Huh? Pentagon Believes Pilots of Remote Controlled Drones Deserve Medals for Bravery
Pentagon considering awarding medals to drone pilots
A new sort of hero could soon receive a new sort of medal.
The Pentagon is considering awarding the Distinguished WarfareMedal to drone pilots. The medal would rank between the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Soldier’s Medal for exceptional conduct outside a combat zone.
While most combat decorations require work in a combat zone, because of emerging technology, troops are also completing tasks through drones and cyber combat. And they’re often far removed from the battlefield.
Pentagon officials have been briefed on the medal’s “unique concept,” Charles V. Mugno, head of the Army Institute of Heraldry, told a recent meeting of the Commission of Fine Arts, according to a report in Coin World.
They have not officially endorsed the medal yet, however.
“The Department of Defense is examining the concept of establishing a medal to specifically recognize Service members who directly impact combat operations from remote locations. However, at this time it is purely conceptual and pre-decisional in nature,” DOD spokeswoman Cynthia O. Smith said in an interview with Politico.
The move has drawn some opposition.
Salon.com writer, Glen Greenwald argues that there’s no valor in operating drones.
“Whatever one thinks of the justifiability of drone attacks, it’s one of the least ‘brave’ or courageous modes of warfare ever invented,” he wrote.
“It’s one thing to call it just, but to pretend it’s ‘brave’ is Orwellian in the extreme. Indeed, the whole point of it is to allow large numbers of human beings to be killed without the slightest physical risk to those doing the killing. Killing while sheltering yourself from all risk is the definitional opposite of bravery.”
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