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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Controversy spurs Pentagon's Hagel to review new 'Nintendo' medal

By Anna Mulrine


Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel participates in the awarding of a Purple Heart medal to Army Private Harry Hikes (l.) and Sergeant Jeremyah Williams of the 426 Brigade Support Battalion, at Jalalabad Airfield in eastern Afghanistan, Saturday. Hagel will reconsider the new Distinguished Warfare Medal --- promptly dubbed the 'Nintendo' medal by troops which has been a magnet for controversy




Critics complain it ranks higher than the Bronze Star or Purple Heart --- awards for acts of valor in physical combat


JewishWorldReview.com |

BASHINGTON — (TCSM) Since its debut last month, the new Distinguished Warfare Medal — promptly dubbed the "Nintendo" medal by troops — has been a magnet for controversy. Now, new Defense Secretary Chuck Hagelis apparently reconsidering whether such a medal — which could be awarded to cyber specialists, say, or remote operators of Predator or Reaper drones that kill enemy forces threatening the lives of troops on the ground — should retain its high ranking in the medal pecking order.

Pentagon officials are expected to announce Tuesday afternoon that the medal — created to award US troops for "extraordinary achievements directly impacting combat operations" — is under review.

The medal is meant to acknowledge contributions of troops "regardless of the member's physical location or domain," according to Pentagon background papers. Many pilots of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, operate their aircraft in Afghanistan from bases in Nevada.


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The Distinguished Warfare Medal (DWM) is the first new Defense Department-wide medal to be established since 1944. The award, these officials stress, is not to be awarded for acts of valor in combat.

Few have a problem with recognizing the contributions of UAV pilots whose achievements, officials note, "have in some cases dramatically changed how we conduct and support combat and other military operations."

The problem is that the DWM was placed in order of precedence ahead of the Bronze Star, and even above the Bronze Star with a "V" device for valorous conduct in combat.

Since 9/11, only 2.5 percent of the more than 167,000 Bronze Stars meted out have been awarded with a "V," according to Pentagon figures.

This point in particular — that the DWM would rank above a Bronze Star with "V" — prompted an outcry among veterans groups and, in a rare show of bipartisan unity, members of Congress on both sides of the political aisle.

On Friday, 22 senators signed a letter to Secretary Hagel, citing their chief complaint: "We believe that medals earned in combat, or in dangerous conditions, should maintain their precedence above non-combat awards," they wrote. "Placing the Distinguished Warfare Medal above the Bronze Star and Purple Heart diminishes the significance of awards earned by risking one's life in direct combat or through acts of heroism."

What's more, the DWM "diminishes the precedence given to acts of individual gallantry in circumstances other than combat," they argued in the letter.

The American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars have also weighed in against the medal.

Some in veterans groups express a hope that Hagel will be receptive to their complaints.

"This isn't a knock on Leon Panetta, but unlike Chuck Hagel, Panetta was never a grunt, an enlisted man," Jon Soltz, co-founder of VoteVets.org and an Iraq war veteran, wrote in a recent blog for theHuffington Post. "In Hagel, we have someone who brings that unique experience to the table."

Hagel served as an infantry squad leader during the height of the war in Vietnam.

In this hope, they were not disappointed. "In light of concerns about the medal's place in the order of precedence raised by veterans organizations and a number of members of Congress" — including the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee — "Secretary Hagel is going to work with the chairman, service secretaries, and chiefs to review the order of precedence of the medal," a senior defense official said Tuesday.

In the meantime, says a defense official, the production of the medal, which some have joked should include a video game joystick, has been halted.

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© 2013, The Christian Science Monitor

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