Author Topic: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours  (Read 38397 times)

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Online tomahawk6

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UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« on: April 03, 2007, 20:28:40 »
The future of aviation I suspect will be this new career field.The rotorheads wont like this one iota.So I suspect at some point the brainiacs will come up with a different set of wings so they can tell the difference between those that leave the ground and those that do it virtually. ;D

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/04/army_UAV_awards_070403w/

UAV operators now eligible for aviation awards
By Jim Tice - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Apr 3, 2007 17:00:58 EDT

Soldiers who operate unmanned aerial vehicles now are eligible for award of the Aviation Badge, Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal.

The policy change will be included in an upcoming revision of Army Regulation 600-8-22 (Military Awards).

Under the new policy, approved last month, unmanned aerial vehicle system warrant officers and enlisted operators may be awarded the DFC or AM “if they are physically located on the aircraft (system) during the cited period, and all criteria for the decorations have been met.”

The Distinguished Flying Cross is a prestigious decoration that ranks just behind the Silver Star as a valor medal. It is awarded for heroism or extraordinary achievement.

The Air Medal is awarded for heroism, outstanding achievement or meritorious service. It ranks behind the Bronze Star, but in front of the Army Commendation Medal.

There are three degrees of Aviation Badges, which previously were called Aircraft Crewmember Badges.

The Basic Aviation Badge is awarded upon successful completion of advanced individual training in a designated career field or military occupational specialty, and to warrant officers upon successful completion of the MOS 150U (tactical UAV operations technician).

Officers who hold MOS 350U or 350K will be awarded the Basic Aviation Badge retroactively to their date of graduation from the qualification course.

The newly qualifying enlisted specialties are:

• MOS 96U (UAV operator) from Aug. 1, 1993, through Sept. 30, 2003.

• MOS 35K (UAV operator) from Oct. 1, 2007, through Sept. 30, 2008.

• The 68-series MOSs from Dec. 31, 1985, through Sept. 30, 2003.

• Soldiers who completed advanced individual training in CMF 28 before Sept. 30, 1973.

The Senior Aviation Badge is awarded upon successful completion of seven years in flight status, or 10 years of non-flight experience in a principal duty assignment for designated specialties.

The new qualifying career fields and MOSs for enlisted soldiers and warrant officers are:

• MOS 96U (UAV operator) from Aug. 1, 1993, through Sept. 30, 2003.

• MOS 35K (UAV operator) from Oct. 1, 2007, through Sept. 30, 2008.

• 68-series MOSs from Dec. 31, 1985, through Sept. 30, 2003.

• Warrant officers in MOS 150A (tactical UAV operations technician), and officers in 150A who had 10 or more years of experience in 350U and 350K.

The Master Aviation Badge is awarded upon successful completion of 15 years in flight status, or 17 years of non-flight experience in a principal duty assignment for designated specialties.

The new qualifying career fields and MOSs for enlisted soldiers and warrants are:

• MOS 96U (UAV operator) from Aug. 1, 1993, through Sept. 30, 2003.

• MOS 35K (UAV operator) from Oct. 1, 2007, through Sept. 30, 2008.

• Warrant officers in MOS 150A, 151U and 151A. Officers in these specialties may qualify for the badge after 17 years of experience in 350U and 150K, enlisted CMF 68 or 93, or enlisted MOS 71P, 96U or 35K.

MikeL

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UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2013, 19:33:58 »
http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2013/02/military-new-medal-for-drone-pilots-outranks-bronze-star-021313/

Quote
New medal for drone pilots outranks Bronze Star
By Andrew Tilghman - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Feb 13, 2013 16:37:27 EST
The Pentagon is creating a new high-level military medal that will recognize drone pilots and, in a controversial twist, giving it added clout by placing it above some traditional combat valor medals in the military’s “order of precedence.”

The Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded to pilots of unmanned aircraft, offensive cyber war experts or others who are directly involved in combat operations but who are not physically in theater and facing the physical risks that warfare historically entails.

The new medal will rank just below the Distinguished Flying Cross. It will have precedence over — and be worn on a uniform above — the Bronze Star with Valor device, a medal awarded to troops for specific heroic acts performed under fire in combat.

The new medal is a brass pendant, nearly two inches tall, with a laurel wreath that circles a globe. An eagle is in the center. The ribbon has blue, red and white stripes.

“This award recognizes the reality of the kind of technological warfare we are engaged in the 21st century,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters in Washington on Wednesday.

The new medal will be awarded for specific acts, such as the successful targeting of a particular individual at a critical time.

“Our military reserves its highest decorations obviously for those who display gallantry and valor in actions when their lives are on the line and we will continue to do so,” Panetta said.

“But we should also have the ability to honor the extraordinary actions that make a true difference in combat operations,” Panetta said. “The contribution they make does contribute 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.”

The service secretaries will make the final determination for awarding the Distinguished Warfare Medal.

The order of precedence came as a surprise to Doug Sterner, a military medals expert and the curator of the Military Times Hall of Valor, the largest database of military medal recipients.

“It’s got me puzzled,” Sterner said in an interview Wednesday. “I understand the need to recognize the guys at the console who are doing some pretty important things. But to see it ranking above the Bronze Star [with] V?”


Offline Journeyman

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2013, 19:40:26 »
Should this not have been posted under "Dumbest Thing Heard"?    ::)



....mind you, my Peacekeeping Medal trumps everything but my Afghan medal, so.....    :not-again:

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2013, 19:52:18 »
It's almost up there with being Bibered.    :nod:

Online tomahawk6

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2013, 20:16:37 »
Agreed.We have reached a new level of retardedness if thats a word.


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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2013, 22:08:22 »
It's the whole "Let's just give everyone a ribbon so they don't feel left out or a lesser person." touchy feely thing.
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Offline Shamrock

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2013, 23:01:40 »
Can't wait for the recipients of the Combat Dronesman Badge calling the infantry pogues.

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2013, 23:16:54 »
I'm sure the Duffel Blog's writers are just killing themselves in ironic laughter right now. 

I completely understand and advocate a medal for UAV operations, as those folks are essentially on "deployed" (as in shifts, workload, etc.) or actually deployed for launch/recovery crews in the fun places in the world, but to have it ranked higher than a Bronze Star?  That's a little rich.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2013, 23:39:07 »
Distinguished Warfare Medal

February 18, 2013: The U.S. Department of Defense has, for the second time in a decade, decided to create a new medal for extraordinary behavior in combat for those who are not holding down a traditional combat job. This time it’s a medal for Cyber War experts, UAV operators, and anyone else who makes an exceptional effort towards the winning of a combat operation without actually being there. Called the Distinguished Warfare Medal, it will provide a way of recognizing such accomplishments. Previously the military had “meritorious service” awards for this sort of thing but this new medal recognizes achievement in the combat zone by people who are not there. This is all because you now have a lot more people who are linked, in real time, to the battlefield. For UAV operators it’s normal to see and hear the combat and make life or death decisions while virtually involved. There is some stress associated with this, and even the risk of PTSD. But combat troops are not happy with the Pentagon calling the Distinguished Warfare Medal a “combat” award. The people at the Department of Defense who came up with this appear to have ignored thousands of years of military history. Going into combat where the other guy can kill you is a very special kind of job. One of the perks you gave to those who did it was recognition that they were special. The Distinguished Warfare Medal is seen as being disrespectful towards the combat troops who risk their lives. There have always been support troops who rendered essential and often extraordinary service. No one in that position ever expected a medal deemed superior to the lowest battlefield heroism awards.



http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htmoral/articles/20130218.aspx
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Offline kratz

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2013, 06:27:45 »
This news was posted and discussed earlier last week.
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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2013, 11:44:18 »
    ;)

Offline Jimmy_D

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2013, 12:28:52 »
    ;)

OH, where can I get one of these? ;D
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Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2013, 12:36:17 »
Is this for real or are you guys cooking up an elaborate joke?

And "retardedness" is a word. I use it all the time along with "smoothlier".
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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2013, 12:40:39 »
Is this for real or are you guys cooking up an elaborate joke?

And "retardedness" is a word. I use it all the time along with "smoothlier".


Sadly, I'm pretty sure the news story is real; for satire see this.

But, you know, it is the US of A, and it is the US of A's military, so how long until:

     1. The satire becomes reality; and

     2. Canada decides it's a good idea just because the Americans do it?
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Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2013, 12:42:35 »


     2. Canada decides it's a good idea just because the Americans do it?

I'll start working on that right now. >:D

It's like the "participation medal" every kid gets at sports events.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2013, 13:36:55 »
'Never send a human to do a robot's job'

So let's give the medal to the robots. I can't stand it when we discriminate against our cybernetic, war winning, human life saving friends.  ;D
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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2013, 16:39:35 »
Giving a medal to someone doing a job that a 12 year old can do that superceeds a medal awarded for being wounded in combat or for heroism  is a wonderful idea.   They should probably get some sort of danger pay while they're at it.
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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2013, 17:39:34 »
Giving a medal to someone doing a job that a 12 year old can do that superceeds a medal awarded for being wounded in combat or for heroism  is a wonderful idea.   They should probably get some sort of danger pay while they're at it.

Drone Pilot Ejects From Office Chair

http://www.theglobaledition.com/drone-pilot-ejects-from-office-chair/

 ;D
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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2013, 21:00:17 »
I was listening to an interview driving back from Pennsylvania today about this very subject with Peter Singer, director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative and a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution.

http://www.npr.org/2013/02/19/172412891/op-ed-its-time-to-recognize-the-valor-of-cyber-warfare

He makes a couple of good points in the interview:

Quote
SINGER:Oh, it's an odd sort of medal, in that the very description of it, the official description says that it, quote, "may not be awarded for valor in combat under any circumstances," which we've never seen happen in a medal before. Essentially, the idea is that it's to recognize accomplishments that are exceptional and outstanding, but not bounded in any geographic or chronologic manner - that is, it's not taking place in the combat zone. And so, essentially, it's recognizing that people can now do extraordinary things because of the new technologies that we're using in war, drones and cyber, but that the system wasn't prepared to recognize them.

Quote
SINGER: Well, it's interesting. It goes to what you're trying to recognize with a medal, with an award. Is it the hardships that a person faces, or is what the medal designation says is to recognize something, quote, "so exceptional and outstanding as to clearly set the individual apart from comrades or from other persons in similar situations."

So, you know, traditionally, medals have not been about saying, well, you had a really tough time of it. That's the only one that fits into that category, is the Purple Heart. But for all the others, it's to recognize that you've done something extraordinary, something different than others in a similar situation. And that's the category that this medal is for. It's not saying it's the same thing as a combat medal. It's saying it's not for combat.

So I think, again, it turns on what our notions of medals and what are they for and what's the role they play in war? But I should put my finger on one part of it, though, is that part of why this has been controversial, not in the public but within the military, is not the creation of the medal itself but it's precedence; that is, where one can wear it. And that's where there's been a lot of controversy in the military because if it was (unintelligible)

HEADLEE: The rank, you mean, of this - yeah.

SINGER: Yeah, the rank of it, is that someone will be able to wear it above a bronze star with valor, which is something that's awarded for combat. And so, that's what a lot of the controversy within the military has been. It's not been about the medal itself but the precedence, the rank of the medal. And, again, that's, you know, something to go back and forth on. You know, there's an argument to be made there. I can see it.

Quote
SINGER: Well, I think it's two things. One, Mark put his finger on the really heart of the controversy within the military right now, which is not, you know, can we recognize these people, but where in the precedent should it be set? And, frankly, that's, you know, something the military is going to have to work out. I'm not in the position to say, hey, it should be above or below bronze or above or below silver. To me, the fact that by its very definition, it's very clear that it is, you know, again, this is the definition. It may not be awarded for valor in combat. It's an indicator that this is a medal, but it's also something different.

But there's a second part to this that - I mean, I'm a little bit concerned about from this heat, from this controversy around it, is that the first time this medal is awarded, it's going to go to someone who's done something extraordinary for the nation. And yet, the reality is they're probably going to be mocked by a fairly significant portion of the military and or the Twittersphere, or however you want to say it. That is, we're going to focus on what was not done rather than was done. And that's a shame, in a certain way, coming out of this controversy.

Full transcript at the link.

As Singer indicates, the medal is not an award for bravery or valor, and not issued as a combat medal. It recognizes extraordinary and outstanding accomplishments by those who serve with the new technologies of drone warfare, cyberwarfare, and other areas where there currently is no other means of recognition other than commendations or citations. But by putting it's precedence above the Bronze Star diminishes the potential sacrifice that is implied with the Bronze Star should never have occurred.
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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2013, 21:43:33 »
Giving a medal to someone doing a job that a 12 year old can do that superceeds a medal awarded for being wounded in combat or for heroism  is a wonderful idea.   They should probably get some sort of danger pay while they're at it.

I used to think that the medal was placed too high.  Now I'm not sure.  Excuse me while I go off on a little bit of a tangent/rant:

1.  What people seem to forget is that there are actually 2 versions of the Bronze Star (BSM); one with the V (for valour) and one without.  There have been controversies that the one without the V has been watered down; see link below.  Of course, that opens the can of worms whether the BSM with V should even be in the same category as the other one, but that's another rant for another day.

http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2012/04/air-force-tech-sergeants-take-heat-bronze-stars-041612/

2.  Yes, the missions are generally run out of places in the US, where the person can go home and see family, friends, etc.  That being said, they have launch and recovery teams locally to land/take-off the RPAs who are on deployment lengths similar to (or longer than) those of us in OP ATHENA back in the day.  If it's possible for someone in, say, KAF to get a Bronze Star, and the article above definitely thinks so, then why should the DWM not be rated higher?

3.  As cupper said, it's not like every RPA pilot/sensor operator/janitor at Creech AFB is getting this.  People seem to be getting worked up over a medal that maybe a few may get.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 22:10:07 by Dimsum »
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Offline rampage800

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2013, 22:55:25 »
Quote
Giving a medal to someone doing a job that a 12 year old can do that superceeds a medal awarded for being wounded in combat or for heroism  is a wonderful idea.   They should probably get some sort of danger pay while they're at it.

You could easily argue the merits of the medal but one things for sure, those 12 year olds sure saved a lot of Canadian lives in Kandahar !

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2013, 00:11:11 »
For whatever it's worth -- and because I posted the mocking one earlier
....with...the Bronze Star (V) ribbon -- here's the real one:


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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2013, 02:11:02 »
Following on to cupper's article from NPR, here are some more interesting tidbits:

http://www.npr.org/2013/02/19/172412891/op-ed-its-time-to-recognize-the-valor-of-cyber-warfare

.....

HEADLEE: But, you know, explain for me exactly how - when a person distinguishes themselves if they're a drone pilot, for example. I mean, how do you go above and beyond if you're sitting at a computer, piloting a drone?

SINGER: Well, you're putting your finger on one of the controversies that surrounds this, and that's what a lot of the spin around has been. But let's use the case of the mission that got the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Zarqawi. So there was a team of unmanned aerial systems, drone operators, that tracked him down. It was over 600 hours of mission operational work that finally pinpointed him. They put the laser target on the compound that he was in, this terrorist leader, and then an F-16 pilot flew six minutes, facing no enemy fire, and dropped a bomb - a computer-guided bomb - on that laser. Now, who do you think got the Distinguished Flying Cross?

HEADLEE: Whoa. The...

SINGER: The people who spent 600 hours, or the six-minute pilot? And so that's really what we're getting at. Actually, the drone operators, in that case, they didn't get the medal, but they did get a nice thank-you note from a general. This is a true story, here.

......


So, you know, when the first guns came out in the 1400s, there was a nobleman back there who, you know, essentially said: Anyone who uses a gun is a coward. We've change our notion of that. Or there's a great saying from a - in World War I where this French general was complaining that three men with a machinegun can defeat a battalion of heroes. I mean, we've seen this play out. We've seen the story play out before. It doesn't make it something, you know, that we should celebrate or be happy about. It's just the cold, hard reality of war, is that technology continually reshapes our notions of the values that we look for in it.

HEADLEE: But, you know, I mean, to play the devil's advocate here, there is an argument to be made that in the example you gave, the fighter pilot, who only spent six minutes, spent six minutes in danger, right? I mean, he or she could have died, whereas the people - although they've spent 600 hours - they were never in bodily danger, where they?

SINGER: No. I mean, that's the argument to be made. Now, let's be clear. There was no - we're talking about Iraq. There was no enemy fire. I mean, essentially, it was the same as any training mission. The underlying point here is that we have to figure out - and this is what the medal was trying to do, is figure out a manner to recognize both that the battlefield is changing, the way people operate on it is changing, and how do you recognize people that are doing extraordinary things?
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Offline 57Chevy

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2013, 05:42:23 »
                                        Article is shared with provisions of The Copyright Act

IMO this is giving the phrase "What do you want, a Medal ?" a whole new meaning.  ;D

 
Obama pressured to drop new hero medal
for drone and cyber warriors below rank of Bronze Star

More than 5,000 people have signed a petition urging the White House to lower the ranking of a new medal for drone pilots and cyberwarfare specialists that has drawn criticism for its ranking above the Bronze Star.
 
“Under no circumstance should a medal that is designed to honor a pilot, that is controlling a drone via remote control, thousands of miles away from the theater of operation, rank above a medal that involves a soldier being in the line of fire on the ground,” the petition posted on the White House website says.

The Washington Times first reported Friday that some warriors inside the Pentagon were questioning and mocking Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta’s decision last week to create the Distinguished Warfare Medal for cyber- and drone-combatants who sit inside stations outside a war zone.
 
The new medal recognizes “extraordinary achievements that directly impact on combat operations, but do not involve acts of valor or physical risks that combat entails.” It ranks just below the Distinguished Flying Cross and just above the Bronze Star, which is awarded for extraordinary service to combatants in an actual war zone.
 
“This is an injustice to those who have served and risked their lives and this should not be allowed to move forward as planned,” the petition says of the Distinguished Warfare Medal.
 
The petition was created Thursday, a day after Mr. Panetta announced the new medal. On Monday, it had more than 5,000 signatures.
 
Any petition receiving more than 100,000 signatories in 30 days elicits a White House response.
 
In what likely will be his final news conference as defense secretary, Mr. Panetta on Wednesday announced his decision to create the medal as keeping pace with today’s technologies.
 
“I’ve seen firsthand how modern tools, like remotely piloted platforms and cybersystems, have changed the way wars are fought,” he said. “And they’ve given our men and women the ability to engage the enemy and change the course of battle, even from afar.”
 
But the announcement has made him the brunt of jokes about the medal’s high placement on the prestige list.
 
“I suppose now they will award Purple Hearts for carpal tunnel syndrome,” said a retired Green Beret who does contract work for the Pentagon.
 
Examples of those eligible for the new medal include service members who operate Predator drones over Afghanistan and Pakistan from the shelter of an air base, and military computer whizzes who defeat cyberattacks by China.
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See petition created 14 Feb here;
we petition the obama administration to: Lower the precedence of the new Distinguished Warfare Medal