dragon-wings
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Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:12 am

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced 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 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.

The medal will be considered a bit higher in ranking than the Bronze Star, but is lower than the Silver Star, defense officials said.

What does everyone think about this? I don't like this idea. I think military awards should be kept for people who put their lives at risk in the combat zone.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013...es-medal-for-drone-pilots#comments
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Maverick623
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:27 am

Quoting dragon-wings (Thread starter):
I don't like this idea. I think military awards should be kept for people who put their lives at risk in the combat zone.

Hate to break it to you, but most awards and medals are awarded for non-combat actions. The third-highest award is a non-combat award, right behind the Medal of Honor and the various Crosses, and above the Silver Star.
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n229nw
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:19 am

In a nutshell, I don't like it at all and find it patently disturbing because it is further "approval" for an illegal act of war. The drone attacks need to be stopped, not glorified.
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Maverick623
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:23 am

Quoting n229nw (Reply 2):
I don't like it at all and find it patently disturbing because it is further "approval" for an illegal act of war.

How is the use of UAVs illegal?
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
Ozair
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:20 am

I suppose this will be available to categories such as Intel and logistics as well. No reason these guys have less of an impact on the front line than your average grunt.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:34 am

The REMF medal might be popular, and it won't be only for drone pilots. There are a lot of specialties where the impact of a good job is successful combat ops, and a poor job cost people's lives.

However, one thing I suspect is the medal may be the kiss of death for selection to higher rank. Combat action medals have always had a strong impact on the promotion boards.

I can just see a group of USMC officers with silver stars sitting reviewing records for promption - and what they will think of anyone who got this medal.

Will USAF selection boards consider those with this medal 'equal' to those with the DFC? I really doubt it.
 
flyingturtle
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:50 am

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 3):
How is the use of UAVs illegal?

Ehhh... you're joking?

Using the UCAVs is neither war, neither judicial or police work. It's something in between, and that is where the problem comes from.

- Use of Pakistani airspace to kill Pakistanis and foreign nationals, thus violating the judicial system of Pakistan.
- No due process, no public court. Mr. Obama and Mr. Bush can decide who's next to die.

If you deem UAV "combat" as warfare, would you think any other form of warfare (e.g. deploying some Army Ranger Battalions to Pakistan) is acceptable to the Pakistanis?


As a side note, there is this quote from the magnificent film "Patton".

Correspondent: General, we're told of wonder weapons the Germans were working on: Long-range rockets, push-button bombing weapons that don't need soldiers. What's your take on that?
Patton: Wonder weapons? My God, I don't see the wonder in them. Killing without heroics. Nothing is glorified, nothing is reaffirmed. No heroes, no cowards, no troops. No generals. Only those that are left alive and those that are left... dead.



David
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kc135topboom
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:48 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 5):
Will USAF selection boards consider those with this medal 'equal' to those with the DFC? I really doubt it.

I hope you are right. The DFC requires some level that puts the awardee at some level of risk. Drone crews don't face that risk.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disting...ished_Flying_Cross_(United_States)

Even the Air Medal should rank abve this DWC.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Medal

Both the Air Medal and the Bronze Star can be awarded for Valor.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:00 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
Both the Air Medal and the Bronze Star can be awarded for Valor.

A lot of lower ranked troops will be awarded an Army (Navy or AF) Commendation medal for valor in combat. All the services have a device to attach to the ribbon indicating the medal was awarded for valor.

Mine is worth 10% extra retirement pay.
 
FlyingSicilian
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:47 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
Both the Air Medal and the Bronze Star can be awarded for Valor.

Unless something has changed (which it might have) the US Air Force does not have a V device for Air Medals. IIRC it did decades ago but got rid of it, much like the AF got rid of warrent officers.
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:44 pm

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 6):

I'm with you, I don't like the use of drones. Not from an aviation enthousiast's point of view and more importantly, because the use of robotic 'coward' weapons makes warfare far too easy for one side, and probably fosters terrorism on the other side more than anyhing else.

However, the fact that the drone war in Pakistan is shady is not something that is particular to drones.

Peter
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
 
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Stitch
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:30 pm

So if attacking with a drone is "cowardly" or an "illegal act", what is using a cruise missile? Or an air-to-air missile? Air-to-surface missile? Surface-to-air-missile? Torpedo? Artillery shell? Rocket? Bullet?

Maybe we should just go back to beating each other over the head with clubs?

And while General Patton himself never actually said this line (it was created for the film Patton), it is one of the reasons we have stand-off weapons: "I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country."

[Edited 2013-02-14 10:33:40]
 
flyingturtle
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:41 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 11):
So if attacking with a drone is "cowardly" or an "illegal act", what is using a cruise missile? Or an air-to-air missile? Air-to-surface missile? Surface-to-air-missile? Torpedo? Artillery shell? Rocket? Bullet?

A "pilot" sitting in a cubicle at Nellis AFB has crossed the line IMHO.

Some cruise missiles still have to be fired by some magnificent men in their flying boxes. If the drone goes haywire, the pilot won't be dead. SAM personnel are subject to AGM-88 and other air-to-surface missiles. Being a submariner is still more dangerous than operating a joystick and staring at screens in the office. With artillery it's the same. The drone pilot does not even have to be near the ordnance to do his job.

In WWII, there was fallout about Lloyd Fredendall and the bunker he had built some 70+ miles away from the front line. The opinion was that even generals were expendable and had to take personal risks. In today's Germany, we had a controversy about army cooks getting the same risk premium as their colleagues on patrol duty. After all, Afghanistan is a dangerous place.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 11):
ever won a war

Using drones isn't even war. It is state-sponsored killing. Did the U.S. ever declare war on Pakistan in order to use their drones there? Or did the Pakistani government ask the U.S. for these UCAV strikes? Nope.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 11):
Maybe we should just go back to beating each other over the head with clubs?

No need for that. It just shouldn't be driving to the office, piloting drones, kill some terrorists and civilians, and go back home to kiss the wife and play with the children.


David

[Edited 2013-02-14 11:44:10]
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ssteve
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:09 pm

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 6):
Patton: Wonder weapons? My God, I don't see the wonder in them. Killing without heroics. Nothing is glorified, nothing is reaffirmed. No heroes, no cowards, no troops. No generals. Only those that are left alive and those that are left... dead.

If you're looking for romantic historical analogies for the modern realities of "war" on terrorists, just liken it to the way pirates were treated by the sovereign navies of the world. Attack and summary execution, indefinite detainment, etc. There were rules for the way you would civilly treat flag-flying enemies, and then there was what you could do to pirates-- anything.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:23 pm

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 12):
Using drones isn't even war. It is state-sponsored killing. Did the U.S. ever declare war on Pakistan in order to use their drones there? Or did the Pakistani government ask the U.S. for these UCAV strikes? Nope.

So if an F-117 had flown into Pakistani airspace and the pilot in the cockpit had dropped a JDAM on the target, that would be okay?
 
SCAT15F
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:09 pm

It's the targeting policy that's illegal.

Still, I am totally against this medal, and I am totally against using drones.

Just what we need. Further dehumanization of war. Clearly, nobody in the military is thinking about where this trend toward UAV's is going to end, because as we have seen with technological development "limiting" any new technology is tantamount to treason.

An episode of the original Star Trek dealt with the inevitable conclusion of this madness. War had evolved into computer simulations and those "killed" were sent to vaporization chambers to be killed for real.

Freaking idiots.
 
Ozair
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:46 pm

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 12):
A "pilot" sitting in a cubicle at Nellis AFB has crossed the line IMHO.

Why is a drone pilot in Nellis any less of a target than the Taliban senior figure sitting in a hut in North Waziristan? AQ already crossed the line by deliberately targeting non-combatants in their home nation. Now the US targets senior leadership figures in their home countries, deliberately avoiding the targeting of non-combatants. I am sure if you spoke to the pilot he would agree that he is a valid target, just harder to get to. It is AQ's fault they attacked a nation that had better internal security and advanced weapons than themselves.

And a UCAV is more than just the pilot, there are the ground crew servicing the aircraft in theater who are under direct threat each day.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 12):
Using drones isn't even war. It is state-sponsored killing. Did the U.S. ever declare war on Pakistan in order to use their drones there? Or did the Pakistani government ask the U.S. for these UCAV strikes? Nope.

Do you actually have any evidence to support that claim? Despite the political rhetoric coming out of Pakistan I would be very very surprised if Pakistan is not fully supportive of the drone attacks. If they really cared about drones invading their airspace they would shot them out of the sky until the US stopped sending them. The drones solve a problem for them as the tribal regions are as much an issue for Pakistan as they are for the US.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 12):
No need for that. It just shouldn't be driving to the office, piloting drones, kill some terrorists and civilians, and go back home to kiss the wife and play with the children.

Perhaps we should confine him to base, make him eat ration packs and shower in unsanitary conditions just like the ground crew servicing the aircraft in Afghanistan?

Quoting SCAT15F (Reply 15):
Clearly, nobody in the military is thinking about where this trend toward UAV's is going to end, because as we have seen with technological development "limiting" any new technology is tantamount to treason.

No, they are doing what they are supposed to be doing, concentrating on winning. The military does not set national policy, the government does. If you have an issue with the policy take it up with the government.

Quoting SCAT15F (Reply 15):
Still, I am totally against this medal

Shame really as there are plenty of active service personnel in rear areas who are just as important to the war effort and keeping front-line troops alive as the front-line guys themselves. Why not reward these people for their abilities, talents, ingenuity and determination.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:25 am

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 12):
Using drones isn't even war. It is state-sponsored killing.

Hmmm, isn't war itself "state sponsored killing"?

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 12):
Did the U.S. ever declare war on Pakistan in order to use their drones there? Or did the Pakistani government ask the U.S. for these UCAV strikes? Nope.

We don't need to declair war everywhere a terrorist is hiding. If a terrorist was hiding in your living room and we wanted to take him out, we wouldn't be asking you for permission to do it. It would just happen. It is easier to explain later why we killed that terriorist than to ask for permission before hand.
 
BMI727
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:52 am

Quoting SCAT15F (Reply 15):
Just what we need. Further dehumanization of war. Clearly, nobody in the military is thinking about where this trend toward UAV's is going to end, because as we have seen with technological development "limiting" any new technology is tantamount to treason.

War does need dehumanization.

There is no nobility in a fair fight. The best war to fight is the one where no Americans are in danger. If we could set it up for the President to zap terrorists while wearing sweatpants and sitting on his sofa I'd do it in a heartbeat.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
checksixx
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:08 am

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 10):
I'm with you, I don't like the use of drones. Not from an aviation enthousiast's point of view and more importantly, because the use of robotic 'coward' weapons makes warfare far too easy for one side, and probably fosters terrorism on the other side more than anyhing else.

Too easy for one side?? We don't want it to be fair!! Are you serious??

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 12):
The drone pilot does not even have to be near the ordnance to do his job.

So part of your problem with this is simply the mere fact that they are not 'near' enough to it??

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 12):
Using drones isn't even war. It is state-sponsored killing. Did the U.S. ever declare war on Pakistan in order to use their drones there? Or did the Pakistani government ask the U.S. for these UCAV strikes? Nope.

Wrong partner...the US told them that they would pursue terrorism suspects within Pakistan due to the nations lack of doing so themselves. Also...FYI...a 'civilian' engaging in acts with terrorism subjects becomes a legal combatant at that point...per Geneva Convention and Rules of War.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 12):
It just shouldn't be driving to the office, piloting drones, kill some terrorists and civilians, and go back home to kiss the wife and play with the children.

So you would rather they die at the end of their work day????

Quoting SCAT15F (Reply 15):
Still, I am totally against this medal, and I am totally against using drones.

Just what we need. Further dehumanization of war. Clearly, nobody in the military is thinking about where this trend toward UAV's is going to end, because as we have seen with technological development "limiting" any new technology is tantamount to treason.

So you'd rather someone be there and in jeopardy of losing their life also then...wow...

Quoting Ozair (Reply 16):
Shame really as there are plenty of active service personnel in rear areas who are just as important to the war effort and keeping front-line troops alive as the front-line guys themselves. Why not reward these people for their abilities, talents, ingenuity and determination.

   Absolutely!!!! Rewarding them and showing them they play a crucial roll keeps them going...its something that is highly pushed right now. I have an award (not medal) with valor...does that make it any less than the pilot with a medal with valor? Nope...not at all.


Whats really funny in this thread is that with exception to one, many of the posters in objection to UAV's and UNfair warfare (LoL), appear to be from countries that either tried to remain neutral or simply surrendered without a fight to the German's in WWII. I find that very interesting. Glad they're not in any way running our military!!!!
 
SCAT15F
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:55 am

Quoting checksixx (Reply 19):
So you'd rather someone be there and in jeopardy of losing their life also then...wow...

Absolutely. It is the only honorable thing to do, (yes, I'm talking about honor in combat) particularly when you are killing hundreds of civilians and targeting any adult male of military age who happens to be anywhere near known "terrorists" without any attempt whatsoever to determine just cause.

One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

The CIA has committed more terrorist acts and killed more innocent people than all the "terrorists" from Iraq, Afganistan, and Pakistan combined.
 
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:03 am

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 5):
The REMF medal might be popular, and it won't be only for drone pilots. There are a lot of specialties where the impact of a good job is successful combat ops, and a poor job cost people's lives.

I was surprised to hear this, I was under the impression the drone drivers where getting their own set of wings.

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BMI727
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:50 am

Quoting SCAT15F (Reply 20):
It is the only honorable thing to do,

Honor in combat doesn't get the job done. Like Al Davis said, "Just win, baby." Like they said in the movie Patton: "I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country."

That's right, Al Davis and Patton in the same post. There should be a medal for that.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
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ptrjong
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:02 am

Quoting checksixx (Reply 19):

Too easy for one side?? We don't want it to be fair!! Are you serious??

The decision to wage war needs to be a tough one. Yes, I'm serious and I also understand well if people in the military don't immediately agree.
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
 
checksixx
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:50 am

Quoting SCAT15F (Reply 20):
Quoting checksixx (Reply 19):
So you'd rather someone be there and in jeopardy of losing their life also then...wow...

Absolutely. It is the only honorable thing to do, (yes, I'm talking about honor in combat) particularly when you are killing hundreds of civilians and targeting any adult male of military age who happens to be anywhere near known "terrorists" without any attempt whatsoever to determine just cause.

One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

The CIA has committed more terrorist acts and killed more innocent people than all the "terrorists" from Iraq, Afganistan, and Pakistan combined.

Ahhh...you're one of those. Thank God you don't make those decisions!!

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 23):
Quoting checksixx (Reply 19):

Too easy for one side?? We don't want it to be fair!! Are you serious??

The decision to wage war needs to be a tough one. Yes, I'm serious and I also understand well if people in the military don't immediately agree.

There wouldn't be any modern military that would agree with you actually...LoL
 
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ptrjong
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:55 am

Well, war is too important to be left to the military.
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
 
nomadd22
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:25 pm

I never thought much of all those guys who had half their chests covered with ribbons, most of which were for doing their jobs. One national Defense ribbon was enough for me.
Sniping from the sidelines might be all some people can do, but the world would be in pretty bad shape if we let the Srebrenica school of warfare prevail. Pacifism is a luxury paid for by people willing to do what it takes.
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ThePointblank
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:43 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 22):
Honor in combat doesn't get the job done. Like Al Davis said, "Just win, baby." Like they said in the movie Patton: "I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country."

That's right, Al Davis and Patton in the same post. There should be a medal for that.

Indeed.

This is not a video game or a sport, it's war. It's dirty, it's dangerous, and people will get killed, one way or another. There are no rules to warfare except get the other guy killed before he kills you. The only time honor / sportsman like conduct matters is when it comes to a game, WAR IS NOT A GAME! In war, there is no honor, there is only those who are going to die, and those who live. I want our side to win with as little damage to us as possible. I want our side to over run the enemy with as much utter over powering and overwhelming force as possible like in Desert Storm where we ripped Saddam's military to the ground in one of the fastest wars in recent history.

I dont' care if we're called cheaters, or dishonourable, as long as our troops come home safely and the enemy goes down in flames quickly and easily, I'm happy. I support the use of any technical / intelligence / tactical / strategical advantage to be had in warfare.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:57 pm

Quoting checksixx (Reply 19):
Rewarding them and showing them they play a crucial roll keeps them going...its something that is highly pushed right now.

There are existing awards / medals to recognize such service.

Adding a new award and calling it 'equilavent to the DFC' dilutes the recognition of their contributions in my opinion.
 
SCAT15F
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:10 pm

Quoting checksixx (Reply 24):
Ahhh...you're one of those. Thank God you don't make those decisions!!

If by one of "those", you mean someone who doesn't let that hyperactive brand of U.S. patriotism which inevitably leads to arrogance and willful ignorance blind him to the truth, then yes, I am definitely one of those.


“There is a hard core of people in the United States who will not be moved, whatever facts you present, from their conviction that this nation means only to do good, and almost always does good, in the world, that it is the beacon of liberty and freedom."

Howard Zinn
Bombardier, USAAF 490th Bombardment group, WWII.
Historian, author, playwright, activist.

I take it you are one of "those"
 
BMI727
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:06 pm

Quoting SCAT15F (Reply 29):
I take it you are one of "those"

Whether what the country does is good or bad, it's better if at the end of it the Americans are all still alive.

Fighting wars is not a sport and playing fair is not important. Winning is what's important and if any American walks into a "fair" fight, then somebody probably screwed up somewhere.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
checksixx
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:18 am

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 28):
There are existing awards / medals to recognize such service.

Never said there wasn't.

Quoting SCAT15F (Reply 29):
If by one of "those", you mean someone who doesn't let that hyperactive brand of U.S. patriotism which inevitably leads to arrogance and willful ignorance blind him to the truth, then yes, I am definitely one of those.


“There is a hard core of people in the United States who will not be moved, whatever facts you present, from their conviction that this nation means only to do good, and almost always does good, in the world, that it is the beacon of liberty and freedom."

Howard Zinn
Bombardier, USAAF 490th Bombardment group, WWII.
Historian, author, playwright, activist.

I take it you are one of "those"

Nope...I quoted YOUR own words. You quoted someone else. Don't put any words in my mouth just to make your previous comments look any less ridiculous...thanks  
 
SCAT15F
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:08 am

Quoting checksixx (Reply 31):
Don't put any words in my mouth just to make your previous comments look any less ridiculous

Well, everything I quoted happens to be simple fact -regardless of what you want to believe- so why would I need to try and make them look less "ridiculous?"

The current drone targeting policy which I described is a matter of public record.

The history of most of what the CIA has done, and the number of people that organization has killed is a matter of public record. I've spent the last 7 years in both undergrad and grad school researching just that.

It's really not that complicated.
 
FlyingSicilian
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RE: Panetta Announces New Medal For Drone Pilots

Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:39 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 28):
There are existing awards / medals to recognize such service.

Adding a new award and calling it 'equilavent to the DFC' dilutes the recognition of their contributions in my opinion.



Very true.

There are too many medals in use with USAF now, another feel good medal is absurd. Besides the Global War on Terrorism Medal was supposed to do what this one purports to do.
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