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Hagel nixes medal for drone pilots, cyberwarriors

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is canceling the creation of a heroism medal for drone pilots and cyber warriors, prompted by uproar over its precedence over the Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals.

Mr. Hagel, who ordered a Pentagon review of the new medal, said Monday: "While the review confirmed the need to ensure such recognition, it found that misconceptions regarding the precedence of the award were distracting from its original purpose."

Instead of the Distinguished Warfare Medal, military leaders are encouraged to develop a special pin or device that would be attached to already existing medals or ribbons, he said.

"I agree with the Joint Chiefs' findings, and have directed the creation of a distinguishing device instead of a separate medal," Mr. Hagel said in a written statement.

The move reverses a decision made by former Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta in the waning days of his tenure.

Senior military leaders have 90 days to finalize details and criteria for the award.

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