On Feb. 13, Sec. of Defense Leon Panetta announced the creation of a new medal for indirect combat roles--the Distinguished Warfare Medal.
This medal is designed for those who operate drones and thereby have a direct impact on combat without actually being in combat.
The recipients of this medal will not have to risk their lives to get it.
In describing the medal, Panetta said: "I've seen firsthand how modern tools, like remotely piloted platforms and cyber systems, have changed the way wars are fought. And they've given our men and women the ability to engage the enemy and change the course of battle, even from afar."
Panetta focused on how this work "[contributes] to the success of combat operations, particularly when they remove the enemy from the field of battle, even if those actions are physically removed from the fight."
Because of the egalitarian nature of the Obama administration and the end-around Obama's DOD pulled on Congress in an attempt to get women into combat, many are wondering if this medal might be a not-so-veiled attempt to award medals to female soldiers.