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  1. #1
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    Pentagon creates new medal for Cyber and Drone wars

    WASHINGTON (AP) They fight the war from computer consoles and video screens.

    But the troops that launch the drone strikes and direct the cyberattacks that can kill or disable an enemy may never set foot in the combat zone. Now their battlefield contributions may be recognized.

    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced Wednesday that for the first time the Pentagon is creating a medal that can be awarded to troops who have a direct impact on combat operations, but do it from afar.

    "I've seen firsthand how modern tools, like remotely piloted platforms and cyber systems, have changed the way wars are fought," Panetta said. "And they've given our men and women the ability to engage the enemy and change the course of battle, even from afar."

    The work they do "does contribute to the success of combat operations, particularly when they remove the enemy from the field of battle, even if those actions are physically removed from the fight," he said.

    The new blue, red and white-ribboned Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded to individuals for "extraordinary achievement" related to a military operation that occurred after Sept. 11, 2001. But unlike other combat medals, it does not require the recipient risk his or her life to get it.

    Officials said the new medal will be the first combat-related award to be created since the Bronze Star in 1944.

    A recognition of the evolving 21st Century warfare, the medal will be considered a bit higher in ranking than the Bronze Star, but is lower than the Silver Star, defense officials said.

    The Bronze Star is the fourth highest combat decoration and rewards meritorious service in battle, while the Silver Star is the third highest combat award given for bravery. Several other awards, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, are also ranked higher, but are not awarded for combat.

    Over the last decade of war, remotely-piloted Predators and Reapers have become a critical weapon to both gather intelligence and conduct airstrikes against terrorist or insurgents around the world. They have been used extensively on the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and northern Africa.

    Over the same time, cyberattacks have become a growing national security threat, with Panetta and others warning that the next Pearl Harbor could well be a computer-based assault.

    The Pentagon does not publicly discuss its offensive cyber operations or acts of cyberwarfare. Considering that secrecy, it's not clear how public such awards might be in the future. The federal government, for example, launched a broad leak investigation after reports surfaced that the U.S. and Israel may have been responsible for the Stuxnet computer virus that attacked computers in Iran's main nuclear enrichment facilities.

    According to the Pentagon criteria, the medal gives the military a way to recognize a single act that directly affects a combat operation, doesn't involve an act of valor, and warrants an award higher than the Bronze Star.

    "The extraordinary achievement must have resulted in an accomplishment so exceptional and outstanding as to clearly set the individual apart from comrades or from other persons in similar situations," according to the Pentagon's list of criteria for the medal. It could include the "hands-on" but remote launching of a weapon and could specifically include efforts in space or cyberspace.

    The medal is a brass pendant, nearly two inches tall, with a laurel wreath that circles a globe. There is an eagle in the center. The ribbon has blue, red and white stripes.
    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/penta...ber-drone-wars

    Unbelievable how outright murder is now rewarded with medals. Is it going to be kill streak based like COD?

    Chicago Bears #23
    Kyle "Cheetah" Fuller

  2. #2
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    I need some opinion from the veterans here.

    It is my understanding that the various medals guys get for doing stuff gives a way to evaluate the accomplishment of a soldier's/sailor's career. It seems to me as a civilian, that there are way too many awards, but I've read the various awards/citations etc make it easier to differentiate careers? Yes, no?

    Is this kind of award necessary. I see the need to recognize a guy that's good at this. Or am I off base.

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    Quote Originally Posted by {Ron!n} View Post
    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/penta...ber-drone-wars

    Unbelievable how outright murder is now rewarded with medals. Is it going to be kill streak based like COD?
    Yeah that is pretty disgusting isn't it?
    Guys in zero danger who are assassinating people get shiny new medals.

  4. #4
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    Its just sad, really. What''s the medal look like, a little remote control unit? Holy Jesus, I thught medals were awarded to folks who were at least in the theater of operations.

    As for the murder component, its clearly not a medal for committing murder. That's a discussoin for any number fo threads that address that part of the issue. Drones do minimize risk to american servicemen and women, and are critical assets for gathering intelligence, especially when fighting on a non linear battlefield.

    If it were up to me, I'd rather give the dude sitting on a hole somewhere directing the drone from the ground a medal, because that dude waloked/ crawled a hell of a long way through very dangerous terrain to even be there, and if anyone spots him, he's got a long slow road to a very painful death ahead of him.

    As for the nerd in a climate controlled room sitting in his office, who will see his spouse and kids at the end fo the day, I'd say they're doing their job, and thusly, a satisfactory rating on his evaluation should suffice as a means to reciprocate the appropriate level of thanks for their heroism.... from 7,000 miles away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by {Ron!n} View Post
    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/penta...ber-drone-wars

    Unbelievable how outright murder is now rewarded with medals. Is it going to be kill streak based like COD?
    It is not murder when you kill your enemy before he kills one of your countrymen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jomota View Post
    It is not murder when you kill your enemy before he kills one of your countrymen.
    Our 'enemy' about to kill us is halfway around the world minding his own business and more often than not a civilian.

    This is minority report science fiction stuff going on and worse.
    Pre-emptively assassinating people before they commit a crime. Dropping bombs on restaurants and funerals and rescue workers 1000's of miles away in the name of self defense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cambovenzi View Post
    Our 'enemy' about to kill us is halfway around the world minding his own business and more often than not a civilian.

    This is minority report science fiction stuff going on and worse.
    Pre-emptively assassinating people before they commit a crime. Dropping bombs on restaurants and funerals and rescue workers 1000's of miles away in the name of self defense.
    What do you think these guys do???? Do you think they fly these toys around and say "hey, there's a towel head now, let's get 'em."????

    Come on now. Don't you think they take out terrorists that they have intelligence on indicating that they are the enemy????

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cambovenzi View Post
    Our 'enemy' about to kill us is halfway around the world minding his own business and more often than not a civilian.

    This is minority report science fiction stuff going on and worse.
    Pre-emptively assassinating people before they commit a crime. Dropping bombs on restaurants and funerals and rescue workers 1000's of miles away in the name of self defense.
    This is ********. Drones have decreased not increased collateral damage.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon
    man with hair like fire can destroy souls with a twitch of his thighs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patsfan56 View Post
    Its just sad, really. What''s the medal look like, a little remote control unit? Holy Jesus, I thught medals were awarded to folks who were at least in the theater of operations.

    As for the murder component, its clearly not a medal for committing murder. That's a discussoin for any number fo threads that address that part of the issue. Drones do minimize risk to american servicemen and women, and are critical assets for gathering intelligence, especially when fighting on a non linear battlefield.

    If it were up to me, I'd rather give the dude sitting on a hole somewhere directing the drone from the ground a medal, because that dude waloked/ crawled a hell of a long way through very dangerous terrain to even be there, and if anyone spots him, he's got a long slow road to a very painful death ahead of him.

    As for the nerd in a climate controlled room sitting in his office, who will see his spouse and kids at the end fo the day, I'd say they're doing their job, and thusly, a satisfactory rating on his evaluation should suffice as a means to reciprocate the appropriate level of thanks for their heroism.... from 7,000 miles away.
    Military excellence should be rewarded, no matter what the task. If there is an awesome mechanic in the motor pool that keeps the humvees humming better than 99% of his/her peers, then they should get a medal. No they shouldn't get an award for bravery obviously, but I'm guessing (you know far better than me) it takes a lot of people to get that guy in the field and to their target.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon
    man with hair like fire can destroy souls with a twitch of his thighs.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by flips333 View Post
    This is ********. Drones have decreased not increased collateral damage.
    Some people forget about the old carpet bombing we use to do.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jomota View Post
    What do you think these guys do???? Do you think they fly these toys around and say "hey, there's a towel head now, let's get 'em."????

    Come on now. Don't you think they take out terrorists that they have intelligence on indicating that they are the enemy????
    I'd like to believe they do most of the time. I'm just not sure how people at a wedding or funeral in Pakistan are of immediate danger to the United States and need to be immediately blown up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flips333 View Post
    Military excellence should be rewarded, no matter what the task. If there is an awesome mechanic in the motor pool that keeps the humvees humming better than 99% of his/her peers, then they should get a medal. No they shouldn't get an award for bravery obviously, but I'm guessing (you know far better than me) it takes a lot of people to get that guy in the field and to their target.
    You are absolutely correct, but there are awards for just that kind of pupose. The Army Achievement medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Meritorious Service Medal can all be used for that purpose. For those involved ina a campaign, ther eare campaign medals awarded for service. There are also medals like the bronze star and silver star, which can also have "V" devices added for acts of valor. My point was that they have this covered.

    But you are right in that the folks keeping those vehicles running, supplies flowing, etc are not recognized enough.

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    I don't see a problem with this.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacerlive View Post
    Some people forget about the old carpet bombing we use to do.
    Agent Orange, Napalm, etc, etc...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by flips333 View Post
    This is ********. Drones have decreased not increased collateral damage.
    Right because otherwise we would HAVE to engage in all out war and carpet bomb countries we aren't at war with.

    wait a minute.. no we wouldn't. There are other alternatives. Not bombing in half a dozen+ countries would be a good start.

    Sure there is little collateral damage if you PURPOSELY target rescue workers, funerals, and children and call any military age man killed a 'militant'.

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