Members of Congress have begun to intercede on the Defense Department’s efforts to introduce a new medal designed to reward combatants who are removed from the battlefield by geography. DoD had originally planned t make the medal higher in precedence than the Bronze Star Medal which rewards performance on the battlefield, but warriors have complained that the Distinguished Warfare medal should be lower than those awarded for participation in combat. From Stars & Stripes;
A trio of veterans serving in Congress, Reps. Duncan Hunter, D-Calif., Tom Rooney, R- Fl., and Tim Murphy, R-Pa., introduced the bill on Wednesday, in response to what has been a public outcry against the creation of the medal, which was announced on Feb. 13.
“Combat valor awards have a deep and significant meaning to those who serve in America’s military,” said Hunter, a former Marine, in a statement. “These awards represent not just actions, but also the courage and sacrifice that derive from experiences while in harm’s way. And those engaged in direct combat put their lives on the line, accepting extraordinary personal risk.”
Personally, I think the announcement of the medal was timed to distract from the rest of the crap the Defense Department is engaged in right now, like raiding the Tricare surplus and kicking thousands of retirees off of Tricare Prime. DoD’s insistence that their plans go forward on the medal is out of character for them. But, I guess we’ll see what Congress can do about the inequity of this award.