Barrar Thanks Department of Defense for Preserving Rank of Existing Medals

HARRISBURG – After receiving word that the U.S. Department of Defense will not rank the new drone medal above combat valor medals, Rep. Stephen E. Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware), majority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, thanked the department for its reconsideration on behalf of all veterans who earned recognition in direct combat.

“Every man and woman who defends our nation deserves our gratitude, but those who go above and beyond the call of duty in live combat operations merit an additional measure of deference,” said Barrar.  “Those veterans who earn distinctions like the Bronze Star and Purple Heart actually put themselves in harm’s way, and their medals should be ranked at the top.”

Barrar, who brought attention to this issue at the state level, had been working with the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation to request the department to reconsider the ranking of the new medal for drone operations so it would not be ranked above combat valor medals.  The Pennsylvania House of Representatives in March unanimously approved a resolution by Barrar urging a reconsideration of the matter.    

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel released word yesterday that drone operations will be recognized instead with a new distinguished device which can be affixed to existing medals.

“Drone operations are gaining increasing importance in military missions, but how do you tell a veteran who stormed the beaches of Normandy or was wounded in Afghanistan that his actions are less valorous than that of a soldier fighting remotely?” said Barrar.  “I thank the defense secretary for reviewing this matter and finding an appropriate solution.”

More information about Barrar and his legislative priorities is available at and

Representative Stephen E. Barrar
160th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact:  Nicole Wamsley
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