I don’t have a Purple Heart, nor do I have a Bronze Star with a Combat V. However, I don’t need either of those to recognize that the new Distinguished Warfare Medal for drone pilots/operators is bullshit. I’m not saying they shouldn’t get a medal or a ribbon, sure why not? NAM’s are given out like $10 blowjobs in Mexico, but it’s not the fact that they get a medal that’s bothering anyone, it’s the rating of it.
If you haven’t heard, this medal actually rates above both the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. It might seem negligible or silly to someone outside of the military or even the infantry, but people earn those said awards through heroism and valor (Well, my old SgtMaj actually awarded himself a Bronze Star for “raising moral” [not even joking]).
I don’t know what it takes to be a drone operator. There is no doubt in my mind that millions of dollars in government equipment isn’t entrusted to just anyone, and I’m sure the people tasked with handling these electronic beasts to roam the skies are actually quite talented people. However, it’s the principle that bothers people. Why is a guy behind a console getting an award that rates higher than a man on the ground getting shot (or worse)? There’s no danger for the drone operator aside from losing a lot of money and possibly getting fired. Their life is not on the line. It really is as simple as that.
We are in a new age of war. This much I know. However, operating a drone will never outrank valor on the ground, in my humble opinion.
And for the lulz: