f t d +

Vets Applaud Drone Medal Cancellation by Hagel

 ·, Press Release

Washington, DC -, one of the groups which spearheaded the effort to review the creation of a new distinguished warfare medal for drone pilots and cyberwar specialists that outranked the Purple Heart, is cheering the decision by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to cancel creation of the medal.  In its place, Secretary Hagel has ordered creation of a distinguishing device, which can be affixed to existing medals.

Jon Soltz, Iraq War Veteran and Chairman of said, "Today’s announcement is a perfect example of why veterans fought so hard to see Chuck Hagel confirmed as Secretary of Defense.  As someone who served, received two Purple Hearts, and fought alongside so many who sacrificed, Chuck Hagel always will see things through the perspective of Sgt. Chuck Hagel.  The original decision to create a new medal for drone operators, that outranked the Purple Heart, seemed misguided to all of us who served.  Secretary Hagel recognized that, and quickly fixed the issue.  We are extremely pleased with his decision."

VoteVets had been lobbying for a change in the medal's standing.  The group received over 5000 responses to an email soliciting opinions of the new medal, for Secretary Hagel, with the overwhelming number supporting a change in where the medal ranks.  The group also has written extensively about the issue, including in a Huffington Post, which can be read here.

Founded in 2006,  and backed by over 220,000 members, the mission of is to use public issue campaigns and direct outreach to lawmakers to ensure that troops abroad have what they need to complete their missions, and receive the care they deserve when they get home. also recognizes veterans as a vital part of the fabric of our country and will work to protect veterans' interests in their day-to-day lives. is committed to the destruction of terror networks around the world - with force when necessary - to protect America.  While non-partisan, the group is the largest progressive organization of veterans in America.