The Department of Defense is unveiling a new “distinguished warfare” medal that will be given to military members who operate technologically advanced “unmanned drones.” I was outraged when I learned this medal will be placed in “precedence” order above the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and even the Prisoner of War medal.
With this new medal, I feel like the Department of Defense is saying that drone operators working controls, thousands of miles away from an actual combat zone, are worthy of a higher honor than soldiers putting themselves in the line of fire in combat. And many active duty soldiers, veterans and their families agree with me.
Drone Operators deserve honor, don’t get me wrong. They are doing incredibly high pressure work and should be rewarded for their own bravery. But I think the Department of Defense can find a way to honor them that does not disrespect soldiers in combat.
That’s why I’m asking the DOD to preserve the integrity of the bronze star and the purple heart and change the new drone medal’s precedence.