To get the newest military medal, you don't have to have been on the front lines. In fact, you could work very, very far from any combat.
The Distinguished Warfare Medal, announced by outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Wednesday, would recognize drone operators and those engaged in cyberattacks who haven't put themselves in harm's way.
A protest against drone strikes outside the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington last week.
Credit Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images
In an apparent reference to U.S. drone strikes, President Obama in his State of the Union speech defended the administration's continued use of "direct action" against terrorists and promised to work with Congress to ensure such targeting is lawful and transparent.
The president said that "where necessary, through a range of capabilities, we will continue to take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to Americans."