As previously detailed on this site [here (with the UK equivalent here)], the U.S. military is keen to devise a medal that can be awarded for “war fighters” that do not set foot in battle. Rather, the proposed blue, red and white-ribboned Distinguished Warfare Medal recognizes remote acts of valour and “extraordinary achievement”.
As Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta states
“I’ve seen firsthand how modern tools, like remotely piloted platforms and cyber systems, have changed the way wars are fought,” adding “And they’ve given our men and women the ability to engage the enemy and change the course of battle, even from afar.”
The work they do “does contribute to the success of combat operations, particularly when they remove the enemy from the field of battle, even if those actions are physically removed from the fight”.
I wonder if sabotaging Iran’s uranium enrichment plant with the Stuxnet virus counts? Or should the medal be awarded to the worm that did the damage in what is known as “Operation Olympic Games”? [for more on this, see my book review of Sanger’s fascinating text “Confront and Conceal“]