Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the Distinguished Warfare Medal will be eliminated and replaced by a distinguishing devices that will be affixed to already existing awards, according to the American Forces Press Service.
Hagel said the Joint Chiefs of Staff and service secretaries agreed to create a “new distinguishing device that can be affixed to existing medals to recognize the extraordinary actions of this small number of men and women.”
“When I came into office, concerns were raised to me about the Distinguished Warfare Medal’s order of precedence by veterans’ organizations, members of Congress and other stakeholders whose views are valued by this department’s leadership,” Hagel said.
The Secretary added the distinguishing device will honor the servicemen and women who operate drones, cyber and other critical military missions.
Hagel started the review of the Distinguished Warfare Medal soon after his appointment in February.
The creation of the medal to honor service members who directly affect combat operations without being present was announced in February by former Secretary Leon Panetta.
The medal’s order of precedence was meant to be just above the Bronze Star and also above the Purple Heart which angered certain veterans groups and commentators.