Medals for Drone Warriors Canceled

Under pressure, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has canceled the creation of a new military medal for drone operators and cyberwarriors, instead ordering military leaders to develop a pin or device that would be attached to existing medals or ribbons.

Mr. Hagel’s predecessor, Leon E. Panetta, created the Distinguished Warfare Medal for service members like drone operators and cyberwarriors who have a major effect on a military operation but never set foot in the combat zone. Some veterans and lawmakers complained that it should not be ranked higher than traditional combat medals like the Bronze Star. On Monday, Mr. Hagel said that while those troops’ achievements should be recognized, the award should not be a stand-alone medal.


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