Leon Panetta, the US Defense Secretary, announced on Wednesday that a new medal will be created which can be awarded to servicemen who directly affect combat or other military undertakings, even if they are not physically present in the combat arena.
This opens the door to allow drone pilots and cyber warriors to have their achievements recognised.
The newly created Distinguished Warfare Medal can be awarded to individuals who have displayed ‘extraordinary achievement’ relating to military options post-911.
“I have seen first-hand how modern tools like remotely piloted platforms and cyber systems have changed the way wars can be fought. We should also have the ability to honor extraordinary actions that make a true difference in combat operations, even if those actions are physically removed from the fight.”
Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense
In terms of the level of prestige the new red, white and blue ribboned medal will sit between the existing Bronze and Silver stars.