They fight the war from computer consoles and video screens.
But the troops that launch the drone strikes and direct the cyberattacks that can kill or disable an enemy may never set foot in the combat zone. Now, defense officials say, their battlefield contributions may be recognized.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to announce Wednesday that for the first time the Pentagon is creating a medal that can be awarded to troops who have a direct impact on combat operations, but do it from afar.
The Associated Press has learned that the new blue, red and white-ribboned Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded to individuals for "extraordinary achievement" related to a military operation that occurred after Sept. 11, 2001. But unlike other combat medals, it does not require the recipient risk his or her life to get it.
A recognition of the evolving 21st Century warfare, the medal will be considered a bit higher in ranking than the Bronze Star, but is lower than the Silver Star, defense officials said.
I call BS