U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell joined several colleagues in supporting legislation that would require the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart to occupy positions of precedence above the Distinguished Warfare Medal, which honors the actions of those using advanced technology in warfare. The Bronze Star is awarded for meritorious service in combat and the Purple Heart is awarded to servicemembers injured on the battlefield.
"I have heard from many veterans and veterans organizations who are deeply concerned about the position of the Distinguished Warfare Medal," Senator McConnell said. "Both they and I recognize the need to reward those who have contributed to the war on terror through the use of advance technology, but I believe it's necessary to ensure that the servicemembers who have placed their lives at risk are accorded higher precedence when servicemembers are honored."
Carl Kaelin, VFW National Inspector General and Past State Commander of the Department of Kentucky VFW, said, "this reflects the latest in a long line of measures that Senator McConnell has supported over the years to help Kentucky veterans. The administration's decision to put the Distinguished Warfare Medal above the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star makes no sense whatsoever, and I am glad Senator McConnell is standing with Kentucky veterans yet again to urge reversal of this ill-advised decision."
The legislation (S. 470) was introduced by Senator John Tester (D-MT) and is currently being considered by the Senate Armed Services Committee.