Pentagon stops production of new medal honoring drone pilots
Award faced bipartisan backlash
- Duration 6:29
- Date Mar 12, 2013
Award faced bipartisan backlash
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The little place an order president's.
Secretary or with a senior leadership to review the order precedents.
And associated matters.
And the secretary has asked the chairman instantly this review and report back in thirty days.
Breaking news from Washington that was the Pentagon spokesman George Little speaking a short time ago on the decision to -- view.
The distinguished warfare metal that would honor.
The military has stopped production of the metal after new backlash from veterans groups.
And a bipartisan group of lawmakers who are outraged.
That this -- Honoring work far from the battlefield would rank above.
Combat medals for those who have served on the front lines including the purple heart.
And the bronze star.
-- except -- the CEO of concerned veterans for America who has been awarded a bronze star for his service in Iraq.
And -- -- colonel Bill Cowan was a Fox News military analyst and retired marine officer has been awarded that we hope purple hearts.
Gentlemen thank you both so much for being here at this is interesting because -- -- -- The Defense Secretary stood behind this decision he he he thought this was -- to rank this metal above the purple are above the bronze star.
The chiefs needed the that the military chiefs who he said told him.
It was appropriate but now has been such a backlash.
They are -- considering haven't reversed it entirely but they're reconsidering.
-- your thoughts -- Well.
There's a big difference I think they figured out from the backlash is a big difference between being in combat and supporting combat and that should be reflected in the types of rewards we give you know.
Heroism and the things that that's don't use but our our hoist upon those in and battle.
Is is something that requires risk and there is a lot different risk calculation when you're looking in Munich in the -- on the ground.
Vs from a from a company chair -- it with a controller doesn't make that not important.
-- but there's an advocate very big difference there that should be reflected in the types of awards you -- -- a guy like bill.
-- wounded multiple times -- Vietnam.
That should be rewarded above a new forms of warfare that are are 20% -- warfare but.
But not above.
Boots on the ground get it done.
Now here's what chuck Capel said -- -- account initially you know -- now they're read reconsidering but hit here was his initial position.
He said look there are other non combat medals that already ranked higher than the bronze star.
That usually recognize valor he says the medal of honor service cross is a silver star.
Are awarded solely for heroism in combat and they remain higher -- -- Then.
Well nonetheless Megan and I don't think anybody wants to deny these people that worked a drone programs some kind of recognition because they do deserve it they do a wonderful job.
And they bear -- burden at the end of the day when they fire those -- that -- a long process before it gets of the order to fire.
They know that there may be collateral damage on the ground there may be innocent people killed.
Now that's that's not a decision that they make to make that to make that shoot pull the trigger.
Decision but they're part of that process and I'm sure that weighs on him and nobody would want to deny them recognition.
For what they do but.
At the end of the day it is a matter of -- of -- what's more important as speeches that.
That young marine that young sailors soldier somebody out there who had engaged in combat.
Who's fighting for maybe hours he's staying in the field forever and maybe he gets in a firefight -- wins a bronze star he or she or wins a purple heart.
-- make that less and less important.
Then somebody who are granted doing a good job but still -- sitting at the desk and at the end of today when there's time on that -- has done.
They get up they go home they see their wives they see their families.
They have dinner and they need lead it's actually a normal life.
And I think you make the key point on the -- -- and just coming into this segment.
It's a real group of bipartisan.
Members of Capitol Hill who have attacked this pretty vigorously and I looked at that list -- bipartisan -- very interesting to see who signed up.
As not supporting this decision.
They're reviewing this at the Pentagon because -- have to -- mean elite and Jeff Capel made his position pretty clear that he thought this was appropriate and now.
The outcry is getting the -- apparently too loud for them to ignore and despite I didn't mean to suggest before that the metal artists over across the silver -- And those are for heroism in combat they're saying those are still above both of these -- bronze star in.
This metal for the drone operators but -- what what they're saying is that it's heroism.
Combat although this is unconventional combat having these drone operators they may sit -- -- removed from the field.
But they have to make the decision they have to execute kill orders and that takes bravery and it takes courage and it and deserves recognition.
What does deserve recognition but there are plenty of medals that they're currently exists that could be used to recognize that whether it's -- commendation medal or meritorious service medal or are even higher ranking -- that could be given to.
A superior drone pilots -- or even cyber warriors I think.
This is something the administration in a -- number trying to use.
Two to demonstrate that those aspects of warfare today are increasingly more important and they wanted to try to reflected.
But it you can't get away from the fact that ultimately war will be fought on the ground and it requires a different set you know this is our.
You know if -- -- congratulating on this battle but are out.
He was just in Afghanistan three days ago with the president there saying that we were collaborating with the Taliban and -- could say is it's not true and we need we need.
Resolve and certainty in that position and that we're not getting that right now.
As a futile as -- the -- account is somebody who really has both of you guys put your lives on the line.
Which with all due respect to that the combat you know drone that the drone operators that's not what they're doing just getting less -- of the distinction.
Well it's not it's not what they're doing they're not put their lives on the line -- that's not to say they're not working hard and again that's not to say they don't deserve recognition you know secretary hagel came in.
I'm sure you get a stack of papers of things that are addressed a mile hi this is one album that made its way through he's a combat veteran he -- sit back now that he know there's a lot of attention on this specific issue.
Sit back and think about a little differently I get some people that your review I'd be very surprised if that this hasn't policy doesn't change.
On this particular -- yeah.
You get the America did you get it right VFW so many veterans coming -- saying this this it doesn't sit well with them without with all due respect to -- to the drone operators guys thank you both so much.