Pentagon to Consider Whether Drone Pilots Deserve Top Military Honors

Shultz acknowledged drone pilots simply do not face the same risk of a pilot in the sky. However, he said remote pilots should still be eligible for some kind of recognition.

"With all due respect to our veterans, the way we fight wars is changing," Shultz said. "We fight from a remote location and we don't face those same threats...but there may be a time where we are the only asset available that makes the difference between life and death for troops on the ground."

Spooner, who also worked as a Navy Sonar Technician before his work on the ground, agreed that the technology is becoming a huge and necessary aspect of the military.

"I can remember, just in my six-and-a-half years of service, all the things that changed," Spooner said. "I'm only 31 years old and they use things like drones now that weren't really around during my time."

While acknowledging the importance and hard work of the American military's cyber warriors, Spooner said veterans would not appreciate, just as they didn't with the "Distinguished Warfare Medal," awards for remote warfare outranking valor medals like the Bronze Star or Purple Heart.

"I think they should be recognized for their skill, and when I think of (drone pilots) I automatically think of skill," he said. "But when I think of valor, I think of bravery and actually being there, and you weren't actually there."

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