By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 12, 2013 – In light of recent discussions concerning the new Distinguished Warfare Medal and its order of precedence relative to other military decorations, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered a review of the award, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said here today.
Little said Hagel directed Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to conduct the review and expects to make a decision about the medal’s fate after assessing the findings.
“Secretary Hagel consulted with the chairman, the Joint Chiefs and the service secretaries and knows that the decision to establish the medal was carefully and thoroughly analyzed within the Department of Defense,” Little said.
Opponents of the medal question the hierarchy of technology-driven warfare such as unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned underwater vehicles, missile defense and cyber capabilities, as the operators may not be anywhere near a combat zone.
“Production of the medal has stopped,” Little said, adding that there are so far no nominations for it, allowing time to make a final decision.
Little noted that the secretary has a long history of involvement and membership with veteran service organizations, including a stint as head of the USO.
“He’s heard their concerns, he’s heard the concerns of others, and he believes that it’s prudent to take into account those concerns and conduct this review,” Little said. “His style as a leader is to be [decisive] and also to be a ready listener.”