Pentagon issues new combat-related medal for drone operators

US Politics
on 9 Comments
(Image: AP)

It’s award season, with the recent Golden Globes and Grammy telecasts and lots of buzz about the upcoming Oscars, so it’s no wonder that the Pentagon didn’t want to be left out of the fun. That’s why they’ve come up with a new medal to award for “extraordinary achievement” in the field of drone warfare.

The “Distinguished Warfare Medal” is considered a “combat-related” medal and is the first such award to be created since the Bronze Star in 1944. The brave men and women who control these highly lethal flying machines from their bases in the American West will now have something to show for their heroism. It’s difficult and taxing work to liquidate human beings, especially children, on the other side of the world, and then go home and tuck your own kids into bed. At this point, it is unknown whether the Purple Heart will be awarded to those who suffer cramping from long hours sitting at their computer screens.

It also is unclear how the government will reconcile issuing the new medal to remote drone operators with its public refusal to admit that the CIA drone program exists. Rumor has it that a shiny new medal awaits the PR genius who figures it out.

About David Samel

David Samel is an attorney in New York City.

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9 Responses

  1. Woody Tanaka
    February 14, 2013, 1:38 pm

    I’m surprised they didn’t give these craven bastards a yellow hankie.

  2. lysias
    February 14, 2013, 2:53 pm

    At this point, it is unknown whether the Purple Heart will be awarded to those who suffer cramping from long hours sitting at their computer screens.

    Purple Heart requires being killed or wounded/injured as a result of enemy action in combat operations.

    As the Air Force uses fewer and fewer manned aircraft, and more and more is being done by unmanned aerial vehicles (aka drones), it becomes important to Air Force officers and to the Air Force as an institution that its officers get a suitable proportion of medals.

  3. Dan Crowther
    February 14, 2013, 3:10 pm

    Any awarder or awardee of this medal is an asshole.

  4. eljay
    February 14, 2013, 3:18 pm

    Piloting a jet on a suicide mission into a building and killing people makes you a terrorist and a coward.

    But remotely piloting a drone from a safe location and bombing people to death makes you a hero and earns you a medal.

    What a sick f*cking joke.

  5. Bumblebye
    February 14, 2013, 4:57 pm

    At an event in Parliament last week organised by the ‘Orrible Henry Jackson Society, Bremer got his award – a pair of shoes- from an Iraqi:
    Whether too big or too small, that’s much more fitting!
    (and he managed to grin!)

  6. pabelmont
    February 14, 2013, 6:06 pm

    Moreover, it is known that the CIA hires contractors (corporate-supplied warm-bodies to do various kinds of CIA work) much as the DoD hired mercenaries (contractors like Blackwater) to do military work.

    Outsourcing is the new way (or “a” new way) for the GoUSA to pump profits to corporations and make government business more expensive.

    Will these medals go to real, actual, CIA folks, perhaps to those who develop those wonderful algorithms for deciding what is a proper target? And how about the contractors (who, in other contexts, may help out with the imprisonment and torture of the CIA’s and the mi,itary’s prisoners)?

  7. Sumud
    February 14, 2013, 8:16 pm

    One can only wonder what the criteria are for receiving this medal. Most heroic button press in a month or quarter? Keeping your workstation tidy? Bringing teacher an apple?

  8. W.Jones
    February 14, 2013, 8:36 pm

    This is an entertaining dissident computer game about piloting a drone. What do you think?

  9. Djinn
    February 14, 2013, 11:33 pm

    Great a medal with as much honour as a Nintendo Tournament one. Perfect for our generation.

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