3-15-2013

Protect Significance of Purple Heart and Bronze Star

FRA supports legislation introduced in the House (HR 833), sponsored by Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, and the Senate (S. 470), sponsored by Montana Senator Jon Tester, to ensure that the Bonze Star and Purple Heart combat medals rank ahead of a new medal honoring service away from the front lines.  The bills are in response to a recent Department of Defense (DoD) announcement that the Distinguished Warfare Medal will recognize extraordinary achievement of unmanned aerial vehicle pilots and cyber warriors, and will be authorized for wear above the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, both of which are awarded only for battlefield service.

Recognizing valor in combat has profound and significant meaning within the military community and FRA believes that recognition for non-combat service should not supersede combat-related awards. FRA National President Mark Kilgore and numerous other leaders of military and veteran organizations signed a letter to President Obama asking his personal involvement to lower the new Distinguished Warfare Medal’s standing in the military medals’ order of precedence.

In response to these concerns, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has directed a 30-day study be conducted to review the policy associated with the new medal.

Members are urged to use the FRA Action Center to ask their legislators to support these legislative proposals.