New Medal to Honor Drone Pilots Who Combat From Computers
Do they deserve recognition too?
A new medal will honor the troops that fight the war from behind computer screens with cyberattacks and launch drone strikes from a remote trailer against our enemies. That's right, though they never step foot in the combat zone, defense secretary Leon Panetta announced Wednesday that he's established a new medal for the drone pilots and computer experts that are central to the new form of combat. The Distinguished Warfare Medal will provide “recognition for the extraordinary achievements that directly impact on combat operations, but that do not involve acts of valor or physical risk that combat entails,” Mr. Panetta said. “I’ve seen firsthand how modern tools like remotely piloted platforms and cybersystems have changed the way wars are fought, and they’ve given our men and women the ability to engage the enemy and change the course of battle even from afar.” In the past, these tasks have been viewed as technological achievements, not combat. Pentagon officials said the medal would rank higher than the Bronze Star but below the Silver Star. (NY Times)