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Pentagon creates new medal for cyber, drone wars

February 12, 2013 News Extra

WASHINGTON — Defense officials say the Pentagon is creating a new medal that can be awarded to troops who have a direct impact on combat operations, but do it from afar.

The new Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded to individuals for “extraordinary achievement” related to a military operation. Unlike other combat medals, it does not require the recipient risk his or her life.

The medal is a recognition of the evolving 21st Century warfare where troops fight wars from computers and video screens. The medal could go to service members who never set foot in a combat zone, but launch drone strikes or cyberattacks that can kill or disable an enemy.

Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement has not yet been made.