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US official cancels creation of new drone medal

April 16, 2013

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.-Reuters/ File Photo

WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is canceling the creation of a new military medal for drone and cyber warriors, and instead wants military leaders to develop a special pin or device 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 bitter complaints from veterans and lawmakers who said it should not be ranked higher than traditional combat medals such as the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

Senior military leaders reviewed the issue and recommended the creation of a device, similar to the ''V'' for valor that can be attached to the Bronze Star and other medals to reward an act of heroism.

They have 90 days to finalize details and criteria for the award.