The US Department of Defense has revealed that it will start awarding medals to service members who directly impact combat or other military operations, regardless of their distance to the traditional combat theater.
According to US Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, the Distinguished Warfare Medal will provide recognition for extraordinary achievements in any domain, but not involving acts of valor.
“I have seen first-hand how modern tools like remotely piloted platforms and cyber systems have changed the way wars can be fought,” said Panetta.
“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.”
The Distinguished Warfare Medal will sit directly below the Distinguished Flying Cross.
“This new medal recognizes the changing character of warfare and those who make extraordinary contributions to it,” explained Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey. “The criteria for this award will be highly selective and reflect high standards.”