Chuck Hagel cancels creation of new drone, cyber medal
Washington: Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has cancelled the production of a new military medal for service members involved in drone attacks and cyber warfare.
The move comes following widespread criticism that the award would rank higher than the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
According to Fox News, Hagel instead wants military leaders to develop a special pin or object that would be attached to already existing medals or ribbons.
The Distinguished Warfare Medal was created by Hagel`s predecessor, Leon Panetta, and it immediately triggered complaints from veterans and lawmakers.
Hagel last month ordered the military to stop production of the medal, and top defence and military leaders began a new review.
According to the report, the leaders have instead recommended the creation of an alternative honour, similar to the `V` for valour that can be attached to the Bronze Star and other medals to reward an act of heroism.
Over the same time, cyber attacks have become a growing national security threat, with Panetta and others warning that the next Pearl Harbour could well be a computer-based assault.
The Bronze Star is the fourth-highest combat award and rewards meritorious service in battle, while the Silver Star is the third-highest combat award given for bravery, the report said.
The Purple Heart is ranked just below the Bronze Star.
Several other awards, including the Defence Distinguished Service Medal, are also ranked higher than the Silver Star, but are not awarded for combat, the report added.
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