Recently the Secretary of Defense announced the authorization of a new United States military medal. The Distinguished Warfare Medal is now among the ranks of every other prestigious award that has ever been offered to the brave men and women who have served and sacrificed for our country. The medal is dedicated to recognizing military efforts that surpass the requirements of the Bronze Star medal. It is also specific to only those who have served since September 11th 2001.
Below is a transcript of the official announcement. You can also download the PDF version here.
SUBJECT: Distinguished Warfare Medal
It gives me great pleasure to announce the creation of the Distinguished Warfare Medals (DWM). The DWM provides distinct Department of Defense (DOD)-wide recognition for extraordinary achievement, not involving acts of valor, directly impacting combat operations or other military operations, such as operations authorized by a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Execute Order, as approved by me.
The DWM provides an avenue to recognize appropriately extraordinary direct impacts on combat operations warranting recognition above the Bronze Star Medal. Since September 11, 2001, technological advancements have, in some cases, dramatically changed how we conduct and support combat and other military operations,. Accordingly, the DWM award criteria intentionally does not include a geographic limitation on award, as it is intended for use as a means to recognize Service members who meet the criteria, regardless of the domain used of the member’s physical location. Given the DWM’s level-of-precedence, immediately below the Distinguished flying Cross, the member’s actions must have resulted in an accomplishment so exceptional and outstanding as to clearly set the individual apart from comrades or from other persons in similar situations.
The DWM may not be awarded for actions prior to September 11, 2001. Each Military Department Secretary is the approval authority for award of the DWM. This authority may not be delegated. Subsequent to the date of this memorandum, each Military Department Secretary shall establish procedures for processing requests for award of the DWM within their respective Military Department.
Award criteria are attached and will be incorporated into the next revision of the DoD Manual 1348.33-V3, “Manual of Military Decorations and Awards,” Volume 3.
The Distinguished Warfare Medal is described as:
A brass pendant. 1 7/8 inches in height with a laurel wreath encircling a domed and grid-lined globe. at center the Department of Defense (DoD) Eagle surmounts a diamond shape and at top a six pointed starburst. On the reverse the laurel wreath encircles an engraving plaque between the inscriptions “DISTINGUISHED WARFARE” and DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE”.
Symbolism: The wreath honors the recipient’s significant meritorious achievement to battlefield operations. The globe and gridlines signify that the operational support or other military engagement may be performed remotely. The diamond shape symbolizes the four corners of the glove, representing the operational reach of our armed forces in the defense of liberty and justice. The DoD Eagle indicates the medal is presented in the name of the Secretary of Defense. Operational magnitude and mission success are denoted by the six pointed star symbolizing an ordinance burst and target neutralization.New Distinguished Warfare Medal Announced,