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. Former 3364 says:

    @49 XBox Live Gold membership

  2. Hondo says:

    FatCircles0311: the USAF article from 2000 you linked (the first one) can’t happen any more, amigo. That (and a couple of related similar incidents) is precisely what led to the requirement in the 2001 Defense Authorization Act that receipt of the BSM requires receipt of combat or imminent danger pay.

    In short: the BSM requires actually being there. But if it’s awarded as an EOT award, well, that’s about all it means – you did MSM-level work in a combat zone.

    Add a “V”, and it’s a different animal entirely.

  3. Mr Wolf, non-Esq. says:

    Just got the criteria emailed; for individual actions.

    Also, based on other criteria, most of the actions FOR this are so completely, utterly classified as to defy description here…

  4. Ex-PH2 says:

    I had this idea for a float made up of seriously intense vanilla ice cream, a bourbon-infused chocolate sauce, with some rum-soaked maraschino cherries topping the whipped cream. And no crushed nuts. Wrong texture.

  5. A_Proud_Infidel says:

    What’s next, the Combat Cyber-Administration Badge? All of us Vets have seen those who got awards just because of “who they knew and who they blew”, and this reeks of being one such award!

  6. Ex-PH2 says:

    @35 -Zero, not pointing a finger at anyone re: disgruntlement. It was 40 years ago.

  7. MCPO Airdale says:

    Wow! This is great! So, if the air conditioning goes down, does one warrant a “V” device for valor? /sarc

  8. A_Proud_Infidel says:

    @57 – That will most likely qualify them for Hardship Pay!!

  9. CC Senor says:

    I recall reading at the time that there were more awards made for Urgent Fury than there were boots on the ground. If that was actually the case it would appear the term REMF has already been redefined and the current inventory of awards and decorations is more than adequate.

  10. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    Front Page Drudge Report:


  11. David says:

    Does this mean that us intel weenies get a DSC?

  12. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    That medal looks familiar. I’m thinking that it’s either T.R.U.S.H. from The Man from U.N.C.L.E. or K.A.O.S. from Get Smart. Those were 1960s TV shows, kids. I’ll have to do some Googling now but I know I’ve seen that logo somewhere other than Germany.

  13. Dave says:

    They continue to not approve the Cold War Service Medal, but create this one.

  14. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Correction: T.H.R.U.S.H not T.R.U.S.H.

  15. Quincy P says:

    motivational candy. get some hooah

  16. Andy says:

    when I look at that medal all I hear is this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIsv1YOFNys

  17. Last Brother Home says:

    I have to agree with something a battle buddy said earlier today when he commented on this story in stripes. It is about as useful as the GWOT medals we started getting almost a decade ago. It is also just as stupid.

  18. Ex-PH2 says:

    @64 – Maybe SMERSH?

  19. Old AF Sarge says:

    I’m sure someone already said it. I’m too flabbergasted to read all of the comments.

    But, YHGTBFSM!

  20. Former3c0 says:

    Craziness! More medals for those “flyers” wearing those flight suits that go home every evening. And before anyone cries BS on me, I have never seen combat and I’m a Cyber Surety Airman. I just don’t see a point to these medals. Personnel who have seen ACTUAL combat will have their bronze stars outweighed by this BS medal?

  21. malclave says:

    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

    “Disregarding the risk to himself of getting sticky fingers from the Diet Coke recently spilled on the keyboard…”

  22. Former3c0 says:

    WHOA #71 Sticky keys can pose a HUGE obstacle to operations!

  23. Joe Williams says:

    Remember the Drone operators tried to get Combat Air Crew wings and earn air medals for flying the Drone missions. They were turned down on that issure.ith the prestige of the Pres’s KILL SWITCH. The Pres can have a valor medal.Seriously, higher than the Bronze star?I say NO to this as a medal or a ribbon.

  24. Shamus62 says:

    Sticky keys + belly button lint = a dangerous situation requiring the dexterity of a Ninja, the courage of a Lion, and the stamina of a Bull to extricate one self from. Not for the faint of hearted. If you’ve never experienced “furry keys” before, you sir have not ‘been there’.

    Leave me be now, I’m practicing my 11 yard stare whilst I warm up for a field excercise,…on CoD.

  25. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    I earned Jock Shiite while in and I’d rather have nothing than something so meaningless. Does the airman who refuels a cargo plane headed to the bad place get one? How about the sailors who signals the L-CAC to launch, do they get one? Why not give the soldier, who cuts the supply order in Georgia, one because the pallet of c-rats winds up in Afghanistan!

    Aren’t there enough awards out there already? NCO Professional Development? TWO Overseas Service ribbons? Basic training honor grad? Weapons expert? Basic training grad? At Matty’s AF graduation there were some airmen with three, tres, (3) ribbons and they hadn’t left the base?! They’d been in LESS THAT (2) months?!

  26. SJ says:

    Isn’t Kim-il-short-round in NORK wearing one of these?

    Would a Service Member have the balls (or female female equivalent..I defer to PH2 on this) to wear one of these with guys and gals that have really been shot at (other than gang shoot outs in Las Vegas and the Nellis strip)?

    ALL Service Members contribute in the “logistics tail, et al” and their contributions are invaluable. But, a REMF medal is absurd. Oh, this is Obama land now.

  27. cato says:

    In my humble opinion….Ranks right up there with an administrative bronze star… acknowledgement for handling large amount of paper without getting paper cuts…..

    New medal —- acknowledgement for using your keyboard without getting carpel tunnel.

  28. Beretverde says:

    Definitely a kinder, gentler military. Kumbaya!

  29. malclave says:


    No shit, there I was… joystick in one hand, Big Gulp in the other, a half-eaten bag of Doritos next to the monitor. I knew right away something was wrong, something just didn’t feel right… then it hit me. Someone had changed the height on my ergonomic chair! Calmly, I set the joystick aside, too a drink of soda, and reached down to adjust the lever…

  30. CC Senor says:

    Well, at least they won’t be eligible for a Courageous Restraint Award.

  31. Ex-PH2 says:

    @76 “Would a Service Member have the balls (or female female equivalent..I defer to PH2 on this)”

    The female equivalent is: chutzpah (pronounced hootspah).

    I would still take a lifetime supply of B&R ice cream over this nonsense.

  32. Isnala says:

    Since I happen to be one of those Cyber folks, NOT the drone kind, figured I through in my $.02. Would it be nice to have something equivalent to an air medal or some special recognition that was uniquely ours for all the long hours (weeks, months, sometimes years) working to enable boots on the ground to conduct sometimes just one mission, raid, etc against a high value target? Yes. HOWEVER it should not in any way be rated that high. Maybe eqiv of an MSM but ceartenly NOT eqiv or higher than a BSM and no where near a Silver Star. For the drone folks awards already exist. Any award for cyber or drone folks should in no way be rated as high as one awarded for actions involving no kidding bullets coming at you.


  33. UpNorth says:

    As I said at B5, “I wonder, does the “operator” get a Purple Heart, to go along with the Distinguished Warfare Medal, if he/she bends his/her fingernail back and breaks it, while hitting the space bar on his keyboard”?

  34. fm2176 says:

    Some seventy years ago the CIB, EIB, blue cord, and blue disc were adopted to entice people to join that most inglorious of branches–the Infantry. Having special accoutrements for the uniform was supposed to offset the fact that the Infantry was considered the least glamorous branch in the Army–tankers got to ride to battle in one of the newest innovations in modern warfare, Cavalry still had that élan identified with it that went back for centuries, and aviators had a very dangerous job that was offset (somewhat) by a more comfortable lifestyle when not on missions.

    Those changes way back when did wonders for attracting young men to the Infantry; how many of us here consider receiving our CIB and/or EIB as well as our blue cord the pinnacle of our career?

    That said, I can understand the desire to attract some of the current (and future) generation’s brightest young men and women to a career that lacks the pay and prestige they might otherwise receive (I’m fairly certain that a majority of technical jobs in the military are severely underpaid compared to civilian positions). Where this medal goes wrong, IMHO, is placing it above the BSM. In fact, why even go so far as to adopt another medal when superior performance and/or branch identification could be recognized more easily by a series of badges (e.g. perhaps a modification of the aviation badges for UAV operators)? I do not mean to denigrate the service of those who support combat Soldiers from a safe distance, but they are not the ones out there putting their lives on the line. As others have said, where is the fairness in giving a 9-5 (or even a 0600-2200) computer operator a DWM when there are Soldiers on the ground for a year who are lucky to get an AAM when they return?

    This is the second assed up move in terms of order of precedence for a new decoration since I joined. The first was the CAB. It could either have been Tier II like the CMB or the latter should have been moved up to Tier I.

  35. A Proud Infidel says:

    @75, 77 : The Army even awards a medal to troops that were BSA Eagle Scouts, no joke! Many a smartassed recruiter has told many a young aspiring victim (*OOPS*, Recruit) to bring proof of their Eagle Scout badge to MEPS and AG reception BN and the Drill Sergeants would eat them for a snack in basic & AIT, they did in my OSUT unit!

  36. Green Thumb says:

    I know you guys dont like Hagel, but at least he was a Vietnam Infantyman.

    This was ridiculous. Tell me that this is not part of “O’s” grand scheme.

    The man calls out video games, but not Hollywood on “Gun” violence.

    Wonder how video game experience/knowledge will be used in the non-“combat” recruiting paradigm ten years down the road.

    I want to puke. Maybe they (the drone “pilots”)should have qualification with Ravens first.

    Just an obervation.

  37. Green Thumb says:

    I know you guys dont like Hagel, but at least he was a Vietnam Infantyman.

    This was ridiculous. Tell me that this is not part of “O’s” grand scheme.

    The man calls out video games, but not Hollywood on “Gun” violence.

    Wonder how video game experience/knowledge will be used in the non-“combat” recruiting paradigm ten years down the road.

    I want to puke. Maybe they (the drone “pilots”)should have qualification with Ravens first.

    Just an observation.

  38. Green Thumb says:

    Sorry for the grammatical errors.

    This was not beer; computer issues.

  39. Rochambeau says:

    Looking at the design, I’d opine that the new DWM had proponents from the USAF. It looks like a cross between the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Arial Achievement Medal.

    I don’t know what to make of this medal, though. Should suitable recognition be given to UAV operators that find and kill enemy combatants? Should there be suitable recognition to those operators that detect and effectively save troops on the ground from IEDs or other threats? Perhaps single handedly and directly through real-time communication sent across the planet? Certainly some recognition is warranted. Is it more appropriate placing that recognition higher in precedence than the Bronze Star? I don’t know.

    The BSM doesn’t have a requirement for the recipient’s ‘personal safety’ being at risk in its criteria, yet it’s still higher than the Purple Heart. I think as much fun as it is to malign this new decoration, I have to pause to acknowledge how much those operators really do contribute to the battlefield today.

    [quote]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.[quote\]

    I don’t know what to make of it until I see the award criteria in the revised DOD Manual 1348.33-V3. I do know that if the award becomes misused like the GWOTSM or vague like the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal the recipients will also receive a chuckle at their expense. I mean, if one person gets awarded this for accurately monitoring events on a screen why can’t everyone else?

    I also think that they should paint little medals on the drones for each one awarded. That should really tick off the poor Airman that has to maintain and arm these things.

  40. Just Plain Jason says:

    Now I will say this the drone drivers used to watch over us and keep us alerted to stuff that was ahead of us. Now this purely is an AF officer medal, I doubt we will ever see an Army Enlisted Drone pilot get one.

  41. Mitch says:

    @86, are you sure you aren’t thinking of the fact that Eagle Scouts go in one pay grade higher when enlisting

  42. LCDR M(Ret) says:

    If Obama and his trusty cohort have their way, they’ll be giving out MOH’s for cyber “battle.”

  43. Dave says:

    I’m okay with this (no Bronze or Silver star, just a CIB grunt) it reflects the changing notion of what a battlefield is, but it ought to rate below a Bronze Star, IMO. We’re not too far away from when the idea of ‘mechanized Infrantry’ won’t include tracks and tanks, or even people, and instead will mean dropping robots on the battlefield that’ll shoot via remote command and probably blow up if an unauthorized person tries to pick ’em up. It’s a changing world, either accept it or get out of the way.

  44. 11B vet says:

    It’s odd how DOD started off this war saying they wanted to limit excessive awarding practices, yet a decade later they’re still creating awards for the same period of service. Between wasting millions developing a camo pattern that doesn’t work in any environment, building up armored vehicles that can’t go anywhere, and now wasting time coming up with more pointless awards, I’m not even remotely surprised that the liberals want to gut our military. The tragedy is the country as a whole suffers because of dog and pony shows like this.

  45. JonnyD1371 says:

    “Achievement Unlocked”
    Congratulations, Airman Smith, go to the sharepoint and download your medal.

  46. RS says:

    Really? is this award specific only to the AF? I can’t believe that they just had to devalue the Bronze Star Medal, with or without the V… this makes me fucking sick! I think the award of Commendation Medals, Achievement Medals, or hell an Air Medal (in extreme circumstances) were good enough. Not the Distinguished Flying Cross though, I think you should actually be deployed to get that… but really, above the Bronze Star Medal?

  47. A Proud Infidel says:

    @92, Mitch: Yes, at least when I first enlisted back in ’91, the Army awarded enlistees a ribbon for being an Eagle Scout.

  48. Scubasteve says:

    I came in in ’96 and graduated Basic as a PFC because of being an Eagle Scout. Never heard of a ribbon. Although my recruiter, jackass joker, tried to convince me I should wear it on my Class A’s at graduation. If only he’d have kept a straight face, I might have fallen for it.
    Ooooh, I feel a movie quote coming on!!: “Your son is a member of an elite paramilitary organization; an Eagle Scout.”

  49. Scubasteve says:

    That should should say “….tried to convice me I should wear my Eagle Scout ribbon….”