Pentagon To Give Official Honors To Military Hackers and Drone Pilots

Pentagon has agreed that it will be extending official military honours to remote military personnel like military hackers or drone pilots after a plan to have their own medals was dismissed, a report from NYT.

When the Defence Department’s 2013 plan to honour remote military personnel like drone pilots and military hackers with separate medals for them was first introduced, it was faced with widespread criticism as well as dismissal.

Many were against the idea of honouring people with such trivial jobs and the plan was eventually slashed when Leon Panetta made way for Chuck Hagel for the post of Defence Secretary. However, it is now being reported that official honours will be extended to such remote military personnel.

The idea of honouring such personnel with medals seemed unnecessary so a workaround was found. The honours will be similar to military honours in that they will be like military pins. The difference is that the pins will be small ‘R’s for remote, a report from Military Times.

Both military hackers and drone pilots will be eligible for receiving these R’s. Besides this new honour, the Defence Department is also set to review its process and criteria of awarding medals to officers. Some could see their awards rise to the level of Medal of Honour. It is also believed that newer, stricter rules, to see who is fit for receiving the awards will be put into place.

Rules as to who can receive combat awards will be reviewed, revised, and defined following this announcement by the Defence Department. This could mean that the troops involved in hostile situations will find their chances of receiving military awards become limited.

This news can be taken as welcome news for drone pilots at the time, for it is reported that they suffer the same mental health problem as crewed aircraft pilots. The Department of Defence has been struggling to retain its drone pilots, with the Air Force announcing last month that it is set to recruit more than a thousand people for its drone programme.

This news can help the Defence Department’s task of retaining drone pilots. 

Tell us what do you think? Should military hackers and drone operators be awarded for their job?


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