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WASHINGTON: In a nod to the changing nature of warfare, the Pentagon created a new medal recognising combat contributions of people like drone pilots and cyber warriors who are reshaping the battlefield, even from thousands of miles away.
Outgoing defence secretary and former CIA Director Leon Panetta — who spent much of the past four years bolstering those new capabilities — announced the decision to create the “Distinguished Warfare Medal” at a Pentagon news conference.
“I’ve seen firsthand how modern tools, like remotely piloted platforms and cyber systems, have changed the way wars are fought,” Panetta said. “This award recognises the reality of the kind of technological warfare that we are engaged in, in the 21st century.”
It is the ninth-highest warfare medal the Pentagon can bestow on troops — even higher than the Bronze Star. Importantly, it is the only combat medal that a military service member can receive without actually physically being in the same geographic area where combat took place. AFP