Distinguished Warfare Medal Drew Fire
By Harold Hutchison
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has ordered a review of the Distinguished Warfare Medal as the controversy over the new award has not gone away. The order came less than a month after the medal’s announcement.
“Secretary Hagel consulted with the chairman, the Joint Chiefs, and the service secretaries, and those with the decision to establish the medal was carefully and thoroughly analyzed within the Department of Defense. That being said, in light of concerns about the medal's place in the order of precedence, Secretary Hagel will work with the senior leadership to review the order of precedence and associated matters, and the secretary has asked that Chairman Dempsey lead this review and report back in 30 days,” Pentagon spokesperson George Little said during a press conference.
The medal was intended to recognize servicemembers like UAV operators and cyber-warfare specialists, who may contribute to the success of an operation, even though they may be thousands of miles away.
“I’ve always felt -- having seen the great work that they do, day in and day out -- that those who performed in an outstanding manner should be recognized. Unfortunately, medals that they otherwise might be eligible for simply did not recognize that kind of contribution,” then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said when he announced the medal.
Production of the medal is on hold while the review is under way.