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Drone pilots to get medals

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Well, it hasn't taken long:

 

 

2/13: "Pentagon creates medal for cyber, drone wars" http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2013/02/ap-pentagon-creates-new-medal-for-cyber-drone-wars-021313/

 

2/13: "New medal for drone pilots outranks Bronze Star" http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2013/02/military-new-medal-for-drone-pilots-outranks-bronze-star-021313/

 

2/14: "New high-tech warfare medal draws backlash" http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2013/02/military-new-high-tech-medal-distinguised-warfare-medal-draws-backlash-021413

 

2/15: "Petition - change medals order of precedence" http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2013/02/military-petitioners-want-new-medals-order-precedence-changed-021513/

 

2/15: "Purple Heart group - 'New medal insulting'" http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2013/02/military-group-calls-new-medal-insulting-021513w

 

2/16: "Petition-lower precedence of new drone medal" (new article in spite of same title; talking about the 5000 signatures in one day on the petition) http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2013/02/military-petition-lower-rank-of-drone-medal-021813w/

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Another question I have is the devices used to denote additional awards of the DWM. The awarding criteria state that oak leaf clusters will be worn by members of the Army and Air Force, while members of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast guard will wear 5/16 inch stars. Since this medal is awarded in the name of the Secretary of Defense, does it seem odd to anyone else that additional awards are not denoted solely by oak leaf clusters regardless of the branch of the recipient, like the Joint Service Achievement and Commendation Medals and the Defense Meritorious, Superior and Distinguished Service Medals?

 

The instruction from the Secretary of Defense staes that each individual service Secretary is the approval authority for awards. It also says that each service issues future awards and devices per that service's instructions. The Navy and Marine Corp. uses stars, and the Army and USAF use Oak Leaf Clusters.

 

Who is to say the Army is right, or the Navy is right ??? :D

 

I notice the SECDEF instruction also mis-spelled "ordinance" in their description of the new medal.


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Since it seems that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was the "decider" in this medal's creation and its ultimate placement in the order of precedence I think that his total lack of understanding when it comes to aspects of military tradition is what has come into play. From reading all the posts in this thread it seems that almost universal response to this misadventure in decoration has been very negative to say the least. I have little doubt that the idea was broached within the rarified air of the Pentagon but was not brought up much to troops with their well worn boots on the ground. Typical bureaucratic decision making. We have all seen this before - people who get so wrapped up in the goodness or greatness of their project that they are incapable or unwilling to step back and see how everyone else is going to view it.

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This just in: http://www.af.mil/news/story_print.asp?id=123337305. Buried deep in here in a paragraph many will probably not read is the part about valor. Since this is not a valorous award it cannot rank over any other valorous award. Sure, precedence on a ribbon rack might lead the uninitiated to believe differently but in fact it is merely a ranking.

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Not wishing to contentious, but aren't "precedence" and "ranking" basically synonyms?

 

Anyhoo, what's done is done.

 

Nobody but us will even remember this was an issue a year from today.


HONORING FAMILY LtCol Wm Russell (1679-1757) VA Mil; Pvt Zachariah McKay (1714-97) Frederick VA Mil; BrigGen Evan Shelby, Jr (1719-94) VA Mil; Pvt Vincent Hobbs (1722-1808) Wythe VA Mil; Pvt Hugh Alexander (1724-77); Lt John R. Litton (1726-1804); Bvt BrigGen/Col Wm W. Russell (1735-93) 5th VA Rgmt; Lt James Scott (1736-1817); Capt John Murray, Sr (1747-1833); Capt John Sehorn, Sr (1748-1831) VA Mil; Pvt Corbin Lane (1750-1816) Franklin/TN Mil; Cpl Jesse D. Reynolds (1750-1836) 5th VA Rgmt; Capt. Solomon C. Litton (1751-1844); 1Lt Christopher Casey (1754-1840) SC Mil; Pvt Mark Adams (1755-1828); Pvt Randolph White (1755-1831) Bailey's Co. VA Rgmt; Capt. John R. Russell (1758-1838); Pvt Joseph T. Cooley (1767-1826) Fort Hempstead Mil; Pvt Thomas Barron (1776-1863) 1812; Capt. John Baumgardner (1787-1853) VA Mil; Pvt Joel Estep (1828-1864) Co B 5th KY Inf CSA & US; Pvt George B. Bell (1833-1910) Co C 47th IL Inf US; Cpl Daniel H. Barron (1838-1910) Co B 19th TN Rgmt Inf CSA; Capt Richard K. Kaufman (1908-1946) 7th PRG/3rd AF CCU; T-5 Vernon L. Bell (1926-95) 1802nd Spec Rgmt; PO2 Murray J. Heichman (1932-2019) HQSB/MCRD; PFC Jess Long (1934-2017) US Army; PFC Donald W. Johnson (1931-) 43rd ID HQ; A1C Keith W. Bell (1931-2011) 314th TCW; A3C Michael S. Bell (1946-) 3346th CMS; A1C Sam W. Lee (1954-2017) 2d BW; AW3 Keith J. Price (1975-) VP-10; 1Lt Matthew Wm Bell (1985-) 82nd Abn/SOC








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Not quite done is done:

 

http://www.washingto...l-drone-pilots/

Interesting response. But the article doesn't exactly get all of the facts correct. Here's a quote with my emphasis added in italics: " Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta announced the creation of the Distinguished Warfare Medal two weeks ago. It is to bestowed on drone pilots and cyberwarriors for extraordinary acts of valor outside of a combat zone."

The gist of the story about the controversy in terms of the medal's precedence is correct, but as many have pointed out in this topic, the criteria for the award as announced by Sec. Panetta specifically indicate the award is not intended to recognize acts of valor.

 

When I see stories like this with obvious errors in facts that I am aware of, it always makes me wonder what other "facts" I am reading about in other stories that I am not aware are incorrect.

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Interesting response. But the article doesn't exactly get all of the facts correct. Here's a quote with my emphasis added in italics: " Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta announced the creation of the Distinguished Warfare Medal two weeks ago. It is to bestowed on drone pilots and cyberwarriors for extraordinary acts of valor outside of a combat zone."

 

 

 

 

I declined pot once despite the peer pressure...that that count as valor outside a combat zone?


-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

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I declined pot once despite the peer pressure...that that count as valor outside a combat zone?

Integrity

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They should stick to service medals and maybe create altered air medals (as said before).


Will Twomey

In Honor of:

USA General John Wickham (1928-)

USAF Colonel Bernie Fisher MOH (1927-2014)

USMC Sergeant Al De Vito (Chosin Reservoir Survivor) (1926-)

USA Cpl. Macedonio Leyba (Bataan Death March survivor) (1917-2007)

 

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New bill would reduce rank of drone medal

By Rick Maze - Staff writer

Posted : Tuesday Feb 26, 2013 16:42:18 EST

 

A trio of Republican lawmakers moved Tuesday to prevent the Defense Department from establishing the Distinguished Warfare Medal for drone operators as an award that ranks higher than the Bronze Star or Purple Heart. Reps. Duncan Hunter of California, Timothy Murphy of Pennsylvania and Tom Rooney of Florida, introduced H.R. 833, a rare bill that tells the Defense Department how to set the precedence of medals. While introduced as a stand-alone bill, there is a strong chance the legislation will end up as an amendment to the 2014 defense authorization bill, congressional sources said.

 

The Defense Department’s announcement that the new Distinguished Warfare Medal for operators of unmanned aerial vehicles would rank above awards for ground combat troops has drawn criticism from combat veterans. On Tuesday morning, the national commander of the 2.4 million-member American Legion, the nation’s largest veterans groups, urged Legionnaires to include complaints about the medal in conversations with lawmakers.

 

Hunter, an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, said there is a difference between direct combat and flying a drone from a safe location. “Those engaged in direct combat put their lives on the line, accepting extraordinary personal risk,” Hunter said. “There is nothing wrong with having a military award that recognizes commendable actions off the battlefield, but it’s absolutely necessary to ensure that combat valor awards are not diminished in any way.”

Rooney, an Army veteran, said he has “grave concerns” about the ranking of the new medal. “There is no greater sacrifice than risking your own life to save another on the battlefield, and the order of precedence should appropriately reflect the reverence we hold for those willing to make that sacrifice.”

Murphy, who served in the Navy, said the legislation would not be necessary if the Pentagon would, on its own, reduce the ranking of the award. “If the Pentagon will not reconsider the decision to rank this medal above the Purple Heart, the House will take action.”


Son of

CW2 Bernard E Meister 2/14/70

334th AHC 69/70 189th AHC 67/68 155th AHC 67

TAC Officer 1968 Fort Wolters

USMC 1956-1959

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“If the Pentagon will not reconsider the decision to rank this medal above the Purple Heart, the House will take action.”

 

That would be nice.


HONORING FAMILY LtCol Wm Russell (1679-1757) VA Mil; Pvt Zachariah McKay (1714-97) Frederick VA Mil; BrigGen Evan Shelby, Jr (1719-94) VA Mil; Pvt Vincent Hobbs (1722-1808) Wythe VA Mil; Pvt Hugh Alexander (1724-77); Lt John R. Litton (1726-1804); Bvt BrigGen/Col Wm W. Russell (1735-93) 5th VA Rgmt; Lt James Scott (1736-1817); Capt John Murray, Sr (1747-1833); Capt John Sehorn, Sr (1748-1831) VA Mil; Pvt Corbin Lane (1750-1816) Franklin/TN Mil; Cpl Jesse D. Reynolds (1750-1836) 5th VA Rgmt; Capt. Solomon C. Litton (1751-1844); 1Lt Christopher Casey (1754-1840) SC Mil; Pvt Mark Adams (1755-1828); Pvt Randolph White (1755-1831) Bailey's Co. VA Rgmt; Capt. John R. Russell (1758-1838); Pvt Joseph T. Cooley (1767-1826) Fort Hempstead Mil; Pvt Thomas Barron (1776-1863) 1812; Capt. John Baumgardner (1787-1853) VA Mil; Pvt Joel Estep (1828-1864) Co B 5th KY Inf CSA & US; Pvt George B. Bell (1833-1910) Co C 47th IL Inf US; Cpl Daniel H. Barron (1838-1910) Co B 19th TN Rgmt Inf CSA; Capt Richard K. Kaufman (1908-1946) 7th PRG/3rd AF CCU; T-5 Vernon L. Bell (1926-95) 1802nd Spec Rgmt; PO2 Murray J. Heichman (1932-2019) HQSB/MCRD; PFC Jess Long (1934-2017) US Army; PFC Donald W. Johnson (1931-) 43rd ID HQ; A1C Keith W. Bell (1931-2011) 314th TCW; A3C Michael S. Bell (1946-) 3346th CMS; A1C Sam W. Lee (1954-2017) 2d BW; AW3 Keith J. Price (1975-) VP-10; 1Lt Matthew Wm Bell (1985-) 82nd Abn/SOC








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I'm sure it will have to be legislated. Someone at the Pentagon would have to admit their error for it to be changed internally...

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How/Why are we dragging politics into a medal discussion? There are big philosophical issues to discuss, but not in the political arena. I know it's an election year, but I doubt any activity on here is going to effect the vote.

 

The real question is/should be - what do you think of the idea of a separate medal for UAV pilots?

 

I think if you want to have an internet fight, there's plenty to fight over just with that question. For example, I personally believe having a "separate-but-equal" decoration for unmanned a/c pilots is disparaging to their honor/credit/recognition. We don't have to go into the political ramifications of where and when it's right.

 

(Just to be clear, none of our opinions amount to beans about that question, anyway. Pseudo-military, para-military, and civilians have been part of combat forever as well, just as atrocities have happened... There were "spies" in the American Civil War, OSS in WWII, and Spooks in Vietnam. Whether you agree with their actions/existence/participation, just doesn't matter. They're going to happen... BUT, a new UAV-Cross does NOT have to happen! :o )

 

Somehow, I think this discourse has gone astray. I don't think the discussion started out as a matter of "we" versus "them," but rather the irrational placement of the proposed award. For 27 years I defended this country. During that time I earned two Bronze Stars and an Air Medal. What really bothers me regarding the placement of the proposed award are the number of combatants that lay in hallowed ground for giving their lives for their country. These are the real heroes. I think of how the families of these men, and those men wounded in action and survived, feel knowing the award they were rendered in recognition for this sacrifice would be downgraded by an award that would have no relavence to valor. I, for one, will do everything in my power to put things in perspective, not to dene-grate the duties of the drone pilots, but rather to safeguard the intended purpose of the Bronze Star, Air Medal, and more importantly, the Purple Heart! Jack Angolia


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Most can face danger from behind a computer, not everyone will run towards the sounds of the guns on the ground

 

That being said, I'm really at the point of not giving a crap about the entire awards system. It's been falling apart rather steadily for years. Just another political arena these days. Peralta's case is a prime example, and I know of one more, lesser award case which would absolutely disgust you all if you knew. It's honestly the single event that made me not care about the awards process in the slightest anymore


-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

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That being said, I'm really at the point of not giving a crap about the entire awards system. It's been falling apart rather steadily for years. Just another political arena these days. Peralta's case is a prime example, and I know of one more, lesser award case which would absolutely disgust you all if you knew. It's honestly the single event that made me not care about the awards process in the slightest anymore

Amen to that, double.


HONORING FAMILY LtCol Wm Russell (1679-1757) VA Mil; Pvt Zachariah McKay (1714-97) Frederick VA Mil; BrigGen Evan Shelby, Jr (1719-94) VA Mil; Pvt Vincent Hobbs (1722-1808) Wythe VA Mil; Pvt Hugh Alexander (1724-77); Lt John R. Litton (1726-1804); Bvt BrigGen/Col Wm W. Russell (1735-93) 5th VA Rgmt; Lt James Scott (1736-1817); Capt John Murray, Sr (1747-1833); Capt John Sehorn, Sr (1748-1831) VA Mil; Pvt Corbin Lane (1750-1816) Franklin/TN Mil; Cpl Jesse D. Reynolds (1750-1836) 5th VA Rgmt; Capt. Solomon C. Litton (1751-1844); 1Lt Christopher Casey (1754-1840) SC Mil; Pvt Mark Adams (1755-1828); Pvt Randolph White (1755-1831) Bailey's Co. VA Rgmt; Capt. John R. Russell (1758-1838); Pvt Joseph T. Cooley (1767-1826) Fort Hempstead Mil; Pvt Thomas Barron (1776-1863) 1812; Capt. John Baumgardner (1787-1853) VA Mil; Pvt Joel Estep (1828-1864) Co B 5th KY Inf CSA & US; Pvt George B. Bell (1833-1910) Co C 47th IL Inf US; Cpl Daniel H. Barron (1838-1910) Co B 19th TN Rgmt Inf CSA; Capt Richard K. Kaufman (1908-1946) 7th PRG/3rd AF CCU; T-5 Vernon L. Bell (1926-95) 1802nd Spec Rgmt; PO2 Murray J. Heichman (1932-2019) HQSB/MCRD; PFC Jess Long (1934-2017) US Army; PFC Donald W. Johnson (1931-) 43rd ID HQ; A1C Keith W. Bell (1931-2011) 314th TCW; A3C Michael S. Bell (1946-) 3346th CMS; A1C Sam W. Lee (1954-2017) 2d BW; AW3 Keith J. Price (1975-) VP-10; 1Lt Matthew Wm Bell (1985-) 82nd Abn/SOC








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Thank goodness! I really never understood Leon Panetta's precedence placement of this award. Definetly needs to be reviewed. According to the video, the DOD spokesman says "production of the medal has stopped" while the situation is under review.


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According to the video, the DOD spokesman says "production of the medal has stopped" while the situation is under review.

I noticed that too. Why would they do that if they are only reviewing the order of precedence? Could it be that someone is reconsidering the whole idea?

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Speaking of precedence, I wonder how this whole nonsense rates with all the DoD civilians facing furloughs.

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The Distinguished Service Medals rank before the Silver Star. The DSMs are most often awarded to high ranking officers far from the front.


In Peace and War, US Merchant Marine. WARNING: Dangerous Cargo. No Visitors, No Smoking, No Open Lights.

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The Distinguished Service Medals rank before the Silver Star. The DSMs are most often awarded to high ranking officers far from the front.

 

And the Legion of Merit is just under the Silver Star but above the DFC, Soldiers Medal, Bronze Star, Purple Heart. Why is that not appropriate for a Drone operator? Or an MSM or Commendation Medal depending on the level of contribution? I just don't get why they need a new/specific medal.

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