Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel today informed U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) that he has reconsidered the creation of a new military medal for drone operators and others not in direct ground combat. Instead the Pentagon will create a new distinguishing device that can be affixed to existing medals to recognize the extraordinary actions of these dedicated service members.
The proposed medal for drone operators was to be ranked above some long-standing combat valor medals.
Said Senator Toomey: "I am pleased that Secretary Hagel has recognized that military personnel involved in these highly technical, important but non-combat operations should be honored for outstanding performance, but not in a way that ranks that award above some combat valor medals, such as the Bronze Star Medal with valor device."