Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

Pentagon creates “Cally of Duty” medal for XBox drone jockeys. No… I’m not joking.

Written By: Bob - Feb• 14•13

Would someone please hand me one of those $600 hammers so I can wing it at Leon Panetta’s fat moronic head:

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced Wednesday that the Pentagon is creating a medal that can be awarded to troops who have a direct impact on combat operations, but do it well away from any combat zone.

‘‘I’ve seen firsthand how modern tools, like remotely piloted platforms and cyber systems, have changed the way wars are fought,’’ Panetta said. ‘‘And they’ve given our men and women the ability to engage the enemy and change the course of battle, even from afar.’’

The work they do ‘‘does contribute to the success of combat operations, particularly when they remove the enemy from the field of battle, even if those actions are physically removed from the fight,’’ he said.

The new blue, red and white-ribboned Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded to individuals for ‘‘extraordinary achievement’’ related to a military operation that occurred after Sept. 11, 2001. But unlike other combat medals, it does not require the recipient risk his or her life to get it.

Officials said the new medal will be the first combat-related award to be created since the Bronze Star in 1944.

A recognition of the evolving 21st century warfare, the medal will be considered a bit higher in ranking than the Bronze Star, but is lower than the Silver Star, defense officials said.

I don’t mind so much that the Xbox commandos get their own little participation meddle (see what I did there?) for their hours of service, for they are indeed serving their nation. What I do take issue with is someone in the air-conditioned comfort and near-absolute safety of a stateside military base being given an award that ranks higher than the Bronze Star while sitting in a glorified La-Z-Boy, never breaking a sweat.

Hell, I was playing flight simulators one Gateway 286SX in 1987 with a 15″ VGA monitor from a creaking budget office chair in the den because I was too shy to ask out a girl on a date. I helped pioneer this technology between popping zits.

Give me the CMoH for being the Billy Mitchell of fake air warriors.

A real warrior over at Blackfive who earned his Bronze Star for his work on the ground, Deebow, does not suffer this foolishness well:

So this new medal for sitting in an OPS center at some undisclosed location will be higher than that?  Higher than the Bronze Star that a PFC at a remote COP might be awarded for taking charge of his mortar team during a patrol and providing accurate fires on the enemy after his team leader was wounded?  Higher than a Bronze Star awarded to a Buck Sergeant, who after being deployed for 7 months, is working 3 levels higher as the Company First Sergeant in his section because of combat attrition?  No disrespect to the Predator driver and missile shooter; you guys are an important component in the battles we fight, but I could get my work done in the ‘Stan without them.  They are doing a job that can be done wearing flip-flops while eating take out. The only thing funnier than giving this award would be seeing this medal awarded to the awardees standing at attention in their flight suits.

One has to wonder about the possible other messages sent by the creation of such an award, when the Pentagon knows that the creation of such awards does not happen in a vacuum and that it will have an effect on the morale of serving servicemen.

Considering the dismissive, hostile and anti-military nature of the Obama Administration, one has to wonder; was it meant as a slap to the face of actual warriors in the trenches?

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16 Comments

  1. Treker says:

    Sorry for being so off topic . But my daily search for ANY ammo at Walmart stores has been disabled , it no longer functions. I can type in anything else and it will give availability within a 50 mile radius . Is this just in my state or has the “Dear Leader” convinced Walmart to get out of the ammo business? They said they were going to stay in the business but did they say that to avert panic buying ?

  2. Bill says:

    Yes. It is. The actions taken over the last few months all suggest a campaign of weakening and demoralizing the millitary.

  3. Comrade X says:

    How do you destroy the military, make a joke out of it!

    Between social engineering and useless medals, they seem to be on their way!

    Death before slavery!

  4. Jaynie59 says:

    I wonder what the criteria will be. I love watching the videos at Weazel Zippers of “flying Jihadi’s” and drone strikes and sometimes the best part is the audio. Hearing real men be real men. Hmmm…I bet this new medal won’t be given to any of the guys who sound like they enjoy their jobs.

    Another brick in the wall of the emasculation of the American male.

  5. Pubius says:

    Well, those in the military know what an award really means, so I have no doubt that this cereal-box prize will find its proper level of merit in the minds of those who matter.

    • Harold Gibbs says:

      This award ranks pretty close to the latest edition of the Nobel Peace Prize. Homogenization at work in all areas of our lives.

  6. MonkeyLeader says:

    I thought medals were awarded for putting yourself into harms way to accomplish a task or mission that helped your side???

    Now saying that, this medal was only created to make cyberjocks (the drone pilots and the cyberwarriors) feel better about themselves.

    It’s no secret that people becoming (or forced to become) a drone pilot are getting less promotional opportunities then real pilots. So, there is a lot of disenfranchisement to becoming a drone pilot. And, with the US military ramping up their drone usage, they need a way to make drone piloting more “hip and attractive”. Otherwise, who’s going to fly these things and drop bombs on jihadis?

    So, this medal gets created and of course it’s considered higher then a bronze star, because these drone pilots have to have some sort of bragging rights, correct??

    All this has really done is alienated drone pilots even further in the military community, created more stigma to being a drone pilot and made becoming a drone pilot more unattractive to military personal.

    Why become a drone pilot and be the laughing stock of the military?

    All that aside, in reality, drone pilots are serving their nation on a greater level, with direct action upon the enemy. I would say that drones are the number one tool against terrorists and are actually having measurable results.

    The only problem is, their work gets overlooked because they sit in an air-conditioned trailer in Nevada.

    They may be safe for direct harm, but they still have high rates of stress and mental fatigue to deal with… which take their toll on their home life. It’s kind of hard not to have some mental difficulties while watching a guy getting blown up from a missile you’ve fired, all on nice 48″ colour LCD displays.

  7. Cole says:

    Drones are becoming very important to the battlefield but yeah there’s no danger here for the pilots. Make the medal lower than bronze and only give it when the pilot does something remarkable. Not a lot of cooks are going to be earning medals doesn’t mean we have to create one to improve their self-esteem.

    Lots of dictators slap all kinds of medals on their soldiers (and themselves). I’m just waiting for Obama to start wearing a uniform full of medals like Idi Amin. You can’t have fascism without fashion after all. Just ask Hugo Boss.

  8. Thomas says:

    I was given several medals…. They are little metal things that have a ribbon on them and they sit a drawer. At the end of the day they mean nothing to me and I would gladly trade them to have my friends back. They should stop wasting time trying to glorify war and start figuring out how to get us out of there.

  9. Michael says:

    There was a day not long ago when anything posted to Flopping Aces or Confederate Yankee that was not droolingly worshipful of the military was greeted with attacks and accusations of treason. Literally. Saying anything at all disparaging of the military–no matter how heinous the military’s action or how mild the disparagement–was the cue for relentless attacks by Bob, Purple Avenger, and others.

    It’s interesting how your tune changes when a Democrat is in power. I’m left to wonder if you were all full of shit then or full of shit now.

    • Patrick Chester says:

      No, Michael, the one full of solid waste excrement is yourself. Perhaps that’s clouding your vision a bit.

      • Michael says:

        Based on what? I’ve clearly delineated Bob’s mindblowing hypocrisy on this issue. What have I done wrong?

  10. OpenTheDoor says:

    Let them have their little participant trophy.
    Everyone will know that it is just a nerd geedunk medal.
    Yep, they will be laughed at when they are asked for their challenge combat coin.

  11. Karl says:

    I’ve never been in the military. However, medals should be given for VALOR. There is no, and can be no, valor sitting in an air conditioned room in a comfy chair NO MATTER HOW VITAL these activities are to success in warfare.
    Why not just give medals to weapons? A Bronze Star to an Abrams tank — not the tank crew. A Silver Star to an F-16 — not to the pilot.
    When the pilot goes from being in actual danger, to being in ZERO danger, VALOR can no longer exist, and medals should no longer be awarded … as they CANNOT be earned.
    When VALOR is a thing forgotten or misunderstood even among the military, the decency, right, and righteousness of a nation is FINISHED.
    No matter how important these operations are when “unlike other combat medals, it does not require the recipient risk his or her life to get it” there can be NO VALOR.

    As I say, I never served. Too late now. But I know what valor is, anyway.
    This is not “just my opinion”; it regards the definition of what valor IS, and the high value placed on that attribute throughout human history, — specifically the history of warfare.

    Anyone who in seriousness accepts one of these NEW “Non-Valor” medals should have their ass kicked … daily.

  12. Chris Watson says:

    This medal is geared toward the ‘no one loses’ generation of T-ball players – everyone gets included in the awards. ;

    I was a DoD contractor working with TF ODIN-A in 2009 and can say that while these folks do a great job with ISR and helping hunt down the Bad Guys, they are astute enough to understand that the risk was outside the wire and I hope that anyone from TF ODIN-A who is offered the award has the personal integrity to not accept it.

  13. It shouldn’t have been a medal. It should have been a service ribbon, somewhat like the National Defense Ribbon for being in the US during the Korean War. Yes, we were “in,” and deserved recognition for that, but we didn’t deserve a medal for it.