DWM should rank behind Star, Heart

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 30, 2013

To the editor:

Military veterans everywhere support the practice of recognizing with formal decorations the brave men and women serving our great nation, but a U.S. Department of Defense decision related to a newly authorized medal has the potential to do grave injustice to the recipients of existing medals. The new medal, the Distinguished Warfare Medal (DWM), is designed to recognize extraordinary service that has a direct impact on combat operations. While the intention of the DMW is good, the execution is not, as the DOD has placed the new medal above the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart in the order of precedent.

The Bronze Star and the Purple Heart share an important distinction that is lacking in the DWM: The recipient must be serving in an “imminent danger area” to earn either medal. Simply put, the DVM could be presented to someone who has never heard the “whine of a bullet” or the “whistle of an incoming mortar round.”

As a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, I applaud the almost 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including my tepresentative, the Honorable Martha Roby of the Second Congressional District, who have submitted a letter to the Secretary of Defense calling for the DWM to rank behind the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. I urge your readers to request their Representatives follow suit and urge the Department of Defense to rank the DVM below the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Freedom is not free, and we should not diminish in any way those who have borne the wounds of combat to protect our great nation and its freedoms.



K.T. Cole

Commander, Chapter 2205

Military Order of the Purple Heart