By Chris Carroll
Copyright 2014 Stars and Stripes
WASHINGTON — With the politically dicey issue of how to recognize service by drone pilots and cyber warriors still awaiting an answer, the Pentagon announced Tuesday a broad-ranging review to settle not only that question, but examine the full range of medals and awards.
Officials said the review, ordered by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, would likely kick off within a month or so and be complete by late 2014 or early 2015.
Beyond determining how new warfare technologies would fit into the medal picture, the parameters of the review are still being worked out, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said.
“As the wars are ending … rather than looking piecemeal at any specific one, he wants to do a comprehensive review of them all,” Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said.
Hagel’s own soldiering background — he was awarded two Purple Hearts in Vietnam — drives his desire to make sure the system for awarding medals and decorations is functioning as it should, Kirby told Foreign Policy, which first reported the review.“Having seen combat himself, Secretary Hagel fully understands and respects the traditions that come with awards and decorations,” he said. “This is a process that will take time and care, but he believes it’s important it’s done right.”