WASHINGTON — Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., has joined the chorus of critics asking the Pentagon to reconsider the ranking of the new Distinguished Warfare Medal, to be awarded to drone pilots and other offsite troops involved in combat operations.
In a letter to Pentagon officials Monday, Rooney requested that the Defense Department reconsider its decision to place the new medal above the Purple Heart and Bronze Star in order of precedence.
“I support the creation of a medal to honor members of the military whose extraordinary achievements directly impacted combat operations,” he wrote. "However, I firmly believe there is no greater sacrifice than risking your own life to save another on the battlefield, and that the order of precedence should appropriately reflect the reverence we hold for those willing to make that sacrifice.”
There’s even a petition on the White House’s “We the People” website to force a change in the policy.
Rooney, an Army veteran, encouraged military officials to reach out to veterans groups in reviewing the decision. However, Pentagon officials have not said they would reconsider the medal’s placement.