Share with others:
Regarding "Medal for Drone Pilots Criticized by Lawmakers" (March 5): Sen. Pat Toomey and Rep. Tim Murphy express their no-doubt honest concern that the newly created Distinguished Warfare Medal for "extraordinary actions" by drone pilots and other off-site personnel will rank above the Bronze Star (which can be awarded either for valor or achievement) and the Purple Heart (which is awarded for being wounded or killed in action). What they fail to demonstrate is an understanding that the relative ranking of decorations for heroism remains unchanged -- Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Soldier's Medal, Bronze Star with "v," Purple Heart, etc.
The new medal is for achievement and within that hierarchy ranks ahead of the Bronze Star for achievement but below the Distinguished Service Medal and Legion of Merit. When both categories of decoration are merged in an overall order of precedence, there is a rough alternation between the two, so it is no surprise that some awards for achievement should precede some for heroism.
Most of the people who care deeply about the relative ranking of military decorations should be able to differentiate between the two.
First Published March 11, 2013 12:00 am