel said in a statement.



The Defense Secretary Leon Panetta shakes the hand of a Petty Officer after presenting him with a Joint Service Achievement Medal at U.S. Pacific Command.

Hagel opted to scrap the new "Distinguished Warfare Medal" for a pin or device that could be added to existing medals to recognize service members operating unmanned aircraft or cyber weapons, Hagel said in a statement.

The now cancelled medal had provoked outrage among active duty and retired troops, who called it insulting due to its high ranking in the military’s hierarchy of traditional combat medals -- above the prestigious Bronze Star for valor and the Purple Heart.

Opponents had decried Panetta’s high placement of the medal, which was meant to be a nod to the changing nature of warfare and represented the most substantial shakeup in the hierarchy of military medals since World War Two.

Brian Jopek, whose 20-year-old son, Ryan, earned a Bronze Star when he was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2006, had branded Panetta’s decision a "slap in the face.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars, which describes itself as America’s largest combat veterans’ organization, also strongly objected to medal’s ranking.

The new medal, announced in February by then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, was met with harsh criticism from legislators and veterans groups. It also was met with derision from some in the ranks, where it was suggested the award could be a gold-plated X-Box controller, among other reactions.

[...]

Read the full article at: allvoices.com




Related Articles
Living Under Drones
PBS’ “Rise of the Drones” Documentary Really An Infomercial for Military Industrial Complex
King: I Have a Dream. Obama: I Have a Drone
Obama cries, yet dismisses the “collateral casualties” of drone warfare
Drone Carnage, Children Slaughtered: The Moral Question Obama Can’t Evade
"Whatever Is Left Is Just Pieces of Bodies and Cloth": The Horror of Living Under Drones


Latest News from our Front Page

EU on high alert as Germany accepts Ebola patients
2014 07 30
A German hospital has agreed to treat Ebola patients amid widespread fears of a possible outbreak of the deadly disease in Europe. Over 670 people have already been killed by the disease in West Africa with doctors struggling to control the epidemic. A German hospital in Hamburg agreed to accept patients following a request from the World Health Organization (WHO), Deutsche ...
Bolivia declares Israel terrorist regime
2014 07 30
Bolivia has declared Israel a “terrorist state” and revoked a visa exemption agreement with Tel Aviv in protest at the ongoing Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip. The move "means, in other words, we are declaring (Israel) a terrorist state," President Evo Morales said during talks with a group of educators in the city of Cochabamba ...
Pagan Traditions: Mysteries of medieval graffiti in England’s churches
2014 07 30
Medieval graffiti of straw kings, pentagrams, crosses, ships and "demon traps" have been offering a tantalising glimpse into England’s past. What do the pictures reveal about life in the Middle Ages? A project to record the graffiti, which began in Norfolk, has now been rolled out to other areas and is gradually spreading across England. Armed with just a torch and a ...
More Gigantic Holes Appear in Siberia’s ’End of the World’
2014 07 30
Is it the end of the world in Siberia’s ’End of the World’? Scientists suspect not, but they’re still investigating the strange and alarming holes that are swallowing up the Siberian north. This week two new holes have been discovered, and with similar characteristics as the first reported hole: a very deep shaft with smooth sides, debris surrounding the rim, and water ...
BLACKLISTED: The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist
2014 07 30
The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept. The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, ...
More News »