Thursday, February 21, 2013

Oh please! Military's new medal for cyber warriors and drone pilots

"Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, who announced the new award on Wednesday, said the military needed a medal that recognizes that post-9/11 warfare is different with servicemembers at consoles in the U.S. directly affecting the outcome of enemy engagements." [VFW Wants New Medal Ranked Lower].

Worse yet the medals are ranked higher than "both the Bronze Star with Combat "V" and the Purple Heart – medals typically awarded for combat in which the servicemember's life is at risk." The VFW's position: "The VFW fully concurs that those far from the fight are having an immediate impact on the battlefield in real-time, but medals that can only be earned in direct combat must mean more than medals awarded in the rear." [VFW Wants New Medal Ranked Lower].

While defending your country sitting in front of what might well be considered little more than a game console exhibiting skills that gamers across the world exhibit for entertainment might deserve some recognition; however, it ought to be measured against the risk of the particular service performed.

It is incomprehensible that anyone, especially the military, could equate the roles played by those in a comparative cushy environments with those actually placing their lives on the line in service to their country. "Thank you for your service" will be an empty phrase. The ranking of these cyber warrior medals dishonors the service of men and women that have fought in combat.

The two medals mentioned by the VFW are medals for extra-ordinary service, not something for completion of a tour of duty or completion of the term of enlistment.
"The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those who have been wounded or killed while serving on or after April 5, 1917 with the U.S. military." [Purple Heart - Wikipedia].
"The Purple Heart differs from all other decorations in that an individual is not "recommended" for the decoration; rather he or she is entitled to it upon meeting specific criteria. A Purple Heart is awarded for the first wound suffered under conditions indicated above, but for each subsequent award an oak leaf cluster is worn in lieu of the medal. Not more than one award will be made for more than one wound or injury received at the same instant. A "wound" is defined as an injury to any part of the body from an outside force or agent sustained under one or more of the conditions listed above. A physical lesion is not required; however, the wound for which the award is made must have required treatment by a medical officer and records of medical treatment for wounds or injuries received in action must have been made a matter of official record. When contemplating an award of this decoration, the key issue that commanders must take into consideration is the degree to which the enemy caused the injury. The fact that the proposed recipient was participating in direct or indirect combat operations is a necessary prerequisite, but is not sole justification for award. The Purple Heart is not awarded for non-combat injuries.[6]" [Purple Heart - Wikipedia].
"The Bronze Star Medal is an individual military award of the United States Armed Forces. It may be awarded for acts of heroism, acts of merit, or meritorious service in a combat zone. When awarded for acts of heroism, the medal is awarded with the "V" device." [Bronze Star Medal - Wikipedia].
"The "V" device may be authorized for wear on specific decorations awarded to any service member. In the Army and Air Force the device denotes that a specific individual decoration resulted from an act of combat heroism. In the Navy and Marine Corps, the Combat "V" may be authorized for wear to denote valor or being exposed to personal hazard involving direct participation in combat operations." [Bronze Star Medal - Wikipedia].
Where is the heroism and valor in military gaming?

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