DoD

April 19, 2013

Hagel eliminates ‘Distinguished Warfare Medal’

Lawrence Torres III, U.S. Army 5th Signal Command
While service members who operate and support remotely piloted aircraft or operate in cyberspace are a critical part of the military’s mission, Department of Defense officials have decided to eliminate the “Distinguished Warfare Medal” that was meant to honor them. Instead, service officials have recommended creation of a new “distinguishing device” that can be affixed to existing medals to recognize these service members.

WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has eliminated the Distinguished Warfare Medal, DoD officials announced, April 15.

Instead, the military will recognize service members who directly affect combat operations without being present through distinguishing devices that will be affixed to already existing awards.

Soon after being sworn in as defense secretary Feb. 27, 2013, Hagel asked Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to lead a review of the medal.

“The Joint Chiefs of Staff, with the concurrence of the service secretaries, have recommended the creation of a new distinguishing device that can be affixed to existing medals to recognize the extraordinary actions of this small number of men and women,” Hagel said in a written release.

“I agree with the Joint Chiefs’ findings, and have directed the creation of a distinguishing device instead of a separate medal,” Hagel said in the release. “The servicemen and women who operate and support our remotely piloted aircraft, operate in cyber, and others are critical to our military’s mission of safeguarding the nation.”

The distinguishing devices will serve to recognize these service members’ achievements, he said.

The undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness will develop the award criteria in close coordination with the services and the Joint Staff, officials said.

DoD announced the creation of the Distinguished Warfare Medal, Feb. 13, 2013.

“I’ve always felt, having seen the great work that they do, day-in and day-out, that those who performed in an outstanding manner should be recognized,” then-Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said during a news conference announcing the medal.

“Unfortunately,” Panetta added, “medals that they otherwise might be eligible for simply did not recognize that kind of contribution.”

Members of veterans’ service organizations and others objected to the Distinguished Warfare Medal, officials said. The medal’s order of precedence was to be just below the Distinguished Flying Cross and just above the Bronze Star. Some commentators objected that it would rank higher than the Purple Heart, awarded to those wounded or killed in action.

“When I came into office, concerns were raised to me about the Distinguished Warfare Medal’s order of precedence by veterans’ organizations, members of Congress and other stakeholders whose views are valued by this department’s leadership,” Hagel said.

The distinguishing devices can be affixed to awards at different levels, so, once written, the criteria for the awards must reflect that, officials said. For example, the criteria for affixing a device to an Army Commendation Medal would be different than those for a Meritorious Service Medal, a higher award.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DoD
Courtesy photo

Marines: U.S. Marines, Ghanaian soldiers refine infantry skills

Courtesy photo U.S. Marine Cpl. Stephan James, a team leader with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa, directs Ghanaian soldiers moving a simulated casualty to a litter near Accra, Ghana, June 23...
 
 
DoD

DOD CIO discusses Pentagon wireless, mobility programs

WASHINGTON – Part of Defense Department Chief Information Officer Terry Halvorsen’s work these days involves launching the Pentagon’s first wireless network and managing the rollout of “secure enough” mobile devices, he told an audience here recently. Halvorsen opened July 9’s DOD CIO Mobility Industry Day with keynote remarks to an audience of more than 600...
 
 
DoD

Army announces force structure and stationing decisions

The Department of the Army announced Thursday force structure decisions and stationing plans for the reduction of the regular Army from 490,000 to 450,000 soldiers. The reduction of force structure will occur in fiscal years 2016 and 2017; the reduction of 40,000 end strength will be completed by the end of fiscal year 2018, and...
 

 
DoD
Photo by Sgt. Lillian Stephens

Marine: HMH-466 ‘Wolfpack’ drops grunts into evening action

Photo by Sgt. Lillian Stephens Marines from Golf Company, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment fast rope from a CH-53E Super Stallion on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, July 2. The helicopter ...
 
 
DoD

Air Force: 40th HS makes rescue during Independence Day weekend

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. – A UH-1N Iroquois crew assigned to the 40th Helicopter Squadron here rescued an injured female hiker in the Big Horn Mountain Range roughly 15 miles west of Buffalo, Wyoming, July 5 at approximately 5:20 a.m. The rescue marked the 408th save for the 40th HS. The aircrew consisted of...
 
 
DoD

Air Force: AFRL bio-signature research may save firefighters’ lives

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — Imagine facing down a raging fire, up close, with little or no time to save lives and protect property, hauling 75-pound hoses up multiple flights of stairs; carrying victims out and repeatedly putting your life on the line. Then imagine doing it nearly every day. It’s an extreme job...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>