Distinguished Warfare Medal Unveiled

The Defense Department on Wednesday announced the creation of the Distinguished Warfare Medal to recognize a service member’s extraordinary achievements directly impacting combat operations, even when the individual is physically separated from the battlefield. An example of this could be a stateside operator of a remotely piloted aircraft flying thousands of miles away that removes an enemy from the field of battle, said defense officials. “I have seen first-hand how modern tools like remotely piloted platforms and cyber systems have changed the way wars can be fought,” said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in DOD’s Feb. 13 release. “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,” he added. The medal will sit directly below the Distinguished Flying Cross. It may be awarded for actions in any domain, but not involving acts of valor, states the release. “This new medal recognizes the changing character of warfare and those who make extraordinary contributions to it,” said Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey. The medal will be available in the coming months, said DOD. (See also transcript from Panetta’s Feb. 13 press briefing.)