Distinguished Warfare Medal; New medal for cyber warriors

| February 13, 2013

Distinguished Warfare Medal

Andy and Mustang sent us this link. Both thought it might be satire, but it comes from the Associated Press, known for (un)intentional mistakes, but not satire. But anyway, it seems that the Pentagon is hard at work creating a new medal for those folks who stand-off from the war zone but participate in combat from their remote location;

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to announce Wednesday that for the first time the Pentagon is creating a medal that can be awarded to troops who have a direct impact on combat operations, but do it from afar.

The Associated Press has learned that the new blue, red and white-ribboned Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded to individuals for “extraordinary achievement” related to a military operation that occurred after Sept. 11, 2001. But unlike other combat medals, it does not require the recipient risk his or her life to get it.

According to the AP, the new medal falls between a Bronze Star and Silver Star in order of precedence. I wonder if it comes with a valor device, you know, if they still take out the enemy but accidentally drop their Egg McMuffin on the floor, but recover it before the 5-second rule gets it.

Officials said the new medal will be the first combat-related award to be created since the Bronze Star in 1944.

According to the Pentagon criteria, the medal gives the military a way to recognize a single act that directly affects a combat operation, doesn’t involve an act of valor, and warrants an award higher than the Bronze Star.

I guess I don’t have to wonder whether it was Bite Me’s idea or not.

Category: Military issues, Terror War

Comments (141)

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  1. Islandofmisfittoys says:

    I went in the Army in 90 and there was no ribbon or medal for an Eagle Scout. I was one and could have gone in as an E3 and that was it, I did any way for JROTC. Simply put all it did was give me a few dollars more each month. By the time we got out of AIT we were all E3’s so it did not matter.

    The medal thing is insane, it seems part of the larger mentality of everyone gets a trophy and no hurt feelings and so people who did not go down range and compete with awards for promotion. Simply put thought there are stil AAM’s ARCOM’s, MSM, etc that can all be given for outstanding work above and beyond normal duties. Lets face it we all no there are MOS’s that will not go down range but provide great service and do their jobs, not just the drone guys, but some in the medical field that do rehab etc, and others. All this may do is build resnetment in the ranks and cheapens other awards.

  2. weisseharre says:

    http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=119290 Let’s see: there’s the Congressional, the Cross, the DSM, the Stars, the PurpleHeart…no…wait…let’s do the ‘Warfare Medal’, and bracket it with a coupla stars, silver’n’bronze; (we can always reserve a few GoldStarz for qualified collateralized Otherz.)

  3. Eggs says:

    What a waste. UAV operators can already receive the Aerial Achievement Medal.


    I wonder how much $$$$ it’s going to cost to make these.

  4. Ex-PH2 says:

    Another gedunk medal?

    There are some legitimate reasons for an award like this:

    – The Norks launch a long-range missile with a nuke toward the left coast. Someone manages to hack into its guidance system and deep six it before it gets too close. Since the Norks are working on exactly this, I would not object to it.

    – Iran launches a missile at a US base somewhere — e.g. Kapisa province, since that’s heating up — and a drone operator is able to stop it. Iran already has working long-range missiles.

    Those are examples of legitimate reasons for this award. Otherwise…sorry, but it seems like another gedunk medal to me.

  5. Country Boy says:

    I will personally throat punch the first POS I see wearing this crap.

  6. Mark says:

    I am an MQ-1 Sensor Operator and unlike most of you, I read the article. It is a combat award but it is not a valor award. It is very specific that it will NOT be a valor award so that it doesn’t take away from the already existing awards. From the specific award criteria: “Awarded in the name of the Secretary of Defense, the Distinguished Warfare Medal may be awarded for extraordinary achievement to members of the United States Armed Forces. This achievement must have taken place after 11 September 2001, and may not involve acts of valor”

    To answer why another medal was created, RPA crews are not authorized Air Medals or Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Air Force simply won’t allow it because those medals are reserved for crews of manned aircraft. Interesting enough, one can earn a DFC for “extraordinary achievement” that didn’t involve getting shot at by the enemy and get a “V” device denoting valor for the award if earned for heroism. Air Medals can also be awarded for meritorious achievement without the risk of life. Aerial Achievement Medals are an Air Force-only award. This new medal is a DoD-level award.

    Lastly, it’s not just for RPA crews. There are plenty of other military specialties that will qualify for this award, such as Cyberwarfare or other intel specialists.

    As someone in the RPA field, I can tell you right now that just because we’re not physically on the battlefield, doesn’t meant that we’re not immersed in it. I regularly fly armed overwatch missions to support our guys on the ground with close air support and to assist with combat search and rescue. Hate on it all you want, I’ve done more for the fight in my first year in this job than I did in 12 years of aircraft maintenance and probably more than most of you ever have or will. This job is a mental drain as the lives of our brothers/sisters-in-arms are on the line and they’re counting on us to keep tabs on them from overhead. This job isn’t easy and it’s not like playing “Call of Duty” or any other video game for that matter. We make no mistake about it and we take our job very seriously. We’ll fly over a target for days and even weeks at a time to get that perfect strike, and then we’re watching his shredded corpse to see who comes and picks up the pieces… to the point that we’re possibly even watching the funeral of the man we just killed. Regular battlefield grunts don’t get that level of intimate with their targets. We see a man plant an IED and then go home to his family. We see his wife and kids. We see their evening dinner and even see them sleeping.

    It’s a twisted world that the RPA guys are a part of only to hear and see all of the derogatory crap from our fellow military members saying that we don’t deserve recognition for what we do. It’s bad enough that we get it from the liberal news media and our own countrymen but now even our brothers and sisters-in-arms are treating us with the same level of respect as the hippies did to returning Vietnam vets. Thanks, but don’t worry, we won’t think about how you treat us when we’re circling overhead of you on the battlefield just so you can get a couple of hours of sleep without having to worry about getting ambushed.

  7. Mark says:

    The Eagle Scout Medal was never authorized for wear on any uniform of the U.S. Military.

  8. NHSparky says:

    Reminding me of Keenan Ivory Wayans in that movie:

    “And I got this one for typing, and I got this one for colating, oh, and this was for running the company picnic!”

  9. MGySgtRet. says:

    The Panetta good idea factory is working at warp speed!! This medal is an attempt to legitimize drone warfare. We can’t just kill those that need killing and be done with it, we got to feel good about it!!!

  10. Twist says:

    “Regular battlefield grunts don’t get that level of intimate with their targets.”

    Yeah, we just get to hear their screams, watch them die close up, and smell the smell of burnt, torn bodies. Plus we run the chance of them maiming or killing us in the process. Other than that it’s not very intimate.

  11. ComancheDoc says:

    @106 your level of intimacy is a friggin joke. try being face to face with these people everyday while they play nice and then turn around and try to kill you. try sitting in a shura listening to their lies. try being on the ground being told you have to save the life of these POS who just tried killing you or your brothers. fucking unbelievable

  12. beretverde says:

    Now it’s official…the First Garatrooper Medal!

  13. Hondo says:

    Mark: nothing prevents the award of an MSM, Commendation Medal, or Achievement Medal for the type of service you describe. All are now authorized for acts performed in a hostile fire zone as well as acts performed in other areas. Ditto the LOM if the act is sufficiently outstanding.

    And if you’re serving in-theater, you can be awarded a BSM.

    This is nothing but an unnecessary award pushed by a few folks who got butt-hurt because others correctly do not equate sitting in an air-conditioned office in CONUS or Kuwait with being shot at in Iraq or Afghanistan. Both are important and necessary; but one is bona fide combat service while the other is fighting by remote control.

    If you’re not personally at risk of getting shot, amigo, you’re not serving in combat. I can buy folks on a base in Afghanistan (or Iraq, when we had folks there) getting combat awards – IDF, infiltration, and/or perimeter gunfire is a real threat and can be deadly. But folks sitting at a AFB in CONUS or in the Baltimore/DC area getting a “combat award”? Get freaking real.

  14. Swag says:

    I was nothing but a Marine grunt in Vietnam. This will sound petty, but I just have to say it: I was awarded a BS w/V for Valor in VN. I did not ask for it, did not know I was getting it, and, frankly, at that time I did not give a rat’s ass about it. But,these many years later, I now feel as if my award adds up to nothing. These men who sit far, far, far away from the fight now can get an award HIGHER than mine for pushing buttons? My brothers and I lived in hell in the jungle. We fought THIS CLOSE with the enemy. My friends died fighting hand to hand in shit that most people cannot even imagine! And, now, some man sitting in an office, drinking a coke, pushing some buttons, and watching a screen has pushed my award one step under his? What have we come to that pogues trump the warriors that do the fighting? We fought!They sit in an office and push buttons!For those that do not believe me, look my name up on the net! And, whether or not you believe it, I NEVER have said a single word to anyone about mt award because, compared to the men I fought beside, I was a Boy Scout…This makes me sick…

  15. O-4E says:


    Your entire post did NOTHING to support your cause. Seriously. You are trying to justify the unjustifiable.

    Your work IS important. We all know that. And us groundpounders appreciate it. Any kill you make is one less we have to worry about.

    But..an MSM would suffice for ANY conceivable action you may have to take however.

  16. Jacobite says:

    More divide and conquer from the Good Idea Fairies in Arlington County. :\

    And Mark, while I don’t denigrate what you actually do, at the same time I do not recognize it as anywhere near as ‘intimate’ as the experience of the grunt in the field, and neither would anyone else with more than a couple brain cells left to rub together. Really man, your post above is one of the most startlingly stupid things I’ve heard expressed by a serviceman in a long, long, time. Really.

  17. Twist says:

    Yeah, Mark’s post definitely rubbed me the wrong way. Those that see my posts know that I never downplay anyone’s service, but his whole “more interment than the grunts” post pissed me off.

  18. 11B vet says:

    Last time I was in Iraq some jackass flying a drone fired a hellfire during a firefight and hit a command humvee nearly killing an officer and his driver. They still have nightmares about it to this day and can no longer serve, so thanks Mark for the “extra two hours of sleep” that they can no longer get because guys like you were “protecting” them and think they deserve an award that rates higher than a bronze star with valor…

  19. Mitch says:

    To clarify on the whole Eagle Scout thing, at one time, students at certain military schools who held it were allowed to wear a special Eagle Scout medal on their uniform while at the school. But I think they discontinued that

  20. O-4E says:

    @98 A Proud Infidel

    No guy. No they don’t. And never have.

    I have been in since 88 and my Master Sergeant is an Eagle Scout…no such thing.

    They do however get to enlist as E-2s in all branches.

    Army Awards and Decorations:


    Notice…no “Eagle Scout” medal or ribbon on there anywhere

  21. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    OK … The Eagle Scout Medal is probably the kickinest award any young man could prossibly achieve, however … it never has nor will it ever be part of any US Armed Forces Uniform.

    BTW … I am a huge supporter of Scouting Programs:

    “The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation’s largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations. The BSA provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness.

    For over a century, the BSA has helped build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun. The Boy Scouts of America believes and, through over a century of experience, knows that helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society.”

    Notice, no mention of military here. Although, most branches reward recruits for the skills that an Eagle Scout brings to the military.

  22. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    The only time that the Eagle Scout Award can be worn with a military uniform is when it is being awarded to a Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Airman, or Coastie. Afterwards, it’s to be taken off and sent home. It’s a military regulation thing and NOT a Scouting thing.

    From: scoutinginsignia.com

  23. johca says:

    Certainly, a military service member can earn a DFC for “extraordinary achievement” that didn’t involve getting shot at by the enemy and get a “V” device denoting valor for the award if earned for heroism. Big difference between heroism and extraordinary achievement and the shame is it appears the rear echelon support is clueless of the difference.

    Air Force officers have been awarded Distinguished Flying Cross for experimental parachuting from over 40, 0000 feet during the 1940s and 1950s. A couple of them died in the process. Consequently, asserting RPA crews are not authorized Air Medals or Distinguished Flying Crosses because they are reserved for crews of manned aircraft conveniently ignores the risks of injury and death exposed to by service member performing duties on manned aircraft.

    DOD Manual NUMBER 1348.33, Volume : For all individual combat awards, notarized eyewitness statements, with contact information for the eyewitnesses, must be submitted. These statements must contain a complete description of the individual’s actions and must be in the eyewitnesses’ own words, not on a prepared form. The individual being recommended for the award may not submit a statement.

    Pertinent to this there were more than twenty nortorized eye witness (at least ten civilians) statements resulting in me being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary heroism. It was awarded for my activities and performance after I left the hovering helicopter more than for crew duties I was doing before jumping into the water to rescue a bunch of people. FYI- – the DFC is the highest award for heroism possible for enlisted service members for not in combat heroism. The 10% extraordinary heroism in retired pay when it was presented to me 14 years before I would have 20 or more year’s active duty service eligibility for retirement. The point of this disclosure was loss of my life risk was significant as was the loss of life of the twenty I rescued. This is what differs the medal presented for heroism from the medal awarded for extraordinary achievement.

    DOD Manual NUMBER 1348.33, Volume 1 continues to define combat as armed fighting and combat heroism as an act or acts of heroism by an individual above what is normally expected while engaged in direct combat with an enemy with exposure to enemy hostilities and personal risk. The lack of personal risk is why RPA crews are not authorized Air Medals, Distinguished Flying Crosses or Bronze Star with V device (for valor). This why the other combat valor medals of Silver Star, Air Force Cross, and Medal of Honor is beyond the personal risk human performance of RPA crew duties.

    Other definitions of personal risk human performance applicable to awards for heroism that RPA crews not within the operational environment RPA crews perform their not immersed in danger or exposed to hazard and physically demanding duties in are:

    heroism. Heroic conduct; courageous action.

    gallantry. Nobility of behavior or spirit. Heroic courage.

    intrepid. Bold, fearless, dauntless, very brave, not afraid.

    valor. An act or acts of heroism by an individual above what is normally expected while engaged in direct combat with an enemy with exposure to enemy hostilities and personal risk.

    The derogatory crap is the RPA crew members equating their duties having the same KIA, WIA, and captured prisoner war risk in the performance of duties from the rear area as those on the battlefield or driving around in convoys between operating bases an locations in the AOR.

    The derogatory crap is the RPA crew members asserting combatants on the battlefield do not get the watching the video monitor psychologically level of intimate duress of watching the get killed and then being the by video monitor surveillant of the kill site for more targets and intel. It completely ignores the service member on the battlefield must deal with the service member(s) immediately around them that just became KIA and WIA. RPA crew do not face this reality and they certainly don’t smell the burnt and dyeing or hear their screams of pain. Nor does it take into account the physical search of enemy dead and wounded for intel purposes and that once captured the enemy combatant is given the same medical care that is given to our wounded.

    The derogatory crap is the RPA crew members suggesting many or most sortie produces some result of beneficial direct impact on combat operations. If this was true number of combat sorties would be an eligibly qualification as is for the aerial achievement medal. Also participation in combat operations as a combatant until now had presumption of significant risk (proximity to the enemy), personal physically demanding hardship presence on the battlefield, and/or extended family separation by the Service member. The DOD press release says exactly what this medal is and isn’t and that expectation is few will meet the extraordinary achievement eligibility qualification standard.

    “The medal provides distinct, department wide 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,” Panetta said.

    It will not be awarded for acts of battlefield valor, officials said. It will be awarded in the name of the secretary of defense to members of the military whose extraordinary achievements directly impacted combat operations, and cannot be used as an end-of-tour award.

    In the order of precedence, the Distinguished Warfare Medal will be below the Distinguished Flying Cross, and will be limited to achievements that are truly extraordinary. “The member’s actions must have resulted in an accomplishment so exceptional and outstanding as to clearly set the individual apart from comrades or from other persons in similar situations,” a DOD official said.

    The military department secretary must approve each award, and it may not be presented for valorous actions. “This limitation was specifically included to keep the Distinguished Warfare Medal from detracting from existing valor decorations, such as the Medal of Honor, Service Crosses and Silver Star Medal,” the official said.

  24. CWO5USMC says:

    This whole idea is stupid….

    Completely stupid…but hey, I’m still cleaning the dirt off my boots and my CIF gear.

  25. Mark says:

    Again, more comments from people who don’t know dick about the RPA programs and all I see is JEALOUSY from anyone who is outright complaining about a medal that they’ll never rate. Thanks for proving my point.

  26. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    @ 123 … johca … well said!

  27. O-4E says:


    Oh it isn’t jealosy my friend…it’s shame

    The fact that you aren’t ashamed says a lot about your character

    Maybe you and the aircrew from Whiteman AFB who got BSMs for sending the B2s over to Kosovo back in 99 can belly up to the bar sometime for a cold one and relate “war stories”

  28. O-4E says:


    Like most od us has stated we are taking nothing away from what you do. We are grateful for it.

    The point is that I can’t conceive one thing that you could possibly do that wouldn’t rate an MSM at the highest.

    An MSM is a damn good award. And appropriate for your circumstances.

    But to tell me that my Staff Sergeant on my last deployment who led the remnants of an ambushed Afghan platoon back into the kill zone, through the attackers, engaging them in a hand grenade match, rescued the survivors and brought them out and received a BSM w/V

    Yet some guy sitting in a control shack CONUS will now be eligible for a higher level award?

    That make ANY sense to you?

  29. ComancheDoc says:

    @125 LOL!

  30. fm2176 says:

    Many of us eventually get over the fact that the awards system is fowled up, but adding a redundant decoration (as others have stated, the DWM covers little that existing awards do not already) will not remedy it. In the Army, at least, Selfless Service is a value ingrained in men and women from the time they first see a Recruiter. I can understand that service members like Mark who might benefit from this would support the new medal. Heck, I’ll even admit that perhaps it is a little bit of jealousy on my part–not because I won’t rate the DWM, but rather because Soldiers I’ve known have been buried with less.

    As a Standard Honors NCOIC in Arlington National Cemetery I took part in a number of active duty funerals. These young men (so far as I know I never laid an active duty female to rest) were recipients of the Purple Heart and, in most cases, the Bronze Star. They laid down their lives for their brothers-in-arms and the last moments of their lives were spent much more “intimately” than any rear echelon support technician will ever know. The same holds true for those service members my team welcomed home to Dover AFB. Those of us who have been in heavy ground combat know that our lives are precious and that no trinket can replace them. Still, when the guns go silent and we survivors move forward we want as much recognition as possible for those who remain forever behind.

    IF this medal is awarded properly and very conservatively I have few qualms with it. Given the nature of today’s military, though, I have few doubts that it will become the next BSM–awarded to anyone who served in a position deemed worthy of the medal. Some of those awarded it in such a manner will no doubt downplay its significance, and others may refuse to wear it at all. However, worst case scenario is that the DWM will cater to those ticket punchers and self-servers who will flaunt it and place themselves on a pedestal, especially around those service members who spent months getting physical with the enemy (Infantry, Cavalry, etc).

    As for me, I’m on my second COMBAT deployment, and despite being on a brigade staff I can rest well knowing that I am at least in country and not stuck trying to inflate my ego as a stateside desk jockey. If I never earn another personal decoration so be it. The Presidential Unit Citation and Combat Infantryman Badge my unit and I earned ten years ago mean more to me than any shiny medal. I know what my comrades and I have done in battle and in garrison and can sleep well without the recognition others yearn for.

  31. fm2176 says:

    As a side note, has anyone else noticed the tendency that some have to brag about their decorations? I’ve rarely heard a valor award recipient play up their awards, but I’ve heard a few too many NCOs and officers talk of “their” Bronze Star or MSM. I’ve even had a few tell me that I haven’t made E-7 yet because I “need” an MSM. If that’s the criteria, they can keep that second rocker.

    I guess that what I’m getting at is that the DWM may just add fuel to that fire in certain communities. I can picture a young SSG or 1LT being looked down upon for lacking the “necessary” awards to go with their assignment history. And that, IMO, is one of the worst things about today’s Army. Too much fluff and not enough substance. I’ve heard Jonn and other veterans who served well before me talk of their awards, and they damned sure didn’t feel obligated to receive an award based on duty position or competence alone. How long until the DWM becomes another “great job” PCS/ETS award?

  32. Hondo says:

    I love the irony of Mark above accusing others of “JEALOUSY” in his last comment above. The fact of the matter is that the DWM appears to have originated because people who never served in combat got jealous of bona fide combat decorations received by those who did.

  33. A Proud Infidel says:

    What’s next, the Combat Zone Coffee Brewer’s badge? After A-stan, I have doubts about Bronze Star Medals if they don’t sport a “V” on them, I saw REMFS get those for brewing the Brigade Staff Ooficers’ coffee and keeping their AC running while Grunts like me and my compadres who regularly went outside the wire came home with the usual ACM’s, but hey, I came home unscathed and so did most of my buds,….
    As for the Army Eagle Scout award, I just remember hearing something about it 20 years ago when I was a wet-behind-the-ears “Joe” at Fort Lost-in-the-woods……

  34. NHSparky says:

    Infidel–I heard it was the actually going to be the FOBBIT Commendation Medal. First awardee, Mattis Chiroux.

  35. Country Boy says:

    Hey Mark… I served in Combat long before your drones were even a possibility and I survived without them.. BLUF your precisous drone is a combat mutiplier no doubt but it is just a licky-chewy.. a nice to have item so please don’t think for a minute that we are ‘jealous” I wouldn’t trade one minute of the time I have spent with my brothers on the ground and in the mix, for the safety of an air conditioned office in Nevada. Let’s face the facts you will never measure up to the boot heels of an American Fighting Man/Woman and you know it and you probably cry into your pillow at night because of it, but you do perform a valuable service that makes the jobs of the guys and gals on the ground much easier and safer you are fulfilling your duty, just don’t try to equate what you do to anyone who is putting their life and limb in harms way on the ground. Your job in No way deserves a higher award than my PFC who stayed behind his M2HB provding supressive fire as enemy fire pinged off his gun shield and RPG’s detonated under his truck so that his buddies could extract the wounded.

  36. David says:

    I have my father’s medal rack, and I know he was always worried that the lack of a Purple Heart would keep him out of Arlington. (It didn’t.) He was called to active duty 8 December 1941, landed at Normandy, and stayed over there till ’46, earning a Bronze Star in the process.

    And this Nintendo medal will outrank that Bronze Star….

  37. johca says:

    Response to 125-Mark: Whether I know or don’t know what RPA crews day-to-day participation in operations is irrelevant. I’m however confused about being rated for a medal; rate suggests amount, quantity or relation of units of measurements, or an estimated worth or strength or capacity appraisal.

    The operational capacity is unmanned and the unmanned device cannot be remotely operated to do something beyond its design specifications nor can it adapt to a changing operational environment. The system can be hacked and the system can malfunction and when such happens it’s not the same of the manned aircraft pilots trying to land with armed hot ordnance that could fall off and explode or bounce just right against the fuselage and explode on landing touch down.

    I left the word conspicuous off the list in my previous comment. Conspicuous is defined for valor and heroic purposes as “attracting attention by being unexpected, unusual, outstanding, remarkable, striking. Unfortunately, the human performance of RPA crews don’t even meet this standard by doing high risk training.

    All the military services have military occupations or tactical (combat) unit duty positions that require aggressive training programs to prepare personnel to perform mission essential high risk tasks in a variety of environments. Although the expectation of these training programs is to perfect, practice, and be tested doing mission essential skills the participation in high-risk training does not necessarily imply that hazardous duty or incentive pay is justified or that the training is voluntary. Yet RPA crews to easily suggest RPA mission duties is at all times and places conspicuous human performance confronting the same risks at equal or higher “rate” as the infantry service member or others on the ground in the military area of operations or crews of manned aircraft flying in combat airspace.

    There are plenty of medals existing to recognize extraordinary achievement and the conversation is why are these medals not worthy enough and what justifies and validates a new “combat” Medal. The new Distinguished Warfare Medal not only creates confusion of who is and who isn’t a combat veteran it also reduces the giving recognition for extraordinary achievement during wartime the Bronze Star without V device acknowledges and recognizes.

    Being a combat veteran and receiving a combat medal or badge until now indicated the service member being involved in actual combat with physical being there presence in the active combat zone having being there participation under circumstances involving grave danger of death or serious bodily injury from enemy action. With the establishment of the Distinguished Warfare Medal all the going above-and-beyond in the face of personal risk, with lack of personal discomforts and troublesome inconveniences of weather, climate, and severance from off duty civilian life and activities. Jealousy is not my frame of mind, your disrespect to those service members who never get recognition or acknowledgement for going above-and-beyond in the face of personal risk and accomplish high-risk training before being put there in harm’s way is my frame of mind.

  38. I linked to your blog as well as the fellas over at Black Five. The synopsis of my utter disgust can be viewed here:


  39. DaveO says:

    The thing about Stolen Valor is that medals have value by society. Society values bravery in combat.

    By having an award for not-dangerous situations (unless you count eating 7-11 burritos while the drone your piloting hits turbulence), Society learns to not value awards, and by extension courage.

    A society that does not value courage is easy to govern.

  40. johca says:

    The reasoning justifying the new way of combat need for Distinguished Warfare Medal is the only service members having eligibility to be recommended for it are not receiving imminent danger pay and concurrently as result of units assigned to, duty position and duty location lack eligibility for award of the Combat Infantryman badge, Combat Action Badge, Combat Medical Badge, Combat Action Ribbon, Air Force Combat Action Badge, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Purple Heart and other combat campaign and unit combat ribbons and badges.

    The distraught caused by this new “combat” Medal is its precedence disconnect of below the Distinguished Flying Cross and presumably above the Bronze Star Medal (combat medal-for recognition of heroic or meritorious achievement or service). This precedence unless clarified will and most probably as result of being a combat medal will give it precedence above the Soldier’s Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Medal and Airman’s Medal (all noncombat medals and all awarded only for heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy).

    Consider also the only service members having performance of duties eligibility for the new and combat special Distinguished Warfare Medal also apparently lack eligibility to be recommended for award of the Combat Infantryman badge, Combat Action Badge, Combat Medical Badge, Combat Action Ribbon, Air Force Combat Action Badge, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and other campaign and unit combat ribbons and badges.

    What is the being in combat essence of “exceptional acts” and “achievements that are truly extraordinary” that can clearly set the individual apart from comrades or from other persons in similar situations.” Courage and bravery clearly isn’t required. Enduring physical discomfort and hardship clearly isn’t required. Above average physical ability and stamina clearly isn’t required. Psychological flexibility and adaptability to fight or flee clearly isn’t a requirement. Potentially being present to assist and aid to stop bleeding and carry a wounded in action member of the unit to safety clearly isn’t a requirement. Being worried the bathroom or coffee break might be on-top of an IED or under the snipers sight or within indirect fire (mortar, artillery) range clearly isn’t a requirement. More importantly, unlike those on the actual battlefield, psychological support is often just in the next room should too much body parts and blood be seen through the video feed.