Armed Services leaders join opposition to drone medal's rank

“Like so many of the veterans groups who have expressed their displeasure with this recent announcement, we are very concerned about the message that this decision sends to those brave veterans of our Nation’s wars since 1941 whose heroism and meritorious service has been recognized by the Bronze Star Medal,” Levin and Inhofe wrote.

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There has been a stream of lawmakers, as well as veterans groups, who have complained about the ranking of the drone medal above the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

Hagel, however, does not appear inclined to change the ranking, which was determined before he took over for former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last month.

Hagel responded to a letter from Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) saying that the drone medal was “properly ranked.” Toomey said the reaction was a “disappointment.”

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), who wrote Hagel along with more than 20 senators about the medal on Friday, also took to the Senate floor Monday to express his displeasure with the ranking of the medal.

In the House, more than four dozen lawmakers wrote to Hagel last week expressing the same issues with the ranking of the DWM.