Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Distinguished Warfare Medal

Breaking news! DoD issues a new combat-related medal.


DOD Announces the Distinguished Warfare Medal

            The Department of Defense announced today the creation of the Distinguished Warfare Medal to recognize a service member's extraordinary achievements directly impacting combat operations.

            Modern technology enables service members with special training and capabilities to more directly and precisely impact military operations at times far from the battlefield.  The Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded in the name of the secretary of defense to service members whose

extraordinary achievements, regardless of their distance to the traditional combat theater, deserve distinct department-wide recognition.

            "I have seen first-hand how modern tools like remotely piloted platforms and cyber systems have changed the way wars can be fought," said Secretary of Defense Leon E. 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."

            Based on the order of precedence, the Distinguished Warfare Medal will sit directly below the Distinguished Flying Cross.  It may be awarded for actions in any domain but not involving acts of valor.

            "This new medal recognizes the changing character of warfare and those who make extraordinary contributions to it," said Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey.  "The criteria for this award will be highly selective and reflect high standards."

            The medal, designed by The Institute of Heraldry, will be available in the coming months.  The signed memo, criteria for the medal, along with the design, can be seen here:

OK...the photo totally sucks, I get it. I couldn't find a better one.

Not a bad idea, in my opinion. It's a good way to recognize what will become the new way of doing business in the future.


I finally got a better picture, and fixed some of the spacing problems. Blogger has had connection problems lately.

It's very interesting to see the negative reactions, especially on the fact that it's above a Bronze Star:

 My thoughts:

1. Not bad timing. We're going to have lots of folks doing remoted operations that will likely do some really cool stuff, but not normally get credit. This is a good way of recognizing them without watering down an award like the Bronze Star.

2. It's a way of recognizing achievement, and likely this won't be awarded as an End of Tour. One of the things I hated about the Bronze Star was the Army's decision to award it to almost every single person that even remotely participated in OIF/OEF. The Navy was very strict on the awarding, and downgraded many Bronze Stars to Navy Commendation Medals. I think the Navy is normally too strict on awards, and the Army is too loose (and the Air Force even more so). The right level lies between the Army and Navy. Hopefully awards like the DWM will be kept as achievement only.

3. This is a way to potentially even the score for promotion. Right now we have lots of SWOs, SUB and Air officers being promoted and running jobs that they are woefully not equipped for (such as acquisition, cyber, and remoted operations). Folks in cyber may do great things, but never get recognition that would let them promote. This is one way to even that field up.

4. Classified supplements? Maybe DoD will make it easier to submit classified supplements for this award, due to the nature of it.