Thursday, February 14, 2013

Medals For Drone Pilots?

     LOLwhut?  For what, exactly, "...bold action in blowing up Achmed Badguy, Mrs. Budguys #2 and 3, a dozen little Badguys ranging in age from 3 to 19 and most of a 2011 Mercedes, despite a really huge boil on his hinder parts and a raging case of hemorrhoids during a sunny, warm April afternoon while the coffee machine was broken and none of his buddies could spare a buck for the pop machine, W/O J. Random Geek is hereby awarded this Distinguished Award For Outstanding Sitzfleisch ....," a medal that ranks a bit higher than the lowest one awarded for doing brave things while actual hostile forces are actually shooting at your actual self with actual bullets, using IEDs, etc.

     Not just no but Hells no.  I'm still trying to make up my mind if some drone uses ought to rate war crimes trials and the Pentagon wants to hand out real medal-type-medals for playing a video game that kills people by very remote control?

     (Note, you can also get this here decoration for valorous hacking, possibly with Jolt-can clusters.  Everyone knows the really good hackers are motivated by general-public glory, right?  Just ask Anonymous!)

     Drone pilots do well?  Great.  Buy 'em dinner.  Send 'em to a movie.  Write them up in the Base newspaper, just like you would a clerk or an IT tech serving far behind the lines.


Craig M. said...

Satire, but priceless nonetheless.

Jess said...

I'm thinking an avatar to stick on the edge of their screen will work. That, and a coffee cup with their name.

As far as war crimes: If it ever hits the fan, I'm betting there's no trail of orders that can hang some brass for errors in judgement. Otherwise, they'll spend their days in jail wondering how they could be so naive.

Sevesteen said...

The problem isn't that there is a medal--the Air Force (and I assume the other services) has a long history of medals for meritorious service that aren't about combat or bravery. The problem is ranking it above a bronze star.

JohninMd.(HELP!?) said...

Now, Bobbi, that's awful...HARSH. True, and accurate, but harsh. :-)

Anonymous said...

Maybe not that accurate. They face no peril stronger than hearing the giggling as they walk by wearing Nomex flight suits, but they are trigger pullers. Puts them in a slightly different category than the rest of the clerks and jerks. Sort of a difference without a distinction, you might say.

It's a silly position they find themselves in. I get the feeling that this is being ginned up as recognition that fewer and fewer flying billets will exist as the years go by. Have to have something to put in the SRB's when it comes time to decide who gets a

Mike James

markm said...

Mike, they may be trigger-pullers, but they pull the trigger from a safe remote location. Meritorious service in combat (that is, where the enemy may have a chance to shoot back) should definitely rank above that. And I say this as a not so proud wearer of the Air Force Good Conduct and Longevity Medals, with Oak Leaf Clusters. I earned these working ridiculously long hours and often being the only man that could get an airplane off the ground with all electronics systems working, but it doesn't compare with going in harm's way.

One thing I'm glad of - they didn't start handing out medals for graduating from Basic Training until after I'd done so.