US Senators Send Letter To Hagel Urging 'Drone Medal' Demotion



U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel presents a purple heart to a soldier in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, March 9, 2013.

A bipartisan group of 22 U.S. senators has sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, urging him to demote the so-called drone medal.

As it stands now, the new Distinguished Warfare Medal ranks above the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, which are both earned for participating in actual combat.

The senators wrote to Hagel:

"We believe that medals earned in combat, or in dangerous conditions, should maintain their precedence above non-combat awards. Placing the Distinguished Warfare Medal above the Bronze Star and Purple Heart diminishes the significance of awards earned by risking one’s life in direct combat or through acts of heroism."

The senators' letter follows one sent by 49 members of the House of Representatives last week, requesting that Hagel demote the DWM.

However, lawmakers may not want to get their hopes up. reports that in a letter sent to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, responding to the group's concerns over the medal, Hagel wrote:

"I have discussed at length the reasoning and process leading up to establishing the DWM with the [service secretaries and chiefs] and accept their judgment that the award is at the appropriate level."

As Home Post previously reported, Rep. Duncan Hunter has introduced legislation to demote the DWM.

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