Op-Ed: Game of Drones: Operators are to receive medals of valor (video)

Posted Feb 14, 2013 by Anne Sewell
Drone operators, wielding the joysticks that operate those infamous drones killing "terrorists" all over the world, can now receive a "Distinguished Warfare" Medal for their efforts.
MQ-9 Reaper UAV
U.S. drone in action
U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has announced the creation of a brand new medal - the "Distinguished Warfare Medal", which will be endowed upon the operators who control US drones in other countries in the world, and who target and kill people, many of whom are civilians.
While seated in safety, thousands of miles away from the front-line, someone can literally click a button, and boom, receive a medal for their efforts.
The Defense Department gave a statement: "The most immediate example is the work of an unmanned aerial vehicle operator who could be operating a system over Afghanistan while based at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. The unmanned aerial vehicle would directly affect operations on the ground. Another example is that of a soldier at Fort Meade, Md., who detects and thwarts a cyberattack on a DOD computer system."
In the video, RT's Irina Galushko explains that these medals are "awarded for something so exceptional and outstanding as to clearly set the individual apart from comrades" to these faceless killers of modern warfare. She explains that their actions now warrant an award higher than the bronze medal.
While Galushko admits that these people might have a basic knowledge of the territory, when asked about their precision shooting, she says that at best, the targets hit (and people killed) are around 50% innocent civilians, at worse it could be many more. Thus, these operators will get a better medal than someone in active duty, who actually did something really heroic on the ground, in person, and she then cites an example of a soldier who gave up everything for his comrades and his country.
What do you think? Do these modern warfare "Game of Drones" equivalents of Xbox and PlayStation players really warrant a medal for their efforts?