Tester: Review of cyber warfare medal ‘a good first step’

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered a review to examine whether a new medal for drone pilots and cyber warriors should rank ahead of combat medals like the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart:

“This is a good first step to properly honor Montanans and all Americans who put their lives on the line for their country. The nature of war is changing, but folks who serve directly in the theater of war are at greater risk. I will keep working to make sure the medals earned on the battlefield get the respect they deserve.”

The Defense Department announced earlier this year that the new medal, called the Distinguished Warfare Medal, would rank ahead of the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart – two medals that can only be earned by serving in combat.

In response, Tester joined with Senators Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) to introduce a bill to make sure the two combat medals rank ahead of the new medal. Senator Max Baucus is also a cosponsor of the bill.

A medal’s ranking indicates how it is supposed to be displayed, with the Medal of Honor ranking the highest among the military’s nearly 60 medals and ribbons. The Bronze Star is earned for acts of heroism in a combat zone and the Purple Heart awarded to those wounded or killed in action.