CONCORD, N.H. — Senators in northern New England are among a group asking Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to lower the ranking of a new medal for cyber fighters.

They are Maine Sen. Angus King, New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte, and Vermont Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders. They serve on committees representing the armed services, veterans and homeland security.

The proposed Distinguished Warfare Medal would rank ahead of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

The senators said combat awards are sacred, reflecting the special bravery of Americans who have been willing to sacrifice everything in the defense of the United States. They said combat awards should remain the military’s highest honors.

The new medal would honor drone pilots and others using technological skills to gather intelligence and kill enemy fighters.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.