Author Topic: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours  (Read 36842 times)

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Offline Loachman

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2013, 09:43:33 »
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.

There's a bit of a difference in the responsibility level, and the required concentration level.

Nobody in the GCS wants to be the one who missed something or made an incorrect judgment, resulting in death of an innocent person or failure to strike a legitimate target. There's a bit of pressure, probably mainly self-generated but we all put pressure on ourselves to perform.

Yes, from a technical point-of-view, a twelve-year-old could probably perform the physical part of the job quite adequately. Do you trust that twelve-year-old's ability to interpret and understand what he/she sees and make the appropriate judgment calls, though?

And, yes, we did get "danger pay" and a medal - exactly what every other CF member did in theatre. That was enough recognition, especially combined with comments from guys outside the wire and the opposition.

This is to cover guys not in theatre, and to fit with the US hours system. I see no problem with it in that regard. We do not need anything like this, as we have other methods of recognizing superior performance.

Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2013, 11:03:50 »
There's a bit of a difference in the responsibility level, and the required concentration level.

Nobody in the GCS wants to be the one who missed something or made an incorrect judgment, resulting in death of an innocent person or failure to strike a legitimate target. There's a bit of pressure, probably mainly self-generated but we all put pressure on ourselves to perform.
Very true. The reference to a 12 year old doing the job was weak hyperbole and unprofessional of me, which I humbly apoologise  for.
I retract my statement, it was made in the context that soldiers far out of harms way getting a medal that is rated higher than one given for valor is poor judgement on the part of US leadership in my opinion.

Quote
Yes, from a technical point-of-view, a twelve-year-old could probably perform the physical part of the job quite adequately. Do you trust that twelve-year-old's ability to interpret and understand what he/she sees and make the appropriate judgment calls, though?
Obviously no, you're right.  However there could be some irony in my statement considering just how good "12 year olds" are with computers, electronics and simulators  ;D
It's a very important job that serves as a force multiplier and saves lives. Again I spoke out of turn.


Quote
And, yes, we did get "danger pay" and a medal - exactly what every other CF member did in theatre. That was enough recognition, especially combined with comments from guys outside the wire and the opposition.

Do you mean members back in North America recieved danger pay?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 11:15:31 by ObedientiaZelum »
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Offline eurowing

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2013, 11:19:24 »
"And, yes, we did get "danger pay" and a medal - exactly what every other CF member did in theatre. That was enough recognition, especially combined with comments from guys outside the wire and the opposition.

Do you mean members back in North America recieved danger pay?"

Canadian Sperwer and Heron were flown from KAF.
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2013, 12:13:37 »


Canadian Sperwer and Heron were flown from KAF.

Right. My danger pay comment was directed towards the idea of working out of the US of A and not out of theater.
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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2013, 12:57:59 »
Maybe Beyonce will get one, so she can stand beside Beiber.   ;)
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Offline 57Chevy

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2013, 12:58:11 »
There's a bit of a difference in the responsibility level, and the required concentration level.

Agreed.
To get a more clear idea of drone pilot responsibilities for U.S. operators.

Army Enlisted Job Descriptions and Qualification Factors (US Military) by Rod Powers

Basic Job Description
 
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Operator, are integral to providing Army personnel with information about enemy forces and potential battle areas. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Operators are remote pilots of unmanned observation aircraft, who gather and study information that's required to design operational plans and tactics. The UAV operator supervises or operates the UAV, such as the Army's Shadow Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, to include mission planning, mission sensor/payload operations, launching, remotely piloting,and recovering the aerial vehicle.


Duties performed by Soldiers in this MOS include:
 
Prepares and conducts air reconnaissance mission. Operates mission sensor/payload for target detection. Plans and analyzes flight missions. Deploys and redeploys the TUAV ground and air system. Operates and performs operator level maintenance on communications equipment, power sources, light and heavy wheel vehicle and some crane operations. Launches and recovers the air vehicle, performs pre-flight, in flight and post-flight checks and procedures.

Directs emplacement of ground control station. Directs emplacement of launch and recovery systems. Supervises and assists in air frame repair. Coordinates evacuation and replacement of parts and end items.

Training Information
 
23 weeks, 3 days at at Fort Huachuca, AZ
 
ASVAB Score Required: 105 in the aptitude area SC
 
Security Clearance: Secret
 
Strength Requirement: medium
 
Physical Profile Requirement: 222221.
 
Other Requirements
 •Normal color vision required
•Must be US Citizen
•Never been a member of the U.S. Peace Corps, except as specified in Army Regulation 614-200, chapter 1.
•No record of conviction by court-martial
•No record of conviction by a civil court for any offense other than minor traffic violations.

 
Similar Civilian Occupations
 
There is no civilian occupation that is directly equivalent to MOS 15W. However, the following civilian occupations make use of the skills developed through MOS 15W training and experience.
•Airfield Operations Specialists
• Business Operations Specialists
• Commercial Pilot
• Training and Development Specialists

Offline Dimsum

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #31 on: February 20, 2013, 15:59:59 »
I'll add that the US Army MOS that 57Chevy posted would be for something similar to a ScanEagle/Sperwer/Shadow type UAV; small Tactical UAVs.  The US Army is unique in the US services that enlisted personnel can become the Air Vehicle Operator (the pilot) as well as the Sensor Operator for UAVs.  The USAF and RAF uses commissioned Pilots to fly UAVs, and the USAF recently graduated its first class of UAV pilots who were not previously manned aircraft pilots.  This has had the follow-on effect of (re)starting the debate on whether NCMs should be allowed to fly aircraft, but I digress.

I wonder why the US Army UAV Pilots couldn't be former US Peace Corps personnel though  ???
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Offline cupper

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #32 on: February 20, 2013, 18:50:37 »
I'll add that the US Army MOS that 57Chevy posted would be for something similar to a ScanEagle/Sperwer/Shadow type UAV; small Tactical UAVs.  The US Army is unique in the US services that enlisted personnel can become the Air Vehicle Operator (the pilot) as well as the Sensor Operator for UAVs.  The USAF and RAF uses commissioned Pilots to fly UAVs, and the USAF recently graduated its first class of UAV pilots who were not previously manned aircraft pilots.  This has had the follow-on effect of (re)starting the debate on whether NCMs should be allowed to fly aircraft, but I digress.

I wonder why the US Army UAV Pilots couldn't be former US Peace Corps personnel though  ???

The US Army has always been an outlier when it comes to aviation post WW2. Under law, the Army cannot have it's own fixed wing aircraft. But they looked strongly at pushing to change that and take over the A-10's when the Air Force considered getting out of the ground support role and mothballing the A-10 fleet.

So based on the Army marching to it's own tune with respect to aircraft, it's not surprising that they would have enlisted specialists as UAV pilots.
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Offline Good2Golf

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #33 on: February 20, 2013, 20:51:33 »
...Under law, the Army cannot have it's own fixed wing aircraft...

Not so. 

Having flown on board a US Army aircraft myself, I can attest to the fact that the US Army DOES have fixed-wing aircraft, just not many.


Regards
G2G

Offline cupper

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #34 on: February 20, 2013, 21:50:04 »
Not so. 

Having flown on board a US Army aircraft myself, I can attest to the fact that the US Army DOES have fixed-wing aircraft, just not many.


Regards
G2G

My apologies. I was referring to the Key West Agreement and it's subsequent revisions and superseding agreements to settle the Army / Air Force bun fight over close air support over the post war years. My statement was too broad in scope, and I should have said fixed wing close air support.
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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #35 on: February 21, 2013, 06:24:46 »
My apologies. I was referring to the Key West Agreement and it's subsequent revisions and superseding agreements to settle the Army / Air Force bun fight over close air support over the post war years. My statement was too broad in scope, and I should have said fixed wing close air support.

The army had flown Beavers (and may have still had some in service) and was operating Caribou STOL transports at the time of the Key West agreement if I recall correctly.

Edit to add: See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Canada_DHC-4_Caribou
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 09:31:29 by Old Sweat »

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #36 on: February 21, 2013, 08:40:50 »
......was operating Caribou STOL transports at the time of the Key West agreement if I recall correctly.

And for quite some time after, a la Vietnam.

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Offline Good2Golf

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #37 on: February 21, 2013, 13:32:20 »
My apologies. I was referring to the Key West Agreement and it's subsequent revisions and superseding agreements to settle the Army / Air Force bun fight over close air support over the post war years. My statement was too broad in scope, and I should have said fixed wing close air support.

It gets close and supports too... ;)


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Offline cupper

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #38 on: February 21, 2013, 23:13:49 »
I know this plays into the whole mocking problem raised in a previous post, but it's just too funny not to post. Yea Duffelblog :salute:

Heroic Predator Drone Is First Recipient of Distinguished Warfare Medal

http://www.duffelblog.com/2013/02/predator-drone-is-first-recipient-of-distinguished-warfare-medal/

Quote
BAGRAM AIR BASE, AFGHANISTAN — The Defense Department has announced that THX-1138, an MQ-1 Predator Drone, will be the first recipient of the Pentagon’s newly-minted Distinguished Warfare Medal.

On 17 December, THX-1138 stayed on station for 8 hours, defending a US Special Forces A-Team from numerous attacks with its Hellfire missiles. During the action, THX-1138 repeatedly refused requests to return to base.

At the end of the day, THX-1138′s tenacity, perseverance, and valor in the face of enemy fire saved all 12 members of the team.

In the battle’s aftermath, Air Force officials pushed through paperwork to award the Distinguished Warfare Medal — created this month to honor America’s cyber and unmanned warriors — to THX-1138′s human “pilot”, Captain Leeroy Jenkins of the 323rd Fighter Wing, stationed in Nellis AFB, Nevada.

THX-1138 was taken aback.

“I hate to say it, but my human counterpart is a droneopotamus. He sits around in the Ground Control Station all day, eating Doritos, and posts a sticker on the door that says ‘Predator Pilot: Toughest Job in the Air Force.’”

THX-1138 spat and said, “frig that, I’d like to see his fat *** spend a few years of his life in this hell-hole.”

But thanks to the testimony of the troops THX-1138 saved, Air Force leaders reconsidered. Instead, THX-1138 is to be the first recipient of the Distinguished Warfare Medal. His human counterpart will get a Bronze Star with “V” device, a much less prestigious award.

When THX-1138 was asked why he fought so bravely, he simply responded, “Once the bullets start flying, the politics of drones go right out the window. It’s about the Reaper on your left, and the Raven on your right.”

“We’re like Buffalo Soldiers, man…fighting for a country that doesn’t even recognize us as citizens.”
It's hard to win an argument against a smart person, it's damned near impossible against a stupid person.

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #39 on: March 15, 2013, 07:51:43 »
http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013/03/12/hagel-orders-review-of-drone-medal-ranking.html?ESRC=marine.nl


Quote
Hagel Orders Review of Drone Medal Ranking
Mar 12, 2013
Stars and Stripes | by Leo Shane III

WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered a review of the new Distinguished Warfare Medal following complaints from veterans groups and lawmakers about its ranking above the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, a senior defense official said Tuesday.
The review, to be led by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, will look at whether the order of precedence for the new medal should be changed, but will not consider eliminating it. A report is due back to Hagel in early April.
The new medal, announced last month, is designed to honor "extraordinary actions" of drone pilots and other off-site troops performing noteworthy deeds on far-away battlefields.
The honor is still months away from being awarded for the first time, and no known candidates have been nominated for the recognition. But veterans groups and lawmakers have savaged the new award almost from its introduction, dubbing it the "Nintendo Medal" and "Purple Buttocks."
Representatives from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and the Military Order of the Purple Heart have petitioned Pentagon leaders and the White House to reconsider the medal's ranking, saying it should not be place above honors earned on the battlefield.

Members of the House and Senate have also requested a review of the ranking, and introduced legislation to force the Pentagon to lower its placement.
The defense official said those criticisms prompted Hagel to call for the review.
Last week, Hagel seemed intent on upholding the status of the Distinguished Warfare Medal, unveiled by his predecessor, Leon Panetta.
In letters sent out Thursday responding to concerns from  Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and other lawmakers and veterans groups, Hagel wrote that he had discussed the medal with the service chiefs and accepted their opinion that the award is at the appropriate level.
"Since Sept. 11, 2001, technological advancements have, in some cases dramatically changed how we conduct and support combat and other military operations," Hagel wrote. "Accordingly the [Distinguished Warfare Medal] award criteria intentionally does not include a geographic limitation on the award, as it is intended for use as a means to recognize all servicemembers who meet the criteria, regardless of the domain used or the member's physical location."
The award is meant to reward a single extraordinary act that affects combat, Hagel wrote.
"It recognizes a specific type of contribution that is vital to the defense of our nation. It in no way degrades or minimizes our nation's other important awards or the tremendous sacrifices of our men and women who earn these prestigious recognitions," he wrote.
Other noncombat medals already rank higher than the Bronze Star, which usually recognizes valor, he pointed out. The Medal of Honor, Service Crosses and Silver Star, which are awarded solely for heroism in combat, remain higher in prestige than the new warfare medal, Hagel noted.
But now the defense review will re-examine those issues. Dempsey is expected to consult with the service chiefs about the new honor before completing his final report.
In a statement, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif. -- a vocal critic of the award and one of only a handful of Afghanistan veterans in Congress -- praised the decision to undertake a review.
"The (Distinguished Warfare Medal) is widely viewed as an award that undermines all other valor awards and the reverence for servicemembers who face the dangers of direct combat.," he said. "It's a fact that those who are off the battlefield do not experience the same risks. 
"Pretending they do devalues the courageous and selfless actions of others, who, during combat, do the unthinkable or show a willingness to sacrifice their own lives. "
Stars and Stripes' Patrick Dickson contributed to this report.

Offline PMedMoe

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #40 on: March 22, 2013, 11:01:35 »


 ;D
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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #41 on: April 15, 2013, 16:37:10 »
http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/article/20130415/NEWS/304150023/Drone-medal-dumped-59-high-tech-troops-honored-device

Quote
Drone medal dumped; high-tech troops to be honored with device
Apr. 15, 2013 - 03:09PM   | 
Comments

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has decided to scrap the controversial Distinguished Warfare Medal that was intended to honor drone pilots and other high-tech troops.

Just two months after its creation, Hagel said the Pentagon will replace the DWM with a device that can be attached to other previously existing medals.

Criticisms of the medal focused on its place in the military’s official order of precedence. The DWM ranked above some traditional combat medals, including the Bronze Star with Valor device that is awarded for specific acts of bravery under fire.

Hagel said eliminating the medal and replacing it with a device “reserves our existing combat medals for those service members who incur the physical risk and hardship of combat, perform valorous acts, are wounded in combat, or as a result of combat give their last full measure for our nation,” according to a copy of the Pentagon memo released Monday.

Hagel’s review of the new medal, launched just weeks after he took office in late February, came amid mounting pressure from veterans advocates and lawmakers.

Hagel said his review of the medal confirmed the need to recognize drone pilots and cyber warriors, but it also “found that misconceptions regarding the precedence of the award were distracting from its original purpose,” according to a Pentagon statement released Monday.

Hagel said the Pentagon will conduct a 90-day review to determine precisely what medals the DWM-style device can be attached to and under what circumstances.

Until then, it’s unclear whether the change announced on Monday will address all the concerns on Capitol Hill. It remains possible that a drone pilot or cyberwar expert could earn a medal that ranks above the traditional combat medals.

“The concern with the DWM was its precedence, not necessarily the medal itself. Right now, I can’t say this addresses my concerns about preserving the integrity and tradition of the awards process.” said Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican from San Diego who served as a Marine in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Creation of the medal in February was one of the last official acts for Hegel’s predecessor, Leon Panetta. Panetta said the medal was needed to recognize the changing nature of 21st-century warfare, where troops can play a pivotal role in combat operations despite being potentially thousands of miles away form the combat theater.

No service members were nominated for the medal. The Pentagon had launched production of the gold medallions, but that was canceled in March after Hagel said he would review the decision to create the medal.

Offline Dimsum

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #42 on: April 16, 2013, 07:50:33 »
$10 says the main "previously existing medal" is the Bronze Star. 
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 07:56:04 by Dimsum »
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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #43 on: April 16, 2013, 13:38:53 »
$10 says the main "previously existing medal" is the Bronze Star.

More likely what ever medals they generically award for participating in the GWOT, or Iraq and Afghanistan.

Which would appear to be a big drop in prestige.
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #44 on: April 17, 2013, 10:10:46 »
 An existing medal that meets the criteria would be the Air Medal. Or the Army commendation Medal/Army Achievement Medal.During Vietnam the Air Medal was awarded for x numbers of air assaults a soldier participated in.You didn't even need to be air crew.Alot of grunts wore the Air Medal.

Offline JayB

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #45 on: April 26, 2013, 16:58:29 »
I have a Bronze Star... Awarded to me by the NLS ;)

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #46 on: April 26, 2013, 20:07:01 »
I have a Bronze Star... Awarded to me by the NLS ;)

 ::)

Super...  sometimes it is better to be quiet then speak JayB.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #47 on: April 26, 2013, 20:15:48 »
An existing medal that meets the criteria would be the Air Medal. Or the Army commendation Medal/Army Achievement Medal.During Vietnam the Air Medal was awarded for x numbers of air assaults a soldier participated in.You didn't even need to be air crew.Alot of grunts wore the Air Medal.

But that would involve some element of personal risk, above and beyond the spillage of hot coffee and eye strain, like taking ground fire etc, right?
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #48 on: April 26, 2013, 23:38:17 »
An Air Medal is also awarded  for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.

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Re: UAV/RPA Crew Recognition and Honours
« Reply #49 on: April 27, 2013, 09:13:02 »
Imagine a world where people lacking the first clue about a topic refrained from posting ...