U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill has joined a bipartisan group of Senators in backing legislation that ensures combat medals like the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart rank ahead of a new medal honoring service away from the front lines.
"Service honors need to adapt to the realities of modern warfare-but we can do that while acknowledging the unique nature of combat medals for the troops serving bravely in person on our front lines," said McCaskill, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The U.S. Defense Department recently announced that the Distinguished Warfare Medal will recognize extraordinary achievement by unmanned aerial vehicle pilots and cyber warriors. The Department of Defense plans to rank the medal below the Distinguished Flying Cross, but above the Bronze Star and Purple Heart-two medals earned only through service on the battlefield.
McCaskill recently joined a bipartisan coalition of Senators urging Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to reconsider the Defense Department's decision.
The McCaskill-backed bill is supported by the American Legion, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
McCaskill has repeatedly backed legislation that would put in place criminal penalties for anyone making a false claim relating to military service or awards to secure a tangible benefit for themself.