B5 Systems

The Distinguished Warfare Medal – The Times They Are a Changin’

Earlier today, the Department of Defense announced a new medal. It recognizes “extraordinary achievement, not involving acts of valor in combat, directly impacting combat operations of other military operations.” Think drones. The DWM ranks below the Distinguished Flying Cross, but above the Bronze Star and the award’s Blue, Red and White ribbon will suspend a laurel wreath encircling a domed and grid-lined globe. There is no geographic limitation on the medal, and the domain for the award includes air, land, maritime, space and cyberspace. The DWM cannot be given for action prior to Sept. 22, 2001.

DWM Memo

35 Responses to “The Distinguished Warfare Medal – The Times They Are a Changin’”

  1. straps says:

    An award created for a constituency with a flat rank structure, an inferiority complex toward the manned-platform aviators that beat back efforts at equivalency and all the time in the world to advocate.

    If awards mattered to me, I’d be pissed. But given what I know about the work of the Bronze Star recipients in my midst, it’s just funny.

  2. ISA says:

    “I played a video game and killed an entire family, I want a medal!”

  3. Darren says:

    The medal is one thing, but the precedence shows how highly these folks think about CONUS “combatants” and those actually in harms way. What a joke.

  4. Lawrence says:

    And in other news, the “Chairborne Ranger” tab and “Piefinder” qualification badge have also been approved.

  5. J.D says:

    Sounds like a medal I got in battlefield 3 the other day…

  6. Leo says:

    Wow… Sounds like free points for testing to me…

  7. bob says:

    Yeah, after my buddy got a Bronze Star for doing his job as a fobbit who never left the wire, I stopped caring about medals. If this one makes UAV pilots feel important too, I guess this is a good thing for our touchy-feely military.

    • Bman says:

      I never understood how people got medals for nothing. No offense to any Air Force guys but it seems like every time you hear of an AFSOC combat controller doing his job well in a firefight, they are giving them silver stars and Air Force Cross’s. I met a Marine who had a purple heart even though he had never been wounded. He showed me the paperwork and all. It was legit. He said half his platoon was blown up in a convoy while he was back behind the wire (they were mechanics and other admin specialists) so the living remainder of the platoon got a purple heart and a bronze star. And he thought he earned it on that operation! The war on terror service and deployment medals have always been a joke to me. You send a package from the Camp Pendleton or Fort Bragg to Centcom HQ in Tampa and you were receive the medal for supporting operations. Step foot on a plane or boat heading in that direction, you deployed there, here is the other medal to with the first one.

  8. Eric says:

    Next step will be a purple heart for the drone pilots and fobbits who develop carpal tunnel on the job. Anyway regular BSMs without a valor device are given out like candy as end of tour awards anyway so I this one doesn’t surprise me either.

    • Andy I. says:

      You are very correct, Sir! Every time I read that somebody is a BSM receipient, I quickly check to find out if it has a “v” associated with it.

  9. zen says:

    Actually wearing the ribbon would be just one notch above having a “kick me” note on your back…

    • Bman says:

      HA HAHA This is true. Boasting about it would deserve a swift kick in the nuts to check for manhood.

  10. Bman says:

    I recall when they made the combat action badge to appease the people screaming they wanted a shiny badge like the infantry badge. The army should have simply changed the name of the CIB so it could be awarded to anyone who was actually shot at. Commanders that command from rear areas behind the wire should be excluded no matter what their MOS is. About a third of the medals in each branch could be done away with. If the Air Force and Army were still a single branch, we could save a boat load of money on reducing redundant service badges, different rank insignia, uniforms and awards.

    • Jon says:

      Gettng shot at and serving as an actual professional Infantryman (or 18) are two very different things. Anyone can be on a patrol or even stationed on a FOB and be involved in some sort of enemy fire; as an unlucky or unwilling participant. To actively seek out the enemy and know how to handle the situation is what seperates the CIB holders from the CAB. I’m not saying that every Infantryman who’s earned his CIB has performed the same level of ground combat and I’m also not saying that non-Infantry MOSes haven’t worked hard and conducted Infantry-type training or action. But the bottom line is that there is a distinction between a CIB and a CAB.

    • SSD says:

      If the Air Force and Army were a single service the air corps would use all of the budget and it would suck to be in any of the branches. Airplanes, satellites and ballistic missiles cost a lot of money.

      • Nick says:

        As an Army aviator the number I’ve heard is that we are 7% of the force and a third of the budget. I believe both of those numbers are based on Army (budget and personnel). So I can only imagine how things are for the Air Force…

  11. Bill says:

    What was the ratio of medals to service members v actual combatants in Grenada?

    • Lawrence says:

      Good point. That operation set the precedent for today’s apparent candy store approach to awarding medals and combat badges.

  12. Matt says:

    Another award for doing your job. I get it, not everyone in the Air Force actually gets shot at, or even has the opportunity to do something heroic under fire, and yet their jobs are still vitally important (I pulled alert in nuclear ICBM launch centers for four years). But making up more medals is just to pad the O-6’s ribbon rack is stupid.

  13. Kal says:

    Looks like somebody’s idea of a joke. The memorandum formatting is all wrong (ie. wrong header, missing office symbol, wrong paragraph formatting, and missing signature block). SECDEF would never sign a memorandum that looked like this.


  14. Kal says:

    I retract my former statement. Apparently, this matches the memorandum format SECDEF has used with previously. I’ll admit, I’m surprised that this would get through his staff.

    • Jeremy says:

      You have to remember who the current SeCDeF is and the fact his close staff is probably hand picked to not have any understanding of military protocol.

  15. Check Six says:

    A continuation of policy by the current Administration, forcing LOWER standards on the DoD.

    This will be on of those laughable pieces of cloth worn on the uniform. SecDef gave it the level of importance so those that choose to only wear their top row on the uniform will be forced to display the “Obama” medal for simply doing your job!

  16. bulldog 76 says:

    so if i troll chinese hackers do i get this medal ????

  17. JJ says:

    Next they are gonna want cool leather jackets fore the UAV pilots…what…oh they already get those…nevermind.

  18. Duke says:




  19. SGT Rock says:

    I wanna sit back in CONUS in my AC office and engage targets all day long w/o being exposed to any real danger. Then at the end of the day I’ll drive home and fuck my gf/wife and have a nice meal afterwards. Maybe in a couple of months I’ll complain about PTSD b/c I killed all those bad guys a la video game style. Afterwards they’ll give me a medal for it and I can brag about how “I was in the shit” and rained death from above b/c I’m an ace pilot.

  20. Riceball says:

    I have no idea with the medal in principle, I actually like the idea of a medal for combat support achievements. However, to rank it above the bronze star is just ridiculous, it’s an insult to anybody and everybody who has earned a bronze star in combat. This medal should rank below a bronze star but above other good cookie medals that you’d get for doing your job in peace time.

  21. packtray says:

    “EVERYONE has won, and ALL must have prizes.”