The U.S. Department of Defense recently announced the creation of the Distinguished Warfare Medal, which will be awarded "to service members whose extraordinary achievements, regardless of their distance to the traditional combat theater, deserve distinct department-wide recognition."
"This new medal recognizes the changing character of warfare and those who make extraordinary contributions to it," Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey said in a statement. "The criteria for this award will be highly selective and reflect high standards."
"It is the ninth-highest warfare medal the Pentagon can bestow on troops -- even higher than the Bronze Star," World Bulletin reports. "Importantly, it is the only combat medal that a military service member can receive without actually physically being in the same geographic area where combat took place."
"This is a fundamental change, and shows how the digital revolution is affecting the battlefield," writes Time's Mark Thompson. "Twenty-first century connectivity means you don’t have to be on the battlefield to affect the battlefield (which, in today's world, goes far beyond the FEBA -- the forward edge of the battle area). Divorcing war-time glory from 'valor' -- exposing yourself to wounds, if not worse -- will take some getting used to."
"The medal is the first combat-related award to be created by the U.S. military since the Bronze Star in 1944," Radio Free Europe reports.