Team Obama recently created a new drone strike medal and placed it above the Purple Heart for those soldiers and Marines serving in the field. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) has introduced legislation to require that the Purple Heart occupy a position of precedence above the new Distinguished Warfare Medal. The bipartisan bill has 42 cosponsors including a few Democrats.
The Army Times reported:
The 1.9 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars is being mobilized by the group’s commander-in-chief to overturn a Pentagon decision to rank a new medal for drone operations higher in precedence than the Purple Heart.
In a message to all post, district and department managers, Vietnam veteran and former Marine John Hamilton says he wants every member of the nation’s largest organization for combat veterans to support House and Senate bills that would make certain the new Distinguished Warfare Medal ranks below the Purple Heart.
Defense Department officials, so far unswayed by complaints, want the new medal for cyber warriors and drone operators ranked ninth in order of precedence, ahead of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
“I cannot tell you how displeased I am with the new defense secretary for not overriding what has proven to be an extremely divisive decision by his predecessor, but the buck has not stopped yet,” Hamilton says in the letter.
There are 42 cosponsors of HR 833 and 11 cosponsors of S 470, similar bills ordering the Defense Department to reduce the ranking of the new medal.
“We have many friends in Congress who agree 100 percent with our position,” Hamilton said, “but the VFW needs you to get the other members of Congress off their duffs.
The VFW added this in their action alert:
The newly created medal would outrank the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. The VFW immediately came out in opposition of the placement of the medal. We believe it is very important to properly recognize all who serve and excel, but the new medal could spark internal debate and deteriorate morale as it leapfrogs more than a dozen current medals and ribbons – to include valor and combat injury awards.