The Pentagon is creating a special medal to award to drone pilots and cyberfighters. Earlier this afternoon, the Associated Press reported that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to announce the creation of the Distinguished Warfare Medal. The medal will be awarded to troops with “extraordinary achievement” in post-September 11 military operation. But unlike other combat medals, the Distinguished Warfare Medal can be awarded to recipients who did not risk their own lives in combat.
This medal will be awarded primarily to troops dealing with unarmed aircraft, and will rank higher than the Bronze Star but lower than the Silver Star. Although pictures of the Distinguished Warfare Medal are not yet available, it is a brass pendant with a red-, white-, and blue-striped ribbon. The Distinguished Warfare Medal is the first new combat-related award created by the Defense Department since the Bronze Star‘s unveiling in 1944.